The Next Leg of the Journey

World Cup Miami wrapped up last week with light winds.  Even though Fred and I were in different boats (a coach boat and a 49er), we learned plenty and got a lot out of the winter training.  Our next leg of the journey as a team will begin at the end of April when Fred is cleared for duty and we can get back to Our Road To Rio.

The Miami weather threw a curve ball last week which delivered light and fluky winds for the regatta.  Normally we sail three races a day for five days, which results in fifteen races for the series.  But, with the unusual weather, we only sailed 9 races.  I matched up with US team member Trevor Moore for December and January.  Trevor competed in the 49er at the 2012 London Olympics in my role as the crew position.  Needless to say, I learned a great deal in the front of the boat and improved my game over the last month and a half.  Like any competition, Trevor and I had some great moments around the race track followed by some tough breaks.  Against a stacked roster of 34 boats, we finished 13th.  Although we were disappointed with our end result, we learned a lot and sailed hard.

Photo Credit: US Sailing Team Media Will Ricketson

Photo Credit: US Sailing Team Media Will Ricketson

While I was sailing with Trevor this winter I trained my eye to look at the mainsail differently.  This made me see and feel the changes I made to the boat setup.  I focused on where the main sail twists open, which ultimately translates into speed.  I also learned how to change sailing modes from a high and tight angle to a fast forward speed machine.  All these little tricks I learned will be crucial to get us a medal in Rio.

Fred followed the races from the coach boat giving him a unique opportunity to study the top teams in the world.  He was very diligent watching the best boats race around the track and he captured their movement in the boat with hours and hours of video footage.  I joke that Fred is like a football coach or a boxer studying his next competition in very finite detail learning all their strengths and weaknesses.  With video to watch and the tactical races he viewed from the coach boat, Fred is keeping his mind sharp so that when his body is ready he won’t miss a beat.

Fred will be spending the next few months coaching 49ers in Europe.  I am still sorting out plans to sail as much as I can with whomever I can while also coaching some of the US women’s team in the 49er FX.  Our team goals over these two months are to stay in the game as much as we can, keep learning, and have our bodies physically ready to go when we get to the end of April.

Looking ahead, Fred and I will train in late April and most of May in Long Beach, California before we head to Europe in early June to race a few regattas and spend some time in Santander, Spain to prepare for the World Championships in September.  Despite our current situation with its setbacks, Fred and I are doggedly determined to stay on track of that timeline we created in 2011.  We know we can qualify the United States for the Olympics in the 49er at the Santander Worlds this September.  Stick around, we are just getting started!

On Track

On Track

Thanks for your support.

One thought on “The Next Leg of the Journey

  1. Still making great headway on the road to Rio, boys! We’re all aboard, Team Strammer/Brown!

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