Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jan. 19th - Training Days

After taking Monday off (no beach sadly as it was pouring rain and there was a hurricane warning!) we have been back at it training these past two days. Yesterday we hit the water at 8.30 am to train with the other Canadian 470 sailors (6 boats!) and the CYA coach Erik Stibbe. Erik is down in Miami coaching Lasers but has kindly made some time in the very early morning to work with the 470 sailors. In some very light wind we did a bunch of windward/leewards and some starts. After two hours we all headed in for a break. And by "break" I mean boatwork. We managed a whole 3 days of sailing during the regatta without any boatwork, so there was plenty to do! After a couple hours of that we headed back on the water with Geoff and Tyler to do some more training. We did some speed testing and switched skipper/crew and boats a few times to help the boys with some pointing issues. It was good for us as well as we could analyse our own movements and actions and how they contribute to our overall boatspeed and pointing. After some more boat handling and downwind sailing we headed in again, having put in a solid 5 hours of sailing over the day.

Today was another long day; it started at about 3 am when everyone woke up to torrential downpour. I think everyone else in the house was thinking the same thing I was: "Shoot, all my sailing gear is hanging outside to dry!". The humidity this morning was absolutely incredible; everything was soaked but nothing would dry and your sweat would not evaporate. We headed out at 8.30 to work with Erik again but didn't last long. Somehow our mainsail, spinnaker and jib halyards had become crossed inside the mast and we couldn't hoist or douse our spinnaker without dumping our rig tension. We headed in to sort this out which took about 2 hours of fiddling. We fixed it just in time to head back on the water with Sanni and Tina and our new training group! It was us, the German girls, the Polish girls and the Danish girls working with Zeze and Rafa the German and Polish coaches respectfully. We are super excited to have a group of girls to work with and the training was excellent. We are the slowest of the four boats, but this is a good thing as we must always work extra hard to keep up and stay focused. We did some small windward/leeward courses working on leeward mark rounding transitions; then some starting and acceleration practice and some small races. It was great to watch what the other girls do on the starting line and there was an excellent discussion during the debrief about different techniques for staying forward on the line and working the boat to windward. Towards the end of the day we all joined in with some group races. The group racing is a staple in the 470 fleet. It is organized by the coaches and happens every training day before a World Cup event. You usually need to be invited to join in and there are specific rules to be followed or you get yelled at. (For example: if there are more than 10 women's boats they must start on their own and not with the men;  if you are over early or foul someone you must do a 360.) It was an excellent day of training and now for a nap!

Check out the photos Zeze took during NA's. This is in race 3 on day 1 when we were doing really well!

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