December Training Camp with Anna Tunnicliffe

This past week, Dec 16-20, I sailed the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s December training camp at Miami Yacht Club with Anna Tunnicliffe. Paris was taking her final exams in San Diego and Anna’s crew Molly was traveling, so Anna and I teamed up for extra hours on the water! I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sail with Anna. She has been a role model for me since I first started racing 29ers in 2008, the year she won her Gold medal in the Laser Radial at the Beijing Olympics.

It was my first time back in the boat since my accident at Worlds on Sept. 27 — 12 weeks ago now. I can honestly say that throughout the whole week of training, I had no pain related to my injury! It is truly amazing to me how fast my body healed. Rest, good food, and smart training works!

It took me a bit for my body to remember the movements through the boat, but I was not nervous or afraid to be back in the boat. I am definitely not in the shape I was in when I got hurt, and I need to still get stronger beyond that anyway. But that will come with more hard work and time.

We had beautiful, warm conditions and an average of about 14 knots of breeze the whole week. Our training partners were Kristen/Maggie, and two Canadian teams: Erin/Danielle, and Erin/Lauren. Unfortunately the area we sailed in for 3 days was just shallow enough that 3 of the 4 FX teams, including us, broke a mast. All the masts broke their top sections in the same place from capsizing in shallow water. It was sad and frustrating, but it is better than anyone hurting themselves!

This week I worked on mainsheet trim upwind, mainsheet trim through tacks, footwork in gybes, and spinnaker trim out of gybes. We worked on dialing in fast rig settings for the wavy conditions, too. During one practice race day inside the harbor we got lots of practice transitioning between big puffs (both fully trapping) and big lulls (both in the boat) which demands anticipation and coordination of body weight movement, sail trim, and steering. Ed Baird, Morgan Reeser, and Dave Perry all stopped by to talk to the whole camp (470s, 49ers, and Nacra 17s) about strategy and protests.

My parents are currently driving across the country (from Seattle, via San Diego) with two 49ers in tow… they are the best! Not to mention that my dad designed and built the whole trailer himself… more on that soon.
Paris arrives on December 29, and we will be training from Dec 30 – Jan 3. We can’t wait to be back in the boat together!

Thank you to Luther, Charlie and Leandro for coaching and organizing the camp. Thank you to Miami YC for hosting us again and to Will Ricketson for the fantastic photos. And of course, thank you to Anna for sailing with me, and providing the boat!
All photos copyright US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

Happy Holidays, from sunny Miami!

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