After wrapping up a wonderful Thanksgiving at home, we started off December with a two-and-a-half week training block in sunny Clearwater, Florida. In February, Clearwater will be the next venue for the 2016 World Championships which is also the second part of the US Olympic Trials. We thought it was important to assess the conditions and get comfortable with the area because, as we learned while we were there, the weather, wind, and swell could do anything. We can see flat water with light, shifty and puffy breeze or heavy winds and 2-3 foot swell.
New to our team dynamic is our coach Willie McBride. A new perspective can always help with new ideas and throughout our training block, Willie’s coaching forced us, in a good way, to pay attention to the details and start to understand why something feels the way it does.
Many of the new drills incorporated into our daily training days consisted of rounding a mark without tacking, blindfolded sailing, rudderless sailing and single-handed sailing. Many of these drills helped us focus on the feel of the boat and understanding how to decrease the amount of time the boat is in a low-speed mode. As Willie likes to put it, “Be freaks about making the boat perfect at all times.” Willie also likes to do daily video blogs (vlogs) where he makes a video, usually focusing on one topic per video. Here is his channel – check out what our training days consisted of! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoa-syjvuo3tX_FeSViYeGA
We are now packing after a well deserved Christmas Break with family and friends and will be back training tomorrow in Miami. We will be preparing for ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami at the end of January. It is our final chance for country qualification and the first part of our US Olympic Trials!
Thank you to the Northern California Olympians Foundation and the St Francis Sailing Foundation for the grants that help support our training, and to our travel sponsor, Expedia, for coming on board this year. Considering how much we travel, everything has been remarkably smooth!
There are about 200 individuals and families who have donated to our campaign. To say that means a lot to us is the biggest understatement of 2015. Whether you supported us during our RallyMe crowdfunder or at another time, we are so grateful and we hope that we will make you extra proud at the Olympic Trials. Thanks to the sponsors and supporters of the US Sailing Team Sperry, especially our title sponsor Sperry.
~ Paris and Helena