March/April 2015 Update

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A quick update for what has occurred over a very busy two months in these exciting times. I had a great two weeks of training in Rio in March, sailing a mix of Lasers and Radials. I was exhausted by the end of the training, but I really started to get a grasp on the complexities in the wind and currents that Rio presents. There is a still a lot of work to be done to be completely accurate, but understanding the venue is becoming clearer with each day on the water.

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I then took a week break to rest my mind and body to prepare for the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I arrived on March 19th and got settled into the venue with a good mix of training on the water and in the gym before racing started March 30th. I also got linked up with my new coach, Rulo Borojovich and began our new relationship. I felt great during my training, fine tuning my boat speed and looking to reinforce some key rules of thumb I wanted to follow tactically and strategically for racing that week. Unfortunately, my training progress and what seemed to be a successful build up, did not carry over to my performance the following week. Conditions proved to be extremely shifty, unpredictable, and hard to manage. Although it is easy to say that I had a lot of bad luck, it is an excuse that I don’t entertain. What was important to recognize that in conditions that were unpredictable and hard to manage, I did not utilize a strategy and make tactical decisions that were conservative enough and give myself options. This cost me dearly in the races, much worse than I probably deserved with my top end boat speed, and found myself racing in bronze fleet the remainder of the week. The remainder of the regatta was purely about how to properly manage my positioning on the racecourse and in comparison to the fleet and minimizing risk all the time. executed this well for the remaining races, happy with how I performed during the second half of the week. Clearly it was a disappointing week, a shocker in a way. Not much else to say other than it was a “slap in the face” and woke me up to the realities that I need to improve on.

After packing up in Spain, I then travelled back to Florida to pick up my car and make the cross-country road trip back home to Newport Beach. Another series of long days on the road, but worth it after making a detour to check out the Grand Canyon, an unbelievable site to see.

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I then made a quick turnaround and headed south to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from April 15-27th. It is presumed this will be the venue for the 2016 Worlds. I trained with our Mexican host Yanic Gentry, Tom Ramshaw of Canada, Andrew Lewis of Trinidad and Tobago, and Juan Perdomo of Puerto Rico. It was an awesome place to train, very similar to my home waters in Long Beach, CA, just a bit warmer. Training was extremely productive with wind 8-15 knots every day with 10 days on the water, mixed with intense CrossFit sessions, leaving us boys tired, sweaty, and hungry at the end of each day. My personal focus on the water was getting back in touch with my consistent upwind boat speed in the hiking conditions, with accurate sheeting and strong posture. Additionally, making smart, conservative, and risk-averse racing decisions was a key focus. I left the camp tired, but satisfied that I accomplished I came to do. I will be returning there next week for another week of training.

I returned back home for a bit of rest and enjoyed the birthday with the family. But it was quickly back to training to join Paige Railey, Will and Henry Marshall for some Radial training with coach Mark Littlejohn in Long Beach. It was a camp any Laser dreams of. We towed upwind for 30 minutes, inside the breakwater, then sailed downwind in 15-20 knots and great waves, tow back upwind and do it again. It was awesome conditions and ideal to refine technique and repeat over and over again. I also gained a much better understanding on how to keep my boat fast, always pointing downhill and free, and minimizing distance sailed.

I just finished a great few days in Chula Vista at the Olympic training site for US Sailing Team meetings reviewing important logistics and topics needed to discuss as we prepare for our peak events for the year and the Olympics 15 months away.

Next up is back down the Mexico for another week of training before heading to Europe again at the end of the month for the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands and the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth, England.

Thank you all for your continued support, can’t wait to get back to work again tomorrow!

Barney

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