Summer Preparation 2018

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Following the long season of racing in Europe this spring, it was nice to get back home to California to work on some technical skills and fitness for summer racing. My coach Chris Dold and I made the proper assessments on certain skills we wanted to work on and set out a plan to turn those weaknesses into strengths all working towards the big event of the year, the World Sailing Championships this August.

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First off was a two-week camp in San Francisco in early June focused around strong wind skills and fitness. The camp would constitute 12 days of sailing in a 14-day period, each day averaging about 3.5 hours on the water dock to dock, non-stop, high heart rate work. Attending the camp was our US Laser Team, our US Development Team full of young, eager high school to college aged sailors, and international veterans from Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey. We sailed out of Treasure Island Sailing Center, ran races in Berkley Circle, but also moved all around the bay and even outside the Golden Gate to set up long downwinders back home. It was a grueling camp that tested us both mentally and physically but built a great foundation for the months to come.

That camp ended mid-June, which left myself a solid 3-week block of focused gym and bike training, at home, eating and sleeping out of my own apartment, ideal to get into a regimented, productive routine. The goal was to execute about 11 workout sessions within a week period. The program consisted a variety of workouts such as long period and timed interval biking sessions at targeted heart rates and wattage, weight lifting programs to develop power and strength, solo sailing sessions in Long Beach to work on specific skills that I could work on by myself, and some fun, unique workouts such as hikes up the Hollywood hills carrying heavy rocks to work on core stability, posture, and grip strength. Those three weeks I really enjoyed and I felt strong improvements in my overall endurance, strength, size, and ability to recover day to day.

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The final prep for the summer came at home at the Laser North American Championships in Long Beach, CA taking place July 12-15. There was a great turnout for the event with 169 boats from 26 countries, the championships acting as the first country qualifier for the Pan American Games next summer. The week lead up to the event, Southern California was struck by a heat wave and the training focused around light air, which was a nice mix up to work on those skills. The Championship arrived and Long Beach roared back to its classic conditions with solid sea breezes building into the high teens and fun summer swell. The four days were tiring as can be, three races a day, physically and mentally testing the sailors fighting for every point in the tight racing. I finished the regatta in 2nd overall, just behind my teammate Charlie Buckingham and ahead of my good Brazilian friend Bruno Fontes in 3rd.

Results – https://www.sailwave.com/results/2018_Laser_North_American_Championship.htm

Each day it seemed the three of us found each other at the front of the fleet, duking it out start to finish. We all had our moments, but Charlie was able to sail a cleaner event and finish just ahead after each day of racing. The final races there was lots of jockeying for position and match race tactics put forward as we all wanted that top podium spot. There were fortunes, tough luck, smart moves, and poor executions for all of us during those last races, but experiences that I will definitely learn from and take forward. I left the event feeling I raced at some of my top speeds, both from a technical and fitness standpoint, but just some small tactical, strategical, and mentality details that made the difference. It was the perfect prep event for the Worlds. I sailed in from the final race “nice and pissed” off, ready to go.

I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the classic Laser Slalom out of St. Francis Yacht Club. A fun event as everybody faces each other in a bracket racing around buoys in the strong winds on the San Francisco city front. I finished second to my teammate Malcolm Lamphere, each of us walking away with some prize money, a good day of windy boat handling practice, and big smiles on our faces.

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The past few days was all about final preparation for the Worlds with final gym sessions, focusing on proper taper of energy, sleep and recovery. I am now on the long haul across the globe from LAX to Copenhagen. I then will take a train around the country to Aarhus and get settled into the environmental adjustments. We have a little over a week to get situated into my eating, sleeping, working out, and sailing routines before racing starts August 3rd.

Ready to go, looking forward to it. Thank you for all the continued support!!

Chris

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