SWC Final Santander 2017

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Following the Hyeres World Cup, it was back to gym work. I spent a solid three weeks in the gym along with a couple five day training camps in May with the other top American sailors to prep for the World Cup Final in Santander, Spain.

My coach Chris Dold and I arrived in Barcelona on June 2nd to pick up our car and equipment, then drove six hours to the cooler, more rugged north coast of Spain facing the Atlantic Ocean. We opted to treat the week more intensely rather than peaking for performance. We wanted to get as many hours on the water against the top sailors training before and during the event since we weren’t returning to top racing again until the World Championships in September. This consequently meant it could lead to fatigue as the event wore on, but we felt the reward was much greater than the risk.

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After three days of training in a variety of onshore conditions with good sized swell, racing began against the top 25 boats in the world. The first few days took place out on the ocean courses in the large swell and strong wind conditions ranging from 12-18 knots of breeze. Day four of racing took place inside the harbor with various current differences and shifting winds winding through the city. The final day took place in the ocean in a light onshore wind that came up and over a cliff point making for another shifty day. I finished the event in 18th overall with a score line of 22-7-18-8-16-(23)-9-18-19-8.

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I was a bit disappointed in the result, but it was important for me to keep perspective of the improvements this event shown. For example, as I reported before in previous reports, a big process goal was improvement on my starting execution and strategy up the course. Dating back to the Miami World Cup, our percentage of success here was 40-50%. Over time and particularly in Santander, this skill has grown into a strength of mine, starting and and properly recognizing the correct strategy at 90% success rate. Additionally, the fitness program has seen strides with better results in the stronger winds. The poor races usually coming from singular moments in the race where I made poor tactical decisions and inconsistencies in the boat speed.

Going forward, this will the be the focus of the program over the next couple months with intense on the water and gym training before heading to Worlds in September. There is still a lot of potential to be gained in the fitness and speed department, so that will be the primary focus. I am in the midst of two-a-day gym sessions with rowing in the morning and lifts at night. In July and August we have a series of training camps organized to focus on the speed to make it world-class to compete at the top. Additionally, with all the racing encountered over the last six months, I am now developing a in depth playbook that will be a strong guide for me to follow when approaching race days. This playbook will be a reference for me to read each morning, a study guide if you will. It refers to tactical concepts that have been successful for me that help keep me out of troublesome, risky situations, strategic principles in each wind condition, and keys to helping the boat perform in each condition. These two focuses over time, not only for next couple months, but for the years to come, will no doubt lead to consistently competing at the top.

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Thank you again for all your continued support and look forward to an exhausting couple months of training to finding that next gear!

Attached are some pictures of the racing in Santander.

Best,

Chris

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