SWC Miami and the Path Forward

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Dear Sponsors, Supporters, and Friends

It has been a couple busy months laying the groundwork for another strong Olympic Campaign push. After a deep assessment of my program and the progress made over the previous campaign, there were some adjustments that needed to be made in order to keep the upward trend of improvement going. The key themes of the campaign will be centralized around a strong home base for training and building a ton of experience on the racecourse.

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First I will address the theme of building a strong home base. Last quad, there was a lot of resources put into training abroad in places like Miami, Dominican Republic, Rio de Janeiro, and various other venues. Although each venue was beneficial, the cost benefit was not as strong as I had hoped. I also hardly had a home base to settle down in order to make training on land efficient. I am now living full time in Los Angeles, which allows me to keep all of my training here at home in Long Beach for on the water training and occasional, easy trips to San Francisco to diversify the training. Additionally, with a strong home base, off the water work becomes more consistent. I am building a strong relationship with my sport performance fitness training and keep the gym program consistent, working regularly with my high performance psychologist to help work through my issues, and with an apartment to settle in to, my nutrition and sleep is very calculated and accurate. Combining all of these aspects of training with relaxation time with my girlfriend Kate and family very close to come home makes recuperating before the next event much smoother.

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Second crucial focus is building experience on the racecourse. As you will read below in my regatta report on Sailing World Cup Miami, I need to race loads more to become more confident in my racing skills. Of course there are areas in my boat speed that can be improved, but my strategic and tactical experience must be grown to a high level with consistent engagement in that type of racing. Although I have not raced in World Cup type racing in 8 months, the ability to adapt to that type of racing should still be at a high level considering I have 3 full years of racing at this level. In order to build this consistency, the program is demanding a lot racing in Europe over the next year with 8 high level events from March through October. Racing at all of these events will build up to the 2018 Worlds Test Event in Aarhus, Denmark in August, the World Championships in Split, Croatia in September, and the Europeans in Barcelona, Spain in October.

To help this, I am working with my new coach, Chris Dold. He is a former Laser sailor that was on the Canadian Team for several years. He has since moved to the coaching side in Olympic racing. He has built a strong reputation for quick improvement from the athletes he has worked with. I was first impressed by how diligent and detailed he is about tracking progression both in training and during events, which I believe directly aligns for what is needed in my program.

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Sailing World Cup Miami this past week was the first event I got work with “Dold”. We had a variety of conditions over the week starting in offshore Northwest winds in 10-15 knots, shifting to sea breezes from the Southeast ranging from 5-13 knots, and then back to offshore winds from the North. I was quite confident in my boat speed in any condition that would be thrown at me, but was anxious to see how I would perform tactically and strategically around the racecourse. Results and starts started off very rough and naturally I was quite frustrated. But I kept my head up and focused on the process, a skill I have become much better at since working with my sports psychologist. I kept learning and adding details into my newly developed playbook of racing to rely on as races during the event and into the future will present themselves. Sure enough, my results through the event improved, my understanding of the strategic and tactical game became more detailed, and my confidence in the racing concepts grew. Nonetheless, I was frustrated with the result finishing 31st, but came home knowing that my coach is going to make sure that progression trend is going to be as steep as possible as the year goes forward. As Dold puts it “I am going to drill it into, and you are never going to make these mistakes again”. He is very direct, very detailed, and brutally honest about what the mistakes are, what specific skills need to be worked on, what the winning moves are, and what needs to be done going forward.

That next move is putting in a ton of gym work in as Dold wants to add a lot more muscle to my frame in order to properly align my body composition. Combining this with a couple training camps in Long Beach this spring will get me prepared for racing in Europe, starting with the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain starting March 24-April 1st.

Thank you to you all on your continued support of my campaign look forward to connecting with each of you individually to keep you personally updated.

Work Hard. Race Hard. Let it rip.

Chris

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