Dear Supporters, Sponsors, and Fans,
Following my trip to Japan, I joined in a couple training camps in early November with American teammate Charlie Buckingham, Juan Maegli of Guatemala, and Andrew Lewis of Trinidad and Tobago in Long Beach, CA. Thereafter from November 12-15, I traveled with the rest of our US Sailing Team athletes, coaches, and staff to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. While there, there were several team meetings as well as fitness and health testing.
Afterwards, it was time to step away from the boat for a short few weeks, a typical thing most top sailing athletes do once a year to break up the year. It was a good time to put a lot of focus on my gym training and some vacation time.
On November 22nd, I made another big step in my life. I dropped a knee and proposed to my long-time girlfriend Kate Canty on her birthday, asking her to marry me. I am the luckiest guy in the world to have her say yes and spend the rest of my life with her. Many of you have had the pleasure to meet her and know how much joy she brings to my everyday life. The following two weeks, she had her vacation block from her doctor residency. We spent Thanksgiving holiday with her parents at our house back in Newport Beach followed by a weekend in Palm Desert. Then we went to Kauai and Oahu for a week, a fun getaway for the two of us to refresh our minds and bodies before the next big push in our careers.
Upon returning on December 5th, I packed up my car with my Laser on top and a coach boat setup for tow behind. I trekked across the country on my annual trip to Florida, this time a little more eventful than I had hoped. I encountered a lot of cold weather when travelling across the south. I hit black ice in west Texas, nearly sliding out in the dark and again in Louisiana travelling on the bridges over swamps as the roads were icy and snowy from the previous night. Fortunately, I got through unscathed and arrived to Miami ready to start our winter training.
The focus of the winter training in Biscayne Bay centralized around skills in offshore wind conditions, which included speed skills in flat water and tactical prowess in shifty winds. These would be important for the upcoming Sailing World Cup Miami and the Worlds in Aarhus in August.
In December, we were fortunate to have two-time world champion Nick Thompson from Great Britain join our American team for 10 days of training. We experienced mostly light winds, which was beneficial to work on those particular skills. We worked boat handling, upwind balance and downwind rhythm to create dynamic flow in the boat in the light winds, and racing tactics in these shifty conditions.
At the start of the new year, we kicked it off with an official US Sailing Team camp filled with meetings focused around nutrition and hydration by Team USA staff, weather-reading skills presented by industry leader Chris Bedford, and Miami local knowledge by legend Augie Diaz. Additionally, the entire team and staff took part in a ocean clean up with a local organization to rid debris from the mangroves in the local waters in Miami. You can watch a recap of this experience in this link below.
We were greeted with beautiful, strong offshore winds in January, a great compliment to the training we had in December. We used this as a big push to work on our flat water downwind skills, endurance development for hiking upwind, and other boat handling skills needed for the strong winds. We finished the camp with a long 25 mile downwind sail in a southerly wind in the ocean from Miami to Ft Lauderdale, always a fun ride!
All in all, I was very pleased with the progress made in the winter training so far. Coach Chris Dold often tested by physical and mental toughness as he should through all the long hours on the water in both light and strong winds as well as in the gym. We put 23 days on the water in a possible 33 days, each averaging over 3 hours on the water, not including complimentary gym work each day. I feel very confident in the work we put into the program as we roll into the first major event of the year, Sailing World Cup Miami starting on January 22nd. You can follow along results here.
Thank you all for your continued support for my Olympic Campaign. Please continue to follow along at chrisbarnardsailing.com, my Facebook page “Chris Barnard Sailing”, andmy instagram feed @BarnyHoya. Enjoy the attached pictures featuring the newly engaged fiance, training in Colorado Springs, our trip to Hawaii, and winter training in Miami.
Thank you again!
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