We were back on the water this week after a long break, after qualifying for the Pan am games in Miami at the end of January Justin had and Internship at the UN and I was studying at UVIC to get into the Engineering program. This month we are working with long time 49er sailor turned coach John Ladha. If this week could be summed up in a single phrase it would be “half seconds”, think Al Pacino’s inches speech from “Any Given Sunday”. For us this means trying to eliminate the half second in tacks by hitting the wire faster and harder, so we can make the first cross of the race and make it to the top mark in the front of the pack. It means being explosive in our accelerations it means lowering our selves on the trapeze before the puff so we can extend and get every bit of power when the new breeze hits our sailing. This is the difference between being in gold fleet or silver fleet. I will be making another post soon I am hoping to go some video analysis to give you a better idea of what we are working on and what that looks like. But for now enjoy this clip of Al Pacino from “Any Given Sunday”
We decided last minute to head down to Miami when it was announced that the 49er would be added to the Pan Am Games. We started discussing a week before and everything got confirmed on web and Alex got told we was excused from his midterm and Labs by his Professor on Thursday. Alex arrived in Miami on Friday evening after rushing from Victoria to Vancouver to pick up sails and getting on a 6am flight. Justin arrived back in Miami on the Saturday afternoon. Sunday we had to weight the boat and complete measurement and registration. On Monday we finally made it on the water, after borrowing some shrouds for our charter boat, for our first sail together in 8 months. We had both sailed 49er with other people during that time, Alex had sailed with Ed Coleman in the summer and in the North Americans in San Francisco in September.
We started the event strong with a 20th place in the first race which was our best result on the first day. Day 2 we saw only one race and day 3 we had 4 tricky races where we took top Canadian position, as the wind started to build we managed a 14th in the 3rd race and were having a good first beat in the 4th race when the bolt that attached the shrouds to the deck on the port side sheared off and our mast fell down and ripped the mast step out. After making sure we didn’t damage the boat any we secured the mast by tying the bottom of the mast to the mast track and the trapeze to the back of the wing as a makeshift shroud we towed the boat in.
On the way in we called Trevor Parekh the 49er dealer for north America to send us a new mast step for the next day went straight from the boat show Montreal and shipped us parts overnight. Unfortunately the parts did not arrive due to a mix up by FedEx so he had to use the old mast step, we managed to get the boat put back together in one piece with some new bolts for the shrouds and on the water for the last two races on day 4. We weren’t very fast in the last two races but we had a 26 point gap so we managed to hold on to the top Canadian Spot.
After a quick turn around Alex is back at UVic for school and Justin is at the UN for an Internship.
Right now we are putting together a training plan with Sail Canada to lead up to the Pan Am Games. Once we have a training plan set we will need to fund raise so we can put our training plan into action.
We will try and keep you updated as things progress.
Today was our third day of training in Cascais, over the last 3 days we have been working on course work. Our main focus has been taking what we worked on in October, tacks and gybes, and putting it on a course. Our goals have been and continues to be to push the boat harder around the marks, getting as close as possible to the leeward marks on roundings and exiting marks quickly. There are huge opportunities to gain around the corners (marks, downwind laylines). We have already made significant improvements and we are going to continue to push hard to keep making more gains over the next few days, we have one more day of training before we take a rest day on Tuesday.
Stay tuned for more updates.
We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal yesterday afternoon, our coach Francisco picked us up at the airport and dropped us off at our apartment in the early evening. After over 18 hours of travel and being awake for almost 28 hours I passed out and slept for 10 hours, Justin noticed that there was a BBQ chicken restaurant in our building and he was off. (Justin loves Chicken!)
Today the plan is to set up the 49er and go for a sail in the afternoon the forecast for the next few days looks amazing, we are looking forward to some famous Portuguese waves. We will be in Cascais for 10 days then we will pack up and move three hours south-east to Vilamoura; where we will train till the 2nd of December.