Already the biggest regatta of the winter season is upon us. Today was the first day of the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, the qualifier for the 2011 US Sailing Team. There are 29 girls registered in the RS:X fleet, the biggest in three years. In attendance are some of the best sailors from Spain (Marina Alabau and Blanca Manchon; both have European and World titles), Great Britain (Bryony Shaw, 2008 Silver medalist), and the French national team. Also competing are some excellent sailors from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
Britt Viehman is again coaching me. Over the past month, I've made a detailed, day-by-day plan that has included some of his youth team training camps, several days of private coaching, and lots of video. The coaching has helped immensely, especially the video, and this winter's endeavors are beginning to pay off.
My focus for this regatta is to incorporate the new techniques I've learned in an actual World Cup regatta, and emphasize executing each component of a race. Execution met with success today in a fine opening day's 12-14 knots of breeze. The first race exemplified my day. I had a clean start, but got rolled by a couple fast girls going low. I had to tack out, but got out into clear air, good pressure and hit the port-tack layline railing fast. I rounded in 10th and maintained the position until the last downwind, when I got passed by one sailor. I finished 11th, one of my best finishes ever in a fleet this size.