Friday, May 3, 2013

French Olympic Week

The south of France is home to my favorite regatta on the World Cup and European circuit, the French Olympic Week.  This year marks the 8th time I've competed in this event, and it remains one of the most popular on the circuit for all the sailors.  The French Olympic Week is full of youth teams,  and having a group of skilled European youth sailors create a big fleet is a perfect opportunity to try new tactics or make sure I am consistently executing the skills I  already know.  

Making a move at the windward mark in light air (Photo by Mick Knive Anderson)

I used this event to back up Palma, and it was a good gauge for my fitness and identifying small details of racing that I need to improve.  It was a test of pulling all the elements of my game together and gave me a number of key areas to focus on for the next 6 months.  My next target in the World Cup is Sail Melbourne, the first regatta of the 2014 series - it's hard to believe most of the 2013 series is over already! 
From racing the World Cup series, my ISAF ranking is now 11th, which I am happy about despite my lack of participation early in the series.  I elected not to do Miami for financial and training reasons, foregoing ranking points as well as making the 2013 US Sailing Team.  However, this allowed me to take advantage of training in Australia with the focus of improving speed and overall performance.  Now I know I made the right choice, and I am happy with my sailing over the last 6 months and that my world ranking reflects this progress.

 In France, it was also great to see the US Sailing Team's interest in my personal program and have the team leaders take time to meet with me and discuss our plans going forward.  Thanks to Josh Adams and Charlie McKee for making the team a welcoming environment.

I am currently in Italy at a training center for athletes, where I am working on recovery and physical training before the next events.  Although there are no more World Cup regattas this year in Europe, the Eurosaf cup is still taking place and I will compete at Lake Garda, Italy, and Medemblik, Netherlands before taking a break at home.  After these events, I will have a long list of skills to focus on training during the later summer and fall.  

This year more than ever, money is a limiting factor in my improvement.  My 2012 major investment in coaching and a focused program is beginning to pay off in results.  I have been fortunate this winter and spring to be able to continue to train and compete on the circuit, but I continue to be stretched to the limit.  The financial results of this year will be a major indicator of whether I can continue to have the level of support that I need to potentially medal at the 2016 Olympics.  I am on my way up, and would like to finish my climb to the top.

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