Friday, August 22, 2014


Summer vacation is over, and preparations for the ISAF Worlds in Santander are underway.  I have been testing my equipment for the past week in order to select the most optimal setup for the Worlds. After this session, I am participating in a training camp with many top European sailors, including my Italian training partner and coach, in La Rochelle, France.  My goals will be perfecting the elements of racing and focus for the upcoming event.  La Rochelle is a venue with a variety of difficult conditions, so my expectation is that Santander will be well simulated.

In July, I spent time in San Francisco and the Columbia River Gorge to improve my board handling -  my summer vacation. Mostly, I worked in the discipline of freestyle, which is all about maneuvers, balance, and rig control to perform complicated tricks.  I even participated in a local AWT competition in which I definitely didn't embarrass myself.  The discipline expanded my mind as to what is possible in the overall sport of windsurfing, and how that translates to Olympic-class windsurfing.  I am happy to say that I have improved feel with the RS:X equipment and am developing a more intuitive approach to my sailing. 

ABK windsurfing clinic in Hood River, OR
I was also very happy to visit my old Cape St. Claire community sailing camp, the place I learned to sail when I was a kid.  It’s always great to get a rare week at home.  We got to talk about Olympic sailing, how to take your sailing to the next level, and what it’s like to sail full time.  We also had a fun raffle for US Sailing team gear!

Sometimes I feel that I’m living in three or four different worlds courtesy of a plane ride apart.  Europe is a different world from the west coast USA, and Maryland is a third entity.  In each place I have different resources and a different focus.  If I want to entertain myself, I pretend I’m entering another dimension each time!  I’m happy to be back on the Continent and am looking forward to my upcoming training and the Worlds.  I have the feeling that it will be a regatta like no other.

Pistol River wave sailing spot, on the Oregon coast.