January 19, 2015
There’s no place better in mid-January than the Conch Republic. Warm water, great temperatures, good breeze and fantastic people are trademarks of this historic Southern-most city.
Really looking forward to this year’s race week with a new team and new one design class in the J/111. We have seven boats here in Key West all preparing for the upcoming Worlds in Newport this June. I am sailing with George Gamble and his very fun team on My Sharona from Pensacola, Florida. On board, our team is very excited to start the racing as we have had three long days of productive training in Key West.
Our first few practice sessions were a bit challenging and hard on our group. We spent two days on boat handling and perfecting the basic maneuvers of tacks, spinnaker sets, gybes, take downs and mark roundings. These hot laps are hard as you have little time before the next maneuver, but they really force each team member to think ahead and outside the boat in anticipation of the next move.
Our first day was not pretty! Day 2 went better as everyone really kept their focus on the task at hand and we improved dramatically. Day 3 was even better as our boat handling has really come together. Great sets, douses and mark roundings have us feeling much better and ready for Monday’s racing. The real-time training should have us well prepared to be able to sail with the top boats in our class.
Time will tell after a few days of racing, but is always a great feeling for the entire team to see, feel and experience improvement. Should be a fun week as we are all ready and open to learning as much as possible about the J/111 and preparing for the challenge of five days of racing at this great venue.
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