Tuesday, June 27, 2017

First day of Finals

We went to bed last night feeling exhausted (see?)

but optimistic that today would bring lighter winds. You know you sailed in heavy conditions when 12-15 sounds like an easy day! But then the winds woke me up (we are tent camping, as are Bronson and Rachel Bowling, John Cassada and a bunch of others, including Bruce and Lynn Kitchen). I don’t know what time it was but the winds started just cranking. I remember thinking that it was odd to have that kind of wind without a storm and hoping that it would die down by the morning. Morning came, wind still felt more like 18-20. We went to breakfast with a heavy heart.

But that’s the thing about having sailed in a lot of wind the day before. You become a little desensitized! So we hopped on the boat and headed out for another day of hard work. I didn’t want to feel tired, but the first time I pulled the vang on I thought, oh boy, I’m so tired I could almost start crying.

One thing I should have written about earlier is that Anna Tunnicliffe, Olympic gold medal Laser sailor, came on Sunday to give a talk.

She was going to go on the water and coach us, but of course, the racing got cancelled. Anyway, in addition to sharing her gold medal (that was so cool!) and telling her story, her talk was a lot about the role of fitness in sailing. Now, no one would pretend that we have any Anna Tunnicliffe’s in the Flying Scot fleet; she takes the definition of fit to a whole new level! But, she made the point that when you are in shape you not only have more physical endurance, but you end up having more mental endurance too. She didn’t say it exactly that that, but that’s what I’ve been thinking about. So I spent Monday and today trying to tamp down my adrenaline in order to get less fatigued and be more mentally alert. I’m not sure it helped, but it’s definitely something I’d like to work on. I think sometimes I try so, so very hard the first race of any regatta that I’m wiped by the second and third race and that doesn’t help my skipper at all.

Anyway, back to today’s races. Honestly, the hardest part is getting to the course. It’s almost an hour sailing upwind through all kinds of waves, the kinds of waves that send gushes of water into your face. Once we got there the wind felt pretty civilized, probably 12-15.

By the second race the wind had come down quite a bit, to the point where I was moving around in the boat and even went to the low side a bunch of times. Even though we knew it would probably happen, but we still had trouble changing gears. But many Midwest sailors had great days: Michael and Jennifer Faugust are 14th, Eric Bussell and Perry Cameron are 15th and Bronson Bowling is 16th  — Ryan Malmgren and Stacey Rieu got two bullets in the challenger fleet. Go Midwest District!!


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