Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Following a much needed and well deserved break after this year's events, our sights are now set on a great 2011 racing season and, of course, 2012! But first a quick recap on 2010, our best results year ever in our Team's 9-year history:
Qualified #1 on 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
1st Place Rolex Miami OCR
2010 North American Champions
3 Top 10 Finishes at ISAF World Cup Events
6th Place 2010 ISAF World Cup Standings
Ranked 10th in World
2010 will be a hard year to top but we are ready to get back to training with the goal of making 2011 even better. First up, a 10 day training block at the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, FL. We will train with the top ranked Canadian men's 470 team, focusing on boat handling. After a Holiday and New Year's break, practice will resume on Biscayne Bay with the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics in preparation for two Events in January: 2011 470 North American's (January 15-17) and the Rolex Miami OCR (January 23-29).
Stay Tuned for updates on training and racing!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
-4th Straight top 10 finish at ISAF World Cup Event
-Now 3rd in ISAF World Cup Overall Ranking
-470 World Championships: The Hague, Netherlands up next
After sailing in wintry northern Holland for the past two weeks, we are happy to return home to Summer (and a break from wearing our dry suits)! We’ve just completed the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands, stop #5 on the ISAF World Cup Circuit. We finished 8th of 46 Women’s teams, earning our fourth consecutive appearance in the medal race. After a rocky start on the opening day, we clawed our way back into the top 10 with consistent scores. For more of the details, please read on!
Some of the best advice we’ve gotten from an anonymous veteran racer was, “You can’t win a regatta on the first day, but you can lose it.” Unfortunately, that is what we did. Day #1 was just one of those days on the racecourse where it seemed nothing went our way. Despite a clear pre-race strategy to get to an edge of the track, we let ourselves become stuck in the middle. Sailing on the IJsselmeer is similar to lake sailing: surrounded by land where even the thermal winds are offshore. This lends itself to massive shifts, which require committing to a side early and staying on the edge of the fleet. We scored a frustrating 29, 21. To round out our first day fiasco, a broken main halyard forced us to retire from the third race. After three races of a ten race series, we were stuck in 38th place!
With our work cut out for us, we were determined to climb back to a respectable finish. A streak of blazing starts and great boat speed allowed us to execute our original game plan of getting to an edge. Once committed to a side, we did a much better job of playing the local shifts while gaining leverage on the fleet. In races 4 through10 we scored: 6, 5, 4, 14, 5, 6, 6. This was enough to move us from 38th to 8th overall in just 3 days of racing and boost us into the medal race. The breeze ranged from 5-25 knots, so this was an excellent test across a range of conditions. As a lighter team, we were particularly happy with our upwind speed in the big breeze. The most important lesson learned from this regatta was how to keep poised and focused after what could have been a devastating start. We are very pleased with the consistency of top 7 scores after the first day.
We return the Netherlands at the end of June to begin a training camp before our World Championships. This time we will be sailing out of The Hague in South Holland. We would like to thank US Sailing Team Alphagraphics.
Sarah and Amanda
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Team Go Sail Finishes 8th at SOF Hyeres
Team Go Sail Currently 4th in ISAF World Cup Standings
We’ve just returned home from Hyeres, France, venue for the Semaine Olympique Francaise (French Olympic Sailing Week). This event is also stop #4 on the 2010 ISAF World Cup Circuit. We had another solid top 10, finishing 8th of 44 women’s boats.
Our trip to France began with pure chaos. We attempted to depart on the first day the ash spewing from the Icelandic volcano shut down European air space. Both of our first attempt flights were cancelled, sending us into a mad scramble to find some route to Europe. 5 cancelled flights and 6 days later, we finally found a roundabout backdoor entry. Flying New York to Miami to Caracas, Venezuela to Madrid to Nice, we arrived at the venue just two days before racing began. What was supposed to be a comprehensive 8-day training camp before racing was compressed into a total of 5 hours on the water. At least we would get to race!
Hyeres is a venue known for strong winds and challenging racing where only the strong survive. However this week, it was not meant to be. The sun was shining every day and temps around 75 made it feel like summer on the Cote d’Azur. It also meant there was almost never any wind. It took 3 full days on the water to get the first two races completed. We never saw the wind rise above 6-7 knots and most of the time we raced in 4-5 knots.
Scores bounced all around as the fleet had trouble with consistency in the fickle breeze. We raced very well but had an OCS in the second race of the series that would have been a 3rd. Without a drop to spare, we kept a 9, 3, 26, 9, 5, 11, 21, 4. Considering the conditions, arriving extremely close to the start of the event and taking an OCS early in the regatta we are pleased with another top 10 finish. We are firmly establishing ourselves as a consistent player in each World Cup Event.
Next up is the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands (Stop #5 on the 2010 ISAF World Cup Circuit). Barring any volcanic activity, we plan to arrive one week before racing to test a new mast. Our goal at this event will be a top 5 finish!
Team Go Sail would like to thank the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics!
Sarah & Amanda
Sunday, March 28, 2010
After a busy week of airplanes, automobiles, container unloading, ferries and practice, racing for the 2010 Princess Sofia begins tomorrow! This is our first regatta on European waters since June, 2008 so we are very excited to begin the competition. This regatta is also our second ISAF World Cup of Sailing event for the year. After winning the Rolex Miami OCR in January, we are leading the World Cup standings, so we hope to keep the momentum rolling.
There are a whopping 150 470’s registered for this event (106 men’s & 44 women’s teams) in addition to the nine other Olympic classes racing this week. The women’s fleet is very deep and talented this year, with all major players in attendance. We are eager to test our speed and technique developments from the past few months of training against the best in the World. Expected weather for the first day racing is forecasted to be a light SW sea breeze. There is a chance for a few days of big breeze later this week.
Please check back in throughout the week as we update our progress.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Gold Medal at Rolex Miami OCR
2010 North American Champions
Members of 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
After a 15-month hiatus following the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, we had a very exciting kick-off to 2010. We spent most of January in Coconut Grove, Florida training with our Olympic coach Bunny Warren and later, competing in two events: 470 North Americans and the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.
Our first event back in the 470 was the 2010 North American Championship hosted by the Miami Yacht Club. Our goal for this event was simply to get back in the boat and find a comfort level going around marks with other boats. We have to admit we were a little nervous when the forecast for our first day of racing in over a year was 20-25 knots! With a 41-boat fleet including men’s and women’s teams on the staring line, we focused on getting a clean start and a good first beat. We were pleasantly surprised to find our upwind speed in big breeze was on par with the top teams and we finished 1, 1, 2 for the day in the women’s fleet. We briefly joked that this might be a good time to step back into retirement! The rest of the regatta saw more mixed conditions including three races on the final day in a very shifty Northerly. Despite a few inconsistent finishes, we held on to claim the title of “North American Champions!”
We knew we needed a solid week of training after the NA’s to prepare for the main event: Rolex Miami OCR, an ISAF World Cup Event. The fleet would be much deeper, containing an Olympic Silver Medalist, Bronze Medalist, World Champions and most of the top 10 ranked teams in the World. An additional dose of pressure was our goal to qualify for the 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, only possible with a podium finish at the event.
After the first three races 2 points separated the top 7 boats, showing the fleet’s depth. We were right in the mix but out of the top 3 with finishes of: 7, 5, 2. Not a bad start, but we knew we needed more to get on the podium. On the second day of racing we tapped into the shifty, light/medium conditions well and posted a 1, 3, 1 which moved us to first overall and gave us the yellow jersey. With similar conditions greeting us on the following day, we hoped for another good performance; however, a few unlucky shifts, a few missed opportunities and a botched start were ingredients for a frustrating day. Still, we ended the day in second overall and the blue jersey. The final day of fleet racing before the medal racing involved a slightly different strategy as the top 3 boats had separated from the rest of the fleet. We were now essentially racing a select group of boats. Team Denmark sailed a fantastic day, taking 1st place overall. The French edged us out just enough to take over second and we were bumped to third. Only two points separated the three of us, meaning whoever beat whom in the medal race would win the regatta!
Medal Race Day
So here we were now wearing the red jersey for third place. We thought, since this was our first ISAF World Cup Event, we might as well make it a goal to sport the whole rainbow of jerseys throughout the week. To win the regatta, the formula was simple: beat Denmark and France. We were safely into the top 5 mathematically, which made worrying about the rest of the fleet less significant. Our goal was to get a clean start near our competition, break free of the pack and round the windward mark in the top 5. Denmark had a rough time getting off the starting line and rounded the first mark trailing the 10-boat fleet. We decided to keep tabs on them but, more importantly, try to catch the French who were leading us. We made use of our great boat speed downwind and pulled ahead of the French by a boat length by the leeward gate. Now leading the French and Danish we had to cover. At the second windward mark we managed to put another boat between ourselves, and the French, but our group converged downwind as the wind got lighter. The French almost took a puff down on top of us but a last minute gybe at the finish pushed our bow over the line ahead of them. This was enough to win the regatta!
We are very excited and proud to win an event like the Rolex Miami OCR. It was a fantastic way to get back into the 470 and will provide an excellent platform from which to launch our program towards London, 2012. More importantly for us, we’ve earned a spot on the 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics!
We next will compete at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Event in Palma, Spain, the Trofeo Princess Sofia. Thanks to the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics for your support!