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Monday, March 14, 2011

Miami Training Update

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Dear Supporters,

We have just wrapped up our winter training session and while we have no regatta results to report, we have logged plenty of hours on the water in preparation for the spring European Circuit.

Sarah and I have been training hard out of the Miami Yacht Club on the ocean with the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. The Miami YC deserves a huge thank you for being so accommodating.

During practice we saw all ranges of wind strengths with ever changing sea states. Everyday was a little different with asymmetrical wind and waves to 5 foot swells and steep current waves. These conditions challenged Sarah and I, giving us an excellent platform to build our sailing technique as a team.

Our training was balanced between intense boat handling sessions on our own, speed and technique testing and racing against the other US teams. We are already checking off boxes with maneuvers we have consistent execution of. In turn, this is helping our racing become stronger and stronger. Perhaps one of the most meaningful moments of our training, after a 4-hour session in 15 knots, was when Sarah mentioned, "Today, I felt like a 470 sailor--not just a Laser sailor along for the ride!"

We saw lots of wild life: dolphins, sea turtles (one was about 4 feet), flying fish and sharks! Well, actually we did not see the sharks, but the USSTAG coach did as we were waiting for a large squall to pass. The storm, which roared through our training session with 50+ winds and 30 minutes of pounding rain, required all four boats in our training group to flip to avoid massive damage and to keep our teams close together. While we waited out the storm on the bottom of our boats, our coach said that the sharks were investigating the fleet of upside-down boats!! In the end the only damage from the storm was a rip to our top batten pocket, and a couple of bent masts for the other teams. Yes, we do still have all of our limbs!

Finally, a shout-out to Ellen and Dennis Clark (devoted parents!) for taking on the job of driving the car with the 470 on the roof home from Florida!

Thank you to everyone for your support so far, we look forward to keeping you up-to-date as we get ready for the Olympic Trials!

Stay tuned.
Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan


Team GO SAIL would like to thank the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and all of the USSTAG sponsors: Title Sponsor AlphaGraphics, Gold level partners Rolex Watch USA and Atlantis WeatherGear, Silver partners Sperry Top-Sider LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube and Trinity Yachts, and Bronze partners New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning, and Bow Down Training.

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