Miami Fall/Winter Training & the 2023 US Miami Open

Our long haul training in Miami has finally come to an end! We have been lucky and fortunate to have called Miami home for the past 3.5 months. Most of our sailing was done out of the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, while the full month of December we utilized Miami Yacht Club and some great ocean sailing!

Last time we gave an update we were back on the water 10/04!

October

October was the month of steep learning curves and getting stuck in one too many thunderstorms. That month served us a variety of conditions and it was our month to familiarize ourselves (and our hands) with the boat again. Like we mentioned in our first blog back, we started sailing again on September 17th. And as much as we wanted to jump right back in and start off where we stopped, this month of October was extremely humbling, but also encouraging as the muscle memory and fundamentals of sailing started creeping back. We clocked in a total of 16 sailing days in October mainly focusing on boat handling and tried to sail on as many light air days as we could focusing on light air sailing technique. By the time November started, the boat felt more second nature.

November

November was the month of finding our speed again. October blended into November as we started this month right in the middle of a training camp. We accomplished a 11 day training camp (October 27 – November 6) and took that next week off before participating in a speed camp with our high performance coach, James Lyne. For seven straight days we had the privilege of working with James alongside our fellow US teammates Steph and Maggie. Only 4 days were officially recorded, but during our 7 days of speed tuning a total distance of 198.1km (123 miles) was sailed! 

During our week speed testing, we collected and analyzed MANY different sail set ups and MANY different rig numbers which has allowed us to dial in our rigging matrix. Speed has been a very important part of our focus early on because the class changed the make-up of the sails and mast from the last time we sailed the 49erFX together. James opened our eyes to the subtle and not-so-subtle differences of the old equipment to new and we feel more confident with our rig tuning matrix.

December

December was the month of the US Sailing Team Camp and being reintroduced to sailing in the waves! The camp had a daily schedule of fitness testing, presentations, daily individual briefs and debriefs, on the water training, and some team bonding!

A huge thank you to Train 8nine for being our home gym when we are in Miami. Many hours of hard work was put in at that gym and we are thankful for the support of Force Physical Therapy for keeping our bodies functioning. 

Daily presentations were given on various topics from impressive names like Robert Scheidt and Bruno Pada, alongside many US Sailing Team members like Charlie Mckee, James Lyne, Paul Cayard, Leandro Spina, Dave Perry, nutritionist Shelly Guzman, and team psychologist Jessica Mohler. These were only some of the names we had the privilege of learning from. 

In regards to on water training, we had one week of specialized training before practice racing began. We based daily goals around which weather condition we were going to see. This whole camp was sailed out of Miami Yacht Club and one reason why the team utilized this change of venue was because of the awesome ocean sailing Miami has to offer. After a week playing in the waves, the coaches ran a coaches regatta for all classes out in the ocean. During this small coaches regatta, we sailed and raced against the 49er boys teams and even managed to beat some of the boys around the race course during the 2 day practice regatta! After the regatta ended, we had 3 more days of on water training focusing on boat handling and speed in the waves. 

The camp ended with another practice regatta, this time 3 days in the ocean. However, both Anna and I unfortunately tested positive for COVID which ended our training camp early. After learning about our positive tests, we went into necessary quarantine procedures and ended our training camp before the holidays in quarantine. We both had little to no symptoms which was equally as frustrating as it was good because we felt well enough to sail, but had to be stuck in a hotel. Nevertheless, we healed up completely with no complications and both traveled home to see friends and family for the holidays. 

January

January is the month of our first real regatta back together as a team since 2020 and it will be the start of finally sailing against international teams again. Our first day back sailing after the New Year was January 8th. We did 5 days of sailing before taking one day break before the start of the 2023 US Open Miami. 

To our great surprise, the first day of the event served chilly temperatures with a high of 61F and wind conditions from 9-25 knots. Needless to say, we were COLD on the water. It was a reality check when we realized that cold weather / water sailing is in our near future and it may be time to update our on the water clothing! We sailed 3 races on the first day of the event and our first day definitely showed us the areas that we need to get better at. Not sure if it was because we were so cold and it was the first day sailing in big breeze in a long time, but many aspects of our pre-race routine were not talked about. We made a huge mental note to work on all the details we missed for the second day of racing. We finished the day off with a 1,4,1. 

The second day of the event was an early morning! We had the same wind direction as the day before, but the wind was supposed to peak around 9am and die throughout the day. Our first race was scheduled for 9am and all-in-all it was a long day practicing all the aspects we had missed the day prior. It was a shifty day with the wind blowing from Miami city with visible pressure differences across the race course. We started communicating better throughout the day and made a conscious note about talking through our pre-race routine. Much better improvement on all fronts and we finished 5 races that day with a score line of 1,1,1,3,3. 

The last day of the event was again changed for an early morning start because of a dying afternoon breeze. We only needed to complete 2 races. The wind direction was again blowing offshore from the city and we saw on average lighter winds around 5-8 knots. We finished the regatta off scoring a 3,1 on the final day finishing 1st place overall out of 7 boats. 

We want to say a huge thank you to the race officials and regatta organizers for putting together a great event. We also want to say thank you to the teams that came down and participated in the 2023 US Miami Open. Majority of the teams were younger male teams who are transitioning from 29er into the 49er and two Canadian teams. Although most teams may have been new to the boat, all the sailors have plenty of competitive racing experience under their belt and it was definitely a great warm-up regatta to start with before heading abroad.

Paris leaves for Lanzarote, ES tomorrow to get the boat ready and Anna will fly in a little later in the week to start their training against other international teams. We will be down there for a month and we will participate in our first big event against other important teams, the Lanzarote International Regatta starting February 10th-13th. 

Lastly, thank you to our main sponsors, Maritime Partners, The Windmark Sailing Foundation, The St. Francis Sailing Foundation, and the US Sailing Team for allowing us to continue to train and travel.

That is all for now!

Sail hard,

Paris & Anna

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