This past weekend we competed in the 2015 49er Canadian Championships which were held by the Kingston Yacht Club. Race Officer, Jeff Boyd hammered out 5 races per day on the Friday and Saturday of the event. Almost all of the 12 races throughout the event took place in the “Glamma” or champagne sailing conditions which skiff sailboats love to race in. The water was relatively flat but the wind was very strong at between 14 to 20 Knots (26-37Km/hr).
As far as the actual racing goes we had some high times with a few 3rd place races and a 2nd place race. Most of the time we averaged about 5th place behind some long time veterans. In the end we were a few short points behind 4th place.
Overall we were quite happy to call this event our first regatta together. We plan to take our weaknesses from this event and build on them in the next couple weeks on our way to the CORK Regatta here in Kingston. CORK will basically be our most important event of the summer as it is the Senior National Team Championships.
Tuesday we started training with the National Team 49er sailors and coach Mark Asquith again. Kingston has been producing extremely high winds for the last 10 days and we have had a few great days on the water with the team.
Excited to see how this 2 week camp goes.
After taking a week off after our Halifax training camp we attended the Oackliff challenge in Osyster Bay, New York; which was one day of fleet racing and one day of match racing. It was a great experience sailing the Swedish match race 40’s we sailed with Max Flinn, Cam Sawyer (our 49er training partners) and Andrea Cornudella.
After we came back from New York we got back into the 49er. It was good to get back into the boat after some time off. A lot of the skills we worked on I Halifax started gelling a lot better after the break. After a week of training on our own and getting back into things we started training with Coach Rob Frost and the other 49ers at KYC. We have had some really productive training doing double sessions most days. We have been working on lay lines and leeward mark rounding’s; this past week we switched our focus from boat handling to starting to get us ready for the Canadians which are at the end of the month.
The team is really coming together and after less than three months of sailing together things are looking promising. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but we are both very happy with the progress we have made so far. We have two weeks till the Canadian Championships, which will be a good opportunity to check in with the rest of the Canadian fleet.
After a few weeks of solid training here in Kingston we finally got our breeze on day. Yesterday brought us 20+ knots of wind and some good waves.
We had successful bear-aways and spent the short session trying to land those gybes. For your viewing pleasure, here is a crash video from yesterday.
Alex and I have spent the last month here in Halifax with the National team for a training camp with 49er coach Mark Asquith.
Training with the best boats in Canada and the national team coach has been very productive for us. The non-stop schedule placed by Mark was a much needed kickstart to our season. While off the water we spent much of our time weight training at the Canadian Sport Center: Atlantic.
Sailing conditions have been pretty challenging due to how shifty the wind has been. We have often had high wind speeds which has sent us swimming periodically… Luckily we have some good gear because the water has been very cold. When we arrived it was 5 degrees Celsius and I put my Waterproof brand drysuit to good use. Thanks again to Ocean Equipment.
This past weekend we even got to race some 1-Design Farr 30’s with local sailors Rob Gale and Commodore Ed Steeves. The RNSYS Ocean Regatta was a success with our boat securing 1st place with straight bullets.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Kingston and plan to take just under a week off before we drive to New York City to attend a match racing event hosted by the Oakcliff Sailing Center with our new training partners, Max Flinn and Cam Sawyer. The event is set on Long Island Sound and we will be racing the Swedish Match 40 footers over the weekend of the 12th-14th.
49er Training in Kingston will begin immediately when return from this event and we will sail full time in preparation for the 49er Canadian Championships, CORK, and perhaps JR Worlds in Germany.
We would like to thank the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron for being great hosts.
Some good commentary from Mark at the end
We would like to say thanks to all of our sponsors for their support in the 2014 season. Sean and Mac will be sailing with new sailing partners this 2015 season.
Please wait while this website is slowly re-purposed.
It has been a while since we have posted and quite a lot has happened in the last 2 months. Mac drove our 49er down to Miami before Christmas in preparation for training in early January with Ontario Sailing Team Coach Robert Frost. Our training time in Miami was very productive for us since there are few distractions down here.
Even though we spent the summer in Kingston training very steady it seems like we are much more productive while on the road. Miami was generous to us and produced great breeze and sunshine the whole time we were training.
The 49er Midwinters Regatta hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club was a 3 day from January 17-19th. The weekend event was not very successful for us as far as results go but we felt that we certainly learned quite a bit. The fleet was 33 boats strong from 18 countries.
Admittedly, conditions were tricky with the weekend motor boat traffic producing steep chop from what seemed to be all directions. However all boats had to deal with those conditions and we were just unable to keep the boat in the groove as consistently.
Obviously we have some work to do to be competitive at the world stage in fleets like this one but this is a start. We had moments of good decisions and quick boat speed but needed to connect the dots. As far as competing with the Canadian fleet we didn’t do so bad and we feel like we are on the right track to compete with the top boats from Canada.
Unfortunately our training was limited before the event as Sean had an unexpected family emergency but made it down eventually.
Sean has now returned to school and Mac will be returning to Kingston at the end of February.
We would like to thank our new supporters at WPG Canada for setting us up with some great line from FSE Robline as well as hardware from Wichard and Ropeye before setting off down south.
We are excited to announce that we will be travelling to Miami, Florida for the month of January 2015!
This upcoming winter we have some events taking place in the south. On the schedule we have blocks of coaching with the Ontario Sailing Team Coach Rob Frost followed by a few regattas. If all goes as planned we will compete in a 2 day training regatta, the 2015 Midwinter Championship Regatta held in Coconut Grove, and potentially the 49er North American Championships.
As a part of our recent fundraising and partnership search we are looking for a partner to help us out with our needs for a tow vehicle for our Race boat and Coach boat. Let us know if you or your company can lend some assistance in this department.
It is very important to us that the 49er and 49erFX classes continue to grow in Canada. This will improve the overall level of competition and our chances as a country to podium on the world stage. This past week we have been taking a few young sailors for some lessons on the 49er.
Pictured are Christina Black and Naomi Flanagan, two 29er sailors from Kingston with hopes of Olympic success in the future. Despite this being their first time in the 49er they were able to tear it up yesterday afternoon!!
After a tough event here in Kingston at the CORK event we were able to pull some major positives from the experience. The pieces are coming together and the motions just need to be repeated over and over to achieve perfection.
It is time for us to work towards fundraising the purchase of a new boat so we can train harder without the risk of equipment failure. This fall will include a combination of work and fundraising to meet the funds we need.
A new 49er has a cost of roughly $32,000. Sean and I are planning to buy a used 49er which reduces the cost to about $20,000. We are hoping to find contribution to our campaign from a variety of sources.
Tagged with: sailing
Posted in Uncategorized