It was a privilege to spend this past week coaching as a National coach for US Sailing and work with the nation’s top athletes in the radial fleet. An incredible experience too, to work alongside the talented coaches who came together in support of youth sailing in the Olympic development classes.
Four days of racing in Mt. Hope Bay, out of an newly furnished Roger Williams’ sailing center, the majority of conditions were on the lighter side but the challenging current and oscillating wind made for an ever changing battleground–just the type of conditions that beg for the caliber you want to see at a qualifying event.
First day offered up great breeze with a persistent rotation of the direction with some strong lines moving down the course. As the chop built and the wind thickened to a solid 15 at most parts of the course. The second and third days were much lighter forcing sailors to take care of the current, which became a huge factor up and down the field. Cloud cover from a stalled front kept us all drawing for straws when it came to identifying patterns to an unseasonably northerly.
The fourth and final day of racing proved to be light as well with a bit more order to the shifts and puffs. This regatta being the qualifier for sailors in each class to represent the USA at the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championship this December, the final day put everything on the line. It came down to the final race in a brutal battle between Nic Baird and Henry Marshall. A pleasure to watch two young talented skippers fight for the radial berth in the light air. Ultimately it was some of the smartest and most cutthroat sailing I’ve seen in youth sailing, in fact let me just say ‘sailing’ in general.
Judging from the high level of competition, passion and grit our 2015 ISAF team displayed this past week, I’m sure this year’s representatives will make us all proud back home.