The importance of cross training and diversification cannot be stressed enough when it comes to sailing. Every single skill required to sail a boat efficiently on the race course cannot be perfected in one single type of boat; therefore it is necessary to sail in different fleets. I have decided to spend some time in the 420 in order to work on my tactics and wind prediction. Since these boats do not sail as quickly as the F16 and F18 catamarans I am able to pay close attention to the wind shifts and spend more time in boat-on-boat situations.
I raced in the Club 420 Midwinters this past weekend with one of my teammates, Clayton Shaffer, in order to gain more experience sailing in a large fleet. With 95 boats registered, this regatta provided crowded starts that could not be simulated in a regular practice. The weather throughout the event varied between each day. On Saturday a frontal system in the atmosphere brought cool air and a very strong breeze averaging around 18 knots with occasional gusts over 25 knots. The race committee decided to send us out early Saturday morning, but we quickly returned to shore because of the rough conditions forecast for the afternoon. This worked to our advantage because we had to replace a shroud that broke on the way to the race course and were worried that we would miss the first starting sequence. We were able to get three races off by the end of the first day, but we scored an OCS the final race which hurt out position overall.
Sunday and Monday had similar conditions with a northeast breeze ranging from 5-10 knots. Our course was set fairly close to shore which made predicting the patchy breeze difficult. After all three days of the regatta we had completed 11 races and ended up finishing in 32nd overall. Even though this was not the result I had hoped to achieve, I used this regatta to show me my current areas of weakness when it comes to racing in a larger fleet.
During the upcoming weeks I will resume my regular training schedule and continue my studies as I approach my high school graduation on May 31st. I shall continue to update this site with my scholastic and athletic achievements and future plans.
The website for the Club 420 Midwinters can be found here.