Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 USODA Team Trials Regatta Report

Hi everybody, 

This is Juan Ignacio Mazzini, Spring Coach for the CYC Opti fleet. 
During the month of April I had the pleasure to coach the Chicago Yacht Club Optimist fleet and help with the preparation for Team Trials. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best weather in Chicago this Spring, but the kids did their best and sailed in super cold conditions. 
Luckily we also train in Miami for 7 days, including a preparation regatta (Spring Fleet Regatta) and after that, Team Trials, a 4-day Regatta in which kids to represent USA overseas are selected. 

During the training days we were able to get used to Miami conditions. We had different conditions, but mostly NE winds during the mornings at 5-7 Knots, and picking up during the afternoon with the sea breeze, coming from the SE at 12 Knots and choppy waters with some current. 

Team Trials was hosted at Key Biscayne Yacht Club, and 222 kids from all over the Country that were pre-selected for this event were there ready to race. 

During racing days we had mix conditions, from no wind to up to 16 Knots and no racing day due to Thunderstorms. 
Overall was a super mental regatta with very long days at sea and CYC opti kids did awesome. 

After 8 races for gold fleet, Peter Barnard (13 years old) got 21st and Christian Prendergast (12 years old) got 28th, both qualifying for representing USA overseas this summer. 
And in silver fleet Annie Samis, who is only 11 years old and first time racing in a Team Trials, got 59th, amazing result for such a young sailor. 

Thank you CYC, opti kids, opti parents and Julia Melton, hope to see you soon! 

Juan Ignacio Mazzini

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

YouTube Opti Boat handling Videos

Green Fleeters!!   We're working on speed and boathandling - Particularly Roll Tacks!!
YouTube is full of great Opti Sailing Video Examples!! Please check out these videos before Practice this weekend... So we can get closer on the tacks & jibes!!


   - Rayne from the British Virgin Islands - He's a small sailor, and does a great job vaulting across the CB Trunk in the tack.  (-Oliver take note!!)

   - Shirley Robertson talks sailors thru this roll tacking tutorial... video goes slow and emphasizes the hand switch we've been working on.
   -  Notice that the sailor remains seated until the boom passes overhead.

  - You did not believe me... but here is proof!! Look at how they hold the centerboard... This is a National team practice... but the sailors you see are my mostly Cow Harbor Sailing Team kids.  

-Amy Kehoe

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gulf Coast Championship Regatta Write up-Jay Kehoe

Parents and sailors,

Thanks for a great weekend of sailing… Fairhope is an awesome place to sail and Gulf Coasts will definitely be on our dance card in the future.
This is a two part debrief, one for the parents and one for the sailors…

A few quick take aways…
Having the Team’s boats parked & rigged together was great, we should always try to make this happen… love it and love the team vibe of working together!
Food is our Fuel, with long days on the water, we need to upgrade our fuel to something that’s going to provide hours of energy, with protein, some carbs and some fiber.  We can never rely on the regatta-supplied to sustain our athletes. Part of what we need to practice is how to fuel ourselves for a long day on the water, and bring those bars, snacks with us.  We need to pack good and tasty energy-sustaining snacks… the Club lunches had a cookie the size of Grace’s face!  That much sugar will blow anyone’s concentration.
Pre-event practice…. Even though I was late arriving, and we made some great effort getting out on water, ideally we make more of this as a standard and fly/drive in the day before to get a full day in…
Sails, the J sail is nice out of the bag, but does not age well. Leeches looked shrunk (maybe too long in the hot van?).  To make the jump to the top level we have to Look at our sails critically and reassess their condition after each event. Three sails per year should cover the top contenders. A good schedule for replacing could be:
Three New Sails a year, depending on conditions (a windy event could put a new sail into tier 3 regatta status)
1.       For Team Trials, Spring International Events, then save for USODA Nationals
2.       For Summer International Events (Euros, NA’s)/save for ACC’s in the fall
3.       For Midwinters, Orange bowl/winter sailing
If one event is windy, then you might be adding one more sail…  use the last sail as practice sail. 
Winter Sailing: Looking back at this winter I think we have to look at our winter sailing options, ideally we sail Orange Bowl, Jan Team Race@ Hilton Head, First weekend of Feb practice in Florida, Valentines Day @St. Pete, Jenson Bch Spring Fling and then Gulf Coast Champs…I really like Gulf Coast as it is an easy regatta to win and do well and leave Fla feeling good..
Improve our stamina, strength and fitness!  The sailors know now that it is harder to sail and Opti in 5-8 kts than over 20.   Opti sailors need strength and stamina to hold uncomfortable squatting positions in light air, with explosive muscle power to rip off excellent roll tacks.   In wind they are quickly spent…… we need to come up with a good year round fitness program and follow it. (jay included)
Our CYC team has a great camaraderie – they all seem to have a great time together, but sometimes struggle when it is time to refocus and work… Focus is another point we should work on…
Hope this all helps…

Great event this weekend, while the results were not what we all wanted, hopefully we can get better at every event and learn…and next year run away with the Gulf Coast!

Pre event
I’m so proud of you all and glad our Team has a great time together, yet only one of you had a notebook. Focus was strained at times…
Food, skip the pre-race doughnut… even Michael Phelps saved those to the end!  Lets make sure we start off healthy and find some better fuel for our racers; protein from eggs, even protein shakes, fruit, whole grains. 
Develop a regatta food-fuel plan, we’ve learned regatta supplied lunches not reliably good.  But no one really had a plan to eat during the day and what to eat….or drink! Have a water with a squirt top so you can sail & drink. Add some gatorade to water to give you some electrolytes.  Pack your food for the day and label the bag so the coach can give it to you right away… and keep a snack (or 2) in your boat for fast access.
Coach boat etiquette… I am not a fan of sailors on my boat… I don’t go on yours, why should you be allowed on mine? 
I learned a long time ago, when sailors are on my boat, their game-brain turns off a bit and it takes time to get it back… Once a coach talks to you and gives you pointers, it is time to test and see what is going on… put the coach’s comments into play, eat a bit, come back to the coach with a question and give up the food bag… the 5 minutes before the next start are yours, look at the line, sail the line and look up wind… maybe take a quick pee!
Pre-race plan, test…not only your speed which we did a good job of… but what side works… sail the start line at least 10 times… put your plan together then make sure you know what your back up is…

I will try and share some videos but here are some good diagrams of what I was talking about in debriefs:

Text Box: #2 here has plenty of room to bear off and get speed

Text Box: Yellow has no runway to pick up speed

Text Box: Port Tack approach, Green 7 makes  Red 1 his marshmallow!

Text Box: So Green spots the marshmallow… and tacks bow forward and tight

Text Box: Here Blue Ducks green to get up close on yellow, yellow tacks and blue goes with them and tacks back, BOW forward

That leverage thing I kept talking about:

Pretty huge when you look at what young Grace had here for Leverage

While she did not round in the top 10 she was nearly top 20… if she just held on at the top and not got into a tacking duel with herself…  BUT why did it work? Front coming in from New Orleans caused a bit of pressure on the right!  Remember the weather we talked about in the am!

Why did the left pay? Lee shore effect!

Wind wants to come off the land at right angles to the land… pretty cool… so we always had a bit of a shift on the Fairhope side of the race area.

We had a lot of wind driven current… meaning water flow was moving hard with the wind… at the weather mark it paid to either come in on port or over stand a bit…

Text Box: Here yellow is caused to sail below mark due to current.  Blue ducks and tacks above lay line…

Text Box: Did you notice how there was always a bit more wind in front of the cloud

Look at the clouds!

Overall great weekend… I know there is a lot more to cover here but this is a good start for your notebooks…
I will try and get the photos and some of the video on that U Tube thing… not the most technical…

Thanks for welcoming me back to “Charlies Angels”  now Evan’s Angels! 

You have come a LONG WAY BABY!!!

Jay Kehoe

Thursday, February 22, 2018


To book a room, please contact Elizabeth Kratzig via email or phone.

Elizabeth Kratzig
Sailing Team Travel
Affiliated with Continental Capers and Signature Travel Network

Direct: 305-753-5224
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Cancellation Policy: Reservations must be cancelled BEFORE July 9, 2018 or you will pay a penalty of one night’s stay and tax.  
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Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change.

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Included in price: Complimentary Full Breakfast, Complimentary Wi-fi, free parking.

Amenities:  outdoor pool, fitness center.
Cancellation Policy: Reservations must be cancelled BEFORE July 10, 2018 or you will pay a penalty of one night’s stay and tax.  
Parking: Complimentary Parking

Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change.