We are just over a year away from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we have now had the chance to see Weymouth and Portland from yet another side when we participated in the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold. This time we saw a regatta with 15 knots or more wind for most races and it was quite cold. We are very happy that we get to see so many different conditions, as we every time are able to take note and keep our records up to date.
Our goal remains the same – medals at the Games in 2012. And our team of sailors, coaches, and staff are all working hard to make the necessary progress needed. We were all disappointed after looking at the results board after the regatta and only seeing two medals for our team. And we are not putting up any excuses. We believe that simply showing that we are on track will be a much more powerful message.
So, in the coming events (IFDS Worlds, Test Event, ISAF Worlds, Rolex Miami OCR and the 2012 World Cup events) look for USA to be finishing at the top.
Many of our Olympic class teams went into the Sail for Gold regatta with several goals. Naturally everyone wants to finish on the podium, but as this was also part one of our Trials, being the top USA boat and thus become the USA representative at the Test Event was very important. As we only have one entry in each class for the Test Event, all other boats in each class wanted to stay close, so the fight is on leading all the way to Perth in December for the ISAF Worlds.
We all know how hard it is to multitask. And our sailors found that out when trying to finish high in each race, but also keep an eye on their USA competition. I am sure that we will do that much better and have learned that simply getting off the line and using our superior speed will get you to the top mark in the top and likely ahead of the national competition.
Our Paralympic teams will compete in the IFDS Worlds in Weymouth. They have a great opportunity to learn more about the Paralympic venue. This event is also the last chance for our Sonar and 2.4m to qualify for the Paralympic Games. They have all worked so hard and each class has great competition.
The Olympic Team will again test the waters for the Test Event. This time there will be only one participant in each class and with the same number of boats on the line as at the Games. It will be a great test of where we are and make notes on what we have to correct in the next 12 months. We will bring a full team of 16 athletes to compete in the 10 classes.
We look forward to bringing home the medals and always appreciate you cheering on and giving us your support.
Kenneth Andreasen is US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics' High Performance Director/Head Coach