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  #1  
Old 06-21-2011
hunter
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Default 49er Team CAN049

Hello everyone,

If you'd like to follow my Olympic campaign for the 2012 Games in London (Weymouth for sailing), please check out my team website: sail49er.ca
I will soon (in three weeks when I head back to europe) be adding a more casual and regular blog about both our training and racing days to the website, along with updates here on sailingx.com

Thanks, see you on the water!

Here's a recent clip from Hyeres this spring:

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  #2  
Old 06-22-2011
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Karma Karma is offline
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Thats awesome! Best of luck!!

Hey can you PM me contact information, I would like to talk to you about a photo op.....

JL
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2011
hunter
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Default ready to start

The ‘London Prepares Series’ is underway for some classes, but the 49er, Star and Finn kick off tomorrow.

Yesterday morning we had to get all of our equipment measured (inspected to make sure it is all class legal) which means we spent most of Wednesday stripping the boat down and getting it ready. Our class measurer is one of the best, and we were in, measured, and out in half an hour. As we were getting our boat put back together, we flipped it over to give it a wash and polish only to find a three-foot crack in the port gunwale. Obviously this new feature was not by design, so we carted the boat over to the container and got to work. After about five hours of grinding, filling, and drying time, we had the boat upright and ready to be rigged. It ended up being a longer day and we didn’t get out on the water, but we’ve spent a lot of time here and feel comfortable with the progress made so far.

Today was the practice race, and we were greeted by mostly sunny skies and light breeze. We were postponed due to light wind for a little bit, then got underway about twenty minutes late. I was pretty keen to see how our improved light wind abilities measured up, and happy to say that the hard work we’ve put in has made a noticeable difference. We were going quick, and had smooth maneuvers. While very little can be judged from a practice race, it is still a valuable tool and can help build confidence.

We’re looking forward to getting started tomorrow!
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2011
hunter
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Default Test Event finishes up

The Test Event has wrapped up, and we have just finished packing up and sorting gear for our next event in Perth.

The last few days of the regatta had some high and low points. After the reserve day, we had six races scheduled over two days. High winds on two of the days meant that we ended up sailing over three days, using our final reserve day. In the big breeze, we made some mistakes mainly attributed to a lack of communication.

Gordon and I are generally described as quiet people, so we can be a little short on words when we’re sailing together. It’s something we’ve identified as a weakness, and are working on improving. Our communication became apparent at this event because we were doing very short course racing in big breeze (4 laps in 30 minutes) resulting in the whole fleet converging at the first leeward gate at 20 knots. Almost every race, two boats would capsize at the gate on the first lap, but we’d prefer not to be involved in that at any time. After a swim and post race discussion of race ten, we really focused on communication at the leeward gate and made immediate gains in race eleven.

We had our two best races on the last day of the event. While we still made made a few mistakes, we executed our strategy a lot better. In both races we spent quite a bit of time in the top 5, and finished 10th and 4th respectively. This put us 12th overall, two places out of the medal race.

It is disappointing not to have made the medal race, but we made quite a few mistakes and learned a lot about the venue and our weaknesses. I am happy that our actual sailing and strategy is world class, now we need to develop our communication and confidence to take the next step.

Our fall plans will have us traveling to California to train with the Americans and Finnish, then we’ll be heading to Perth for mid November.

Thanks for following, I’ll have another update soon once I have finished editing the video from the event.
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2011
hunter
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Default 20+ knots downwind

Portland Harbour, GBR
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2011
hunter
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Default Perth

Today was our first day on the water in Fremantle. It was good to finally be able to try out our new boat and the Fremantle conditions all at once. After a relatively mild week, this weekend and today the temperatures have been in the high twenties and thirties, apparently prompting the Fremantle Doctor to pay daily visits in the form of 15 and 20 knot winds every afternoon.
It was a bit of rough introduction for our new boat, but sailing in about 15 knots and the extremely short and steep waves was certainly good training and good fun for us. I don't know if the Doctor will continue to visit during training or during the event, but we'll be on the water for the next two weeks trying to get an idea of what we can expect during the event.

Racing for the 49ers starts on December 12th, although some of the other classes start as early as December 3rd. So far the most of the launching locations are still closed, and many of the 470, Finn, laser and 49er teams are all launching out the Fremantle Sailing Club. It's a bit chaotic on the way in and out, but so far there are no complaints about the sunshine and wind.

We'll be racing in the pre-worlds regatta (the Australian Championships) starting this Friday. There isn't likely to be much online coverage, but coverage for the worlds should be real time and detailed. The website for all classes is perth2011.com
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2011
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GeoffJ GeoffJ is offline
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Good luck to you and hope it is a successful trip, but should know, 15 knots is barely the Freo pre-med student. Expect at least a week of Dec where the doctor is shelling out 25-35.

Have fun
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2011
hunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffJ View Post
Good luck to you and hope it is a successful trip, but should know, 15 knots is barely the Freo pre-med student. Expect at least a week of Dec where the doctor is shelling out 25-35.

Have fun
Thanks for the note Geoff!
yes, the doctor is forecast to get quite strong after the frontal passage this weekend... and it will most likely be unsailable (local's have been heard saying not to bother showing up to sail). The chop here makes it super tough, so I expect racing would be scrapped at a lower wind range than most events. 25-35 knots onshore (witnessed last week) is impossible to sail a 49er in here... and even the 470's decided to stay ashore.

As much as I like the big breeze... I am hoping for the less legendary, freo 'pre-med student' most days!
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2012
hunter
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Default Catching Up

It’s been too long since I’ve given an update, so let’s get up to speed!

Our European season kicked off in Palma de Mallorca in March. We had two events there, the first being a free training regatta put on by the Arenal yacht club, followed by the Princess Sofia Trophy held at the same location two weeks later. The training block in Palma was very valuable, and we had a chance to work with Rodion Luka (2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 49er, and 2005 World Champion).
While we learned quite a bit, and improved aspects at key points on the race course (leeward gates), we still made some pretty bad mistakes every race and never pulled it together. It was a bit frustrating, as there were multiple points where we worked ourselves into the top 3, only to throw it all away.
The result from the regatta was less than good, but we did actually make significant improvements particularly in light to moderate wind speeds.

After our stop in Palma, we flew home for a week to try to get a small break before the worlds push. Instead of racing in Hyeres at the Semaine Olympique de France regatta, we elected to tag along and train with the Austrian’s and Finnish in Torbole at the North end of Lake Garda. We felt this would be more useful, as we could get a week of solid training with two top teams and still have a little break before the world championships in May. (SOF was almost back to back with Worlds). It was really cold and rainy most of the time in Torbole, but we got lots of time on the water, which is more than can be said for the teams in Hyeres as they experienced extreme winds and almost no racing.

It hasn’t all gone our way however! We had an interesting time getting to Zadar for the world championships from Torbole. We had planned to drive straight through Italy and Slovenia and into Croatia to avoid the expensive ferry from Italy but that didn’t exactly work out. At the Croatian boarder we had the pleasure of meeting some crooked police. The officer claimed their scanners (of which there were none) had found ‘illegal stuff’ in our car, and that we needed to pay a fine… Or they would get the dogs and we would ‘be arrested’. We have a lot of gear, none of which is illegal or controlled in any way (besides 49er class rules I guess), and we were not paying a fine for nothing, so we welcomed the search. It was clear the officer wasn’t actually interested in searching, so he did more of the poke around ‘open this, open that, where’s the cigarette lighter’ crap… There were no dogs either.
Well, he still wasn’t satisfied and we ended up not being allowed through the boarder and were turned around. (I had to retrieve our passports and car registration myself after he decided not to return them).
We drove back through Italy to Ancona, and took the ferry directly to Zadar the next day, where we were greeted by normal police who had no problems with us coming to their city for the world championships!

With all of that out of the way, we’ve moved into our apartment (which has turned out to be very nice, with very nice owners), set up our boat and had a couple days on the water. Today we completed all the boat work, and we’re ready to go. Our coach arrives Tuesday afternoon, and we’ll get a couple more days in before the start of the event on Monday.

This is the final Olympic qualification event, so it’s time to put it all together!

Talk to you soon(er),

Hunter
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2012
hunter
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Default Qualifying series - quick note

Today was the final day of the qualifying series, and the stakes were very high. Five country spots remained for the Olympic berths, and it appeared that all the spots would be taken in the Gold fleet. If you were outside the cut (top 25), you weren’t going to go to the Olympics.

After a marginal day, we sat onshore waiting for the other fleet scores to come in. We made the cut by four points, qualifying Canada and ourselves (as no other Canadian boat made the Gold fleet cut off) for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The final series starts tomorrow, and it will be easier to relax and try to move up the rankings over the next three days.

Thanks for all the support!
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