Friday, December 01, 2006

Laser Training Advice

Thanks to everyone who replied to my post Commitment Questions which contrasted training for running and for sailing events, and raised some questions on how to prepare for a major sailing championship.

Dan Kim from Adrift at Sea offered some observations on the differences between running and sailing and Orion told us about his experience in combining the two sports. Kin wisely commented, "Maybe it's important that in sailing one has to think, and it is how well you sail, not where you finish," and Matt, also a sailor and a runner, advised, "Train hard, believe in yourself, and you will know that however you finish in either event, you prepared as well as you could have given resources and time." Thanks to both of you for the words of support.

More detailed advice was provided by two other Laser Master sailors: Vann who talked about his preparation for the 2005 Masters Worlds in Brazil, and Ari who hatched a unique plan to prepare for the first Masters Worlds after he turns 45.

Here's what Vann did...

1. Sailed late afternoons four days a week for nearly a year. I gather that Vann is based on the west coast of the USA. It's tougher where I live with its more extreme winters to follow such a program through the winter. Not exactly easy to sail when the water is solid. Just means I will have to do even more sailing when the water is liquid to keep up with guys like Vann.

2. Attended a few high quality regattas but planned on more practice than regattas. Also my plan. Depending on when the Masters Worlds are held (currently uncertain) I ought to be able to sail the Laser North Americans (Hyannis - June) and Canadian Championship (Ontario - also June).

3. Also attended one three day laser clinic with two top notch coaches. I do have a clinic planned for early in 2007.

Vann confesses that he fell short of his goal and discussed what he would have done differently...

1. Sail some practice days in a venue that had the expected conditions. Hmmm, would love to do that but we don't know yet where the 2007 Masters Worlds will be.

2. Practice boat handling around the corners. I've been doing some practice in recent weeks on tacks, gybes and mark roundings based on feedback from my instructor in Menorca who spotted some of my faults in these areas. (Which reminds me I need to write some more posts on this topic; there were more faults than I have so far confessed here.)

3. Regardless of the goal it is good to spend some time in practice sailing with someone who you believe is above the level of the goal you have made for yourself. Good tip Vann. Need to work on setting that up.

4. Sail at least one big regatta that uses the trapezoid course. This type course requires a lot of buoys making it confusing. Adding to the confusion, there are often two races going on simultaneously using the same buoys; one group using an inner trap while the other uses an outer. He's so right. Even good sailors sometimes get lost on trapezoid courses. At the Masters Worlds in Mexico in 2000, several dozen sailors went the wrong way in the practice race. I've sailed a few regattas on these course in previous years and no doubt the major championships before the Worlds next summer will have trapezoid courses so I think I should be in good shape on this issue.

5. Finally, the most important thing is fitness. Yeah, yeah, I know. I have started a fitness program but I do need to ramp it up and get more serious.

Thanks Vann. Great advice.

And to finish, here's Ari's approach...

Hire an elite coach, buy 15 Lasers, open a Laser Training Center and persuade some of the best Laser Open competitors to come and train there.

Wow. Now that's what I call creative!

If you have any comment on these comments about my comments then please leave a comment in the comments section.


Katinka said...

I don't really have a comment about these comments on your comments, but I'll comment in the comment section about my comment on your Gumbo. Delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and I hope that everyone here goes and visits Sherry's party to sample some (while there's some still left) :)

Anonymous said...

While Ari's approach may be creative, it sounds like it is a bit more capital intensive than most Laser sailors are willing to commit to. :D

The point that Kin makes about the fact that thinking is a very important part of sailing, where it is not as critical in running, is also an excellent one.

Zen said...

Hmmm, I said this before, I wrote a blog about (you & ) it, I'll say it again... study Tai Chi.

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