Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reflecting On Team Trials

Life got back to normal this week for the 28 sailors that attended USODA Team Trials in Miami, FL last weekend. After 3 and a half long days of heat and intense competition the sailors will find school quite relaxing.

Team Trials was everything we expected it to be - big (202 sailors), warm (temps in the mid 80's) and ultra competitive. A sailor qualifies for Team Trials by finishing in the top 25% of a regional event like the Atlantic Coasts or the New Englands. The one exception is the Nationals where 50% of the fleet (including the Green fleet) qualifies. Obviously this raises the level of sailing immensely. In fact, it raises it so much that first to last in each race finish within a little over 4 minutes. That's a boat finishing every 2.4 seconds for four minutes. We had a number of parents generously donate their time to help on the finish boat.

Fortunately, LISOT sailors were up to the task. Although the conditions were extremely difficult (shifty and light to medium winds) everyone settled in and put together strong races (about 35 minutes in length). Twenty of our 28 sailors finished in the first half of the fleet and twenty-three of the twenty eight will likely be invited to the US National Team (50 sailors) or US National Development Team (25 sailors). It would appear that at least 13 sailors will receive invitations to this summer's international teams. This is nearly 25% of the available spots.

Clearly we are very fortunate to have available to us great clubs that support our activities early year round and a critical mass that permits practices that simulate as best you can this type of competitive environment. Our coaches continue to be instrumental in the success of our sailors. Jens Kulstad (the doctor of psychology), Manny Resano (the doctor of speed) and Soren Laugeson (the doctor of experience) all gave our sailors whatever they needed (mental support, boat speed help or tactical advice). Many thanks go to these guys for a super effort. Parental support shouldn't be forgotten either as without this no sailor would be there!

It's now time to look ahead toward spring and summer training and the national and regional events in Minnesota (Nationals), Newport (New Englands), and Norfolk (Atlantic Coasts). We hope to see you at a practice soon. - Doug, Wes, & Phil

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