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Conversations within the sport of sailing - Kenneth Andreasen
It is often said how sailing is unique as a sport, where the opportunity is readiliy available to compete against the very best in the sport. Occassionally we get the chance to chat with them too.
(April 28, 2009) US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics competed in the Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres, FRA (April 18-24, 2009), the fourth of seven International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup events.
Kenneth Andreasen, U.S. High Performance Director/Head Coach, provides Scuttlebutt with a debrief following the event:
Any unique challenges that the team or its members had to overcome for this event?
We are always working on challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of our sailing. Whether it is testing new equipment, trying a new starting technique, or a different body movement, we always strive to find the fastest mode. All the sailors have different goals for each event and we are all looking to 2012 and making as many improvements as possible.
It seemed like there were flashes of brilliance across the board, but only Anna Tunnicliffe (#1 U.S, #1 World) had the consistency. What will it take, for instance, the mens and womens 470 teams that were there to be more consistent?
If you look closely at the way the men's and women's 470 have sailed in the past events, you will see big improvements in the way they are sailing now. Stu McNay/Graham Biehl (#1 U.S.) have been in four medal races, in four events. They still have things to learn and other skills to perfect, but they have taken a big step this spring. Molly Carapiet/Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (#2 U.S.) are working really hard. Their starts are 80% perfect now and that has made the biggest difference. They are now moving ahead with other tactical and strategic ideas. Look for them to start putting more top ten finishes in the book.
Surely Anna sailed a great event and she did show that she had the mental edge on the sailors in Hyeres. Coming back from a rough start to the event shows her fantastic abilities.
How would you grade Clay Johnson (#2 U.S., Laser) and Bryan Boyd (#3 U.S., Finn)?
Clay is doing great. He also had a tough start to the event, but slowly got more comfortable with the level of competition. I am sure we will see him near the top very soon. Bryan has been on the circuit for some years and is working on a lot of new equipment. He shows great signs and has good work ethics. I think he will break into top ten soon. Brad (Funk, #1 Laser) is very close to being permanent in the top ten of the Laser class. He is more motivated than ever and he will come on strong in the next events.
We are all working very hard on all aspects of getting better. In a few weeks we have more sailors joining us in Medemblik, NED (the Delta Lloyd Regatta on May 27-31). Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving (#1 U.S., 2008 World Champions) will be back in the women's 470. Zach Railey (#1 U.S., 2008 Olympic Silver) is back in the Finn and soon we will have more men's 470 join the ranks on the international circuit. At Kiel Week (in Germany, June 19-24) will see the most US sailors, as we will have representation by several athletes in each of the Olympic classes as well as many of our U18/U23 sailors.
On the Paralympic front we are also making plans to attend the Worlds in Greece as well as the Sail for Gold in Weymouth (in Great Britain, Sept. 14-19).
Semaine Olympique Francaise - Hyeres, FRA - April 18-24, 2009
1. Anna Tunnicliffe, Laser Radial
9. Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl, Mens 470
12. Molly Carapiet and Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer, Womens 470
13. Bryan Boyd, Finn
49. Brad Funk, Laser
52. Clay Johnson, Laser
31. Ben Barger, Mens RS:X
28. Farrah Hall, Womens RS:X
4. Andrew McDonald and Brian Fatih, Star
Complete report: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/Tunnicliffe_wins_gold_in_Hyeres.htm
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