The sailing world is going foiling mad. Time alone will tell whether it's a good thing or not, but what we can say is that it's fun and fast, and very different in feeling. What is the same for the sailor is that we need to understand a far greater range of sail settings in order to optimise the performances of these boats.
How many times are you on a line, feeling like you’ve pulled the boss move, and with ten seconds to go, things turn pear shaped and the dream start vaporises? This simple and common situation gives us the first priority.
The Backpack of Experience
Coaching has evolved a massive amount since 1990. Yes, there were coaching courses of sorts back than, but somehow you'd spend three days on a course and come away with one useful nugget of information that would improve your coaching skills. Now a days information is so readily accessible that you can gain enough information to be a good coach in a very short time. What you can't get is experience.
Anyone who has sailed against top sailors will know that many times you can be approaching half way up the first beat, and either in front of or in touch with some of the regatta favourites - often alongside them. A minute later the top sailor will have climbed on you, hit a gust of wind that you can’t reach, and gone from high mode to extremely fast forward compared to yourself, and from feeling great, being in touch or ahead of the good guys, you’re suddenly a hundred metres and forty boats behind them within around 90 seconds. This blog is about beginning to understand how they do that, so you can start to do it too!
Coaching to Win
We've been engaged in several interesting projects lately. We are writing this blog to illustrate the effects of prioritising the right aspects of sailing when coaching, and also to contrast the position of a sailor when subject to a "reactive" coach, when they coach according to conditions and squad behaviour, rather than a proactive coach who coach with certain minimum expectations. We will neither name the class nor the country, because that's irrelevant. What we will do is tell the story.
Tiller Talk, Boat Talk
We sail, we want to sail fast, and the only thing stopping us sailing faster is drag. Drag comes in two main forms. The hull and centreboards creates drag in the water. The Rig creates drag through the air. Water being 1,000 times denser than air by a lot, the drag created by the hull... Continue Reading →
Preparing for Success
Nobody tells you when you're growing up that "winning" and "success" come at a cost. At world level the cost is many times that which anyone outside top sport can imagine. It involves the sacrifice of dedication, not for a month or a year, but four years plus to reach anywhere near potential. The cost... Continue Reading →
Every week we write about technical, tactical or occasionally political matters of interest. This week we thought we’d share some philosophies and beliefs, and real action of Toplevel Sailing... In 2012 we looked at the Olympic Games in Weymouth, and realised that the gulf in non-funding resources between the established successful nations and the “Emerging... Continue Reading →
Aggression Pays, Sometimes
We have all read copious amounts of wisdom about sailing being a matter of coaxing the boat through various conditions, listening to what she wants to do and then using some kind of gentle psychic powers to magically steam ahead of all the opposition and win. This blog is about the brutal truth. Understanding... Continue Reading →
Uninhibited Thoughts, Uninhibited Actions
When we talk sailing, too often people will claim that its primarily a mental game - a game of chess on water which leads to winning. We do not believe this. We believe that first ingredient to success is to have among the best technical and tactical knowledge that you can get, and then the mental game kicks in. This blog is about the mental game and more importantly its development from the start of racing careers.
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