Finishing off a progressive September block we headed 7 hours south to Long Island USA, where we prepared to test our practices. We finishing Triple Crown Stage II with a tight 2nd place battle during the penultimate day of racing> the Result was just a bonus to the improvements we have made. Our communication and priorities were on lock in the gusty, shifty conditions; it made for clear minded decision-making and strong anticipation. Skills wise the different techniques we experimented with became useful in certain situations; it is a great tool on our boat-handling tool-belt. Finally, it was boosting mentally to see the improvements put into place. Moreover, to win the final race and jump 2 places into 2nd was a great check mark for us; we were able to perform under tight pressure, not only results wise but with executing our new racing procedures.
The following week we did not stop the racing! Thanks to the US Sailing 49er Team, we completed 24 laps over 4 days of practice racing with much of the same fleet as the competitions. Following the first event our coach headed away on business, so we had the chance to join in with this group and try some new ideas on our own, as well as enforce our recent gains. Over the week we tested and were finding less success each day; missing a few details and loosing procedure. Going into the Final Triple Grown Stage the focus was on going back purely to what we had practiced over September. Unfortunately, we couldn't seem to find a grove and with only one day of racing we finished 7th overall. While conditions were much different - the final results were a reverse of stage II - we believe it was exhaustion and training style that affected us. We are not concerned with the result as we still implemented valuable lessons through experience.
Finally we are back in Kingston - our home away from home. With fresh-to-extreme conditions in terms of temperature (3-8 degrees Celsius), our sessions have been limited to 45min to 2h maximum. It is still an important time for us to keep training. If not just to get more days on the boat, we are still learning some heavy air lessons and improving on our technique every day; these sessions have had an emphasis on not capsizing because of the cold. It has also been a great time to meet with our family and friends while improving our plans comfortably from home.