With Canada's temperatures dropping so quickly towards the end of October, we knew it was time to get out of there and search for warmer training. Unfortunately, we were 2 days too late and Evan sustained an injury to several muscles in the shoulder and arm during our second last sailing session. Between fatigue from the extensive work we had put in and the harsh temperatures, two muscles attached to the scapula were strained as well as the bicep muscle. While no injury is every positive, we were lucky that this happened at a convenient time. With a 4 day Sail Canada camp occurring back in Oyster Bay NY followed by 10 days off before travelling to our next training location, this allowed lots of opportunity for proper recovery. Attending physiotherapy, reducing work volume drastically, and implementing many specific mobility/rehab exercises allowed us to miss a mere 2 days of scheduled sailing. We are thankful the injury wasn't more serious and we took the proper steps to recovery, because the situation could have been much worse and we feel like we did not miss a beat in our training.
The Sail Canada Team Camp was also a first for us and the rest of the National Team. With the whole of the athletes and support staff there, it was an excellent opportunity to bond with the team as well as address some valuable information about the federation moving forward. We got to evaluate several interesting topics along the lines of: specific sport training by Canadian sailing legend Lawrence Lemieux, mental performance, logistical planning, and tracking improvement. Moreover, it was also the teams' first crack at fitness testing lead by the Canadian Sport Institute. While Evan was sidelined from any physical activity, Will put in an impressive effort in all aspects ranking 4th overall out of 40 athletes, including a 2k row time of 6:41 (a near 20 second improvement over his last personal record)! It was a very well organized camp with lots of value to us as athletes and we would like to thank the Sail Canada staff for organizing the event. We are looking forward to more of these over the course of the year.
Post Sail Canada camp and our 10 day break, we headed back over to our most common European destination - Portugal. Back with our coach Francisco Andrade, we are in Vilamoura training among many of the European teams we see across the circuit. It is a great change to not only be in warmer weather, but to be back training and racing high level teams once again. With this block we are putting a lot of focus into our efficiency of training. Implementing many theories we have learned from working with our national team coach and the takeaways from the Sail Canada camp, we are consistently improving our skills and efficiency. Ideas such as practicing specific skills repetitively, well documented training, optimal daily and training block schedules, nutrition, and equipment are all things we are starting to slowly refine during this month. In terms of our specific sailing training, we are working on some skills associated with starting and speed. It is interesting to be sailing here on the ocean with a large, long swell; something we have minimal experience in. We have noticed the impact in margin for error it has (as compared to flat water) and believe this is something we will look to improve much more in the future.