Miami US Open Sailing Series

Miami was my first event since worlds and I was looking to see where I stacked up leading into the Pan Am Games Qualifier at the end of the month in Clearwater, FL.

After worlds, I had the opportunity to join a training group in Florida and focus on the gaps I identified at worlds. We had a solid camp in December in St. Pete with a ton of hours on the water, in the gym, and working on technical aspects of the sport.

This was the first kite regatta to take place in Miami and we were unsure what the weather would bring. Launching proved to be challenging due to bylaws restricting access to put kites in the air. Fortunately, the organizers sorted it out and we did have some great training days and some good racing during the event.

The regatta was scheduled for 3 days with 4 races per day.

Day 1 was very windy, offshore, shifty, and flat-water conditions. Even though it was Miami, we woke up to some pretty cold air temperatures. Luckily, the sea is very warm to offset the air temperature.

I felt like I sailed really well on the first day. Three out of 4 races were excellent but unfortunately, I missed a buoy on race 2 and therefore had to retire from the race. 

Day 2, we got off the beach but there was not enough wind for the fleet to race and we sailed back in.

Day 3, the wind was still offshore and quite light. I was able to get off the beach and out to the racecourse. Race 1, I was late to the start line because I was checking my blood sugar and needed to have a snack. I was able to make up some spots and was overall fine with that result.

In the final race of the event, I sailed a very good second lap, combined with a good leeward mark rounding and was able to finish with a SECOND place! 

This was a nice way to end the event and build some confidence leading into the next event. 

While my upwind speed, beach piloting, and equipment tuning has improved I still really need to work on my starts. I had a couple decent ones but also had a number of bad starts. 

I will have about a week of on-water training in Clearwater leading up to the next regatta where I look to qualify Canada and myself for the Pan Am Games.

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