North Americans 2017
Here is my re-cap of this year’s North American Champs in Vancouver!
Overall it was a fantastic regatta, with good race management and probably the best conditions Vancouver can offer, which is a breezy thermal westerly. A couple days there was the classic English Bay flood making the tactics hitting the left-hand beach on the upwind and being careful not to get dragged into the windward mark. Luckily we had good wind every day to offset the current and really tight and exciting racing at the top of the fleet. My goal going into the regatta was to put together a really consistent event, with no big mistakes, and no letter scores. In terms of my finish scores and racing style I think I mostly succeeded. I didn’t win all the races, but I keep my finishes tight in the top eight, and that consistency paid off. I stayed near the boats I wanted to pass, and worked my way up the fleet every leg, passing when I had the opportunity and consolidating when I had an advantage. I wanted to win races if I could but not make risky tactical decisions. My one big mistake was being a little jumpy at a tight pin end start and getting an OCS on a race I won, which ultimately ended up costing me the regatta win. In the end I was one point behind first (Luke Ramsay, a 2-time Olympian, won) and tied in points with second (Sophia Reineke, an American radial sailor), for third place overall.
I am really pleased with bronze, especially considering how much I have improved in the past two years when I have really taken racing more seriously. In 2015 North Americans was in North Carolina and I barely squeezed into gold fleet, finishing in 53rd. In 2016 it was at the Gorge and I managed to hang onto 10th, which I was really proud of at such a windy venue. I just finished a training camp in the Gorge (next blog post) and I know that I would have easily kicked 2016 Maura’s butt! It is nice to look back and see the improvements I have made in a relatively short period of time, because it proves to me that if I continue to work hard my lofty Olympic goals are definitely within reach!