Short-listed for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year; Ready for Racing in Perth!
I received some exciting news a couple days ago when I learned that I was short-listed for the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award! It's a huge honor to be mentioned alongside some of the best sailors in the United States, and it was nice to be recognized for the good year I've had on the water. Here's the press release.
Back to the task at hand: The big day is almost here! On Monday, the Laser World Championship starts in Perth, Australia. This regatta is important for a lot of reasons. Primarily, this regatta is the second half of the US Olympic Trials. The results from this regatta, coupled with the results from the Sail For Gold Regatta in Weymouth, England, last summer, will select the sole US representative for the Olympics next year. At the Sail For Gold Regatta, Brad Funk, Rob Crane, and I were all pretty close, so the spot is still up for grabs next week.
All stickered up and ready for racing! Photo Credit: Mike Kalin
Secondly, this event is the first opportunity to qualify our country for the Olympics. The top 35 countries at the Worlds will qualify their country, while the remaining spots will be given out at next year's Worlds in Germany in May.
Finally, this regatta is for the World Championship. Not only will this be the most competitive regatta of the year, but I think this Worlds will be the most competitive regatta of the quad. While the Olympics is always a challenging event for many reasons, the Worlds features multiple sailors from the same country. Moreover, this regatta plays a role in every country's Olympic aspirations, so I expect it to be tough!
I've been in Perth for almost a month now, so I've had plenty of time on the water, in the gym, and on my bike. I've said before, the training before the Worlds is the best anywhere because all of the top guys are here and sailing every day. Last week, for example, we were doing rabbit start races with almost 100 of the best Laser sailors in the world! It was a sight to see!
Enjoying Christmas Down Under at the Opening Ceremonies with Derick Vranizan. It was 100 degrees that day! Photo Credit: Mike Kalin
I'm feeling ready for the event, and I'm anxious for it to start. It's been a long campaign, but one I've enjoyed thoroughly and hope that I can prolong! Because I'm at the ISAF Worlds, an event that happens once every quad, all of the classes are here for their World Championships. They've divided the regatta into two halves, with the Radials, Finns, Men's 470, and Women's RSX classes sailing the first week, and the Lasers, Stars, Women's 470, Men's RSX, and 49er sailing the second week. So watching and waiting for the other classes to finish their regatta has been interesting. It's cool to track the results and cheer on my US teammates in the World Championship, but at the same time, it's made me want to get going with my own event.
So I'm anxious to get going! Check back on Monday for an update after racing!