An adventure and a campaign towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the RS:X windsurfing class. Here, you will find two main pages. The first, this one, tells a story. The story of what I'm trying to do, where I'm trying to go, and the major steps required to get there. The second is the donate page, which explains how you can be part of my adventure by helping me along the way. Hunt around a bit more and you will find my latest news and a bio too.
This is literally what it means. Winning regattas requires winning races. Winning races requires being good at sailing, which means having good tactics and good strategy. How do you best acquire those? Speed. Speed makes it easy. It makes you look like a genius, and opens up your opportunities on the race course.
The process is fairly simple: hours. Many hours. Many many hours spent sailing in a straight line against one or two others, testing techniques, fine tuning equipment, making changes, trying new things, and making assessments and judgement calls on whether what you're doing is actually working.
At least that's what you do on the water. But that's only half the battle. The rest of the time it's building up good base fitness level, increasing strength and explosiveness in the gym, and high intensity intervals to improve top end fitness.
Set out below is my schedule for the year in search of this essential speed.
January – World Cup, Miami
February to March – training in New Zealand with international sailors
April – Princess Sofia Trophy, Palma, Spain
April – World Cup, Hyères
May – Delta Lloyd Regatta, Holland
June/July – training in Denmark
August – World Sailing Championship, Denmark
October to December – TBD
The first opportunity to qualify New Zealand for a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will come at the World Sailing Championship in Aarhus, Denmark in mid-2018. At this regatta, 40 percent of the spots for the 2020 Games will be allocated to nations based on their finishing results. A top 16 finish will more or less qualify New Zealand for a spot. Following that, further allocations will be made at the 2019, and the 2020 World Championships, as well as at various 2020 continental championships.
Qualification though, relatively speaking, is the easy bit...
Selection will be the single biggest hurdle my campaign – one at which many have stumbled. Even the greats.
Selection and qualification are quite separate from one another. The latter by no means guarantees the former. The New Zealand selection criteria is set by Yachting New Zealand and typically changes in each Olympic cycle but is generally very tough. In a nut shell, a top 10 finish at the World Championships either the year before or the year of the Olympics should ensure a starting berth.
Throughout each of the phases you've seen above, equipment is a crucial element (unfortunately, it's also the most expensive). In the speed and testing phases, I'll need to identify good and bad equipment (not all RS:Xs are created equal). The good is set aside for key regattas, while the bad is used to train with. As a general rule, more is more. The bigger the sample size of equipment, the more likely it is that I'll find good racing gear. Good gear makes you fast, and well, you know the story from there...
So, if you'd like to help me out, follow the "donate" link in the footer. If not, and you were really just here for a cheeky web stalk, then please carry on (check out the cool videos on the videos page, the news page, and the sticker designs page too).