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Spring Break

Many teams are taking spring break training trips. We never did any until 1993 but one year we must have counted 15 other vans our first night on I-95 heading south with various athletic teams from high schools and colleges.

What is such a trip worth? UNH went to New Orleans once with about 12 sailors. Of those 12, only about three had any appreciable racing experience, one of which was pretty good. When they came back they were clearly New England’s most improved team. Their skippers and crews could all handle the boats well. Their finishes in various minors and some mini-majors ranged from first to mid-fleet; previously they were finishing from mid-fleet to last.

The intangible benefits lasted for the rest of their college sailing careers. Each returned with a feeling of belonging and motivation for doing their part to help the team. They were listening to the coach’s lessons because they began to make sense. They were getting it.

The actual sailing time is equivalent to double practice sessions.

You can’t do triple sessions because they get too tired. Combine the practice with a regatta and the trip has even more benefit, though the results of the training do not show up all at once. If the regatta is at the end of the trip, expect to continue learning throughout the event by sailing your hardest physically, i.e. the hardest possible roll tacks.

Getting into good early spring regattas is hard but there are a growing number of events, not just the mega Trux that fills up first at scheduling time.

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