Driven to Win
Driven to Win
How does the communication work in your boat?
At this point it's actually really cool because there's not a lot of new talk. I talk a lot when we are sailing, but it is all the same sort of stuff, like talking about where the fleet is, how we want to finish, balancing, and not taking too much risk on the fleet. It is funny because I feel like Marla can tell if I am doing something out of the ordinary - she knows right away and can sort of say, "You know, the fleet is splitting to the other side," which is something we normally take into account.
How did you tackle the challenges of racing in San Francisco?
Marla and I had a similar approach in that we knew that if we put in all the hard work before the regatta, we could go out there and have fun. Since this was my last regatta in college sailing, I just wanted to enjoy the whole thing. I made a big boathandling mistake on the last set of the first day. After that I was really upset, but that was something we had to put behind us. I knew there were a lot more races and I needed to keep working hard and having fun with it.
What are your starts like?
Our starts were actually really good. The start for me is a lot about confidence. I can get quite standoffish and Marla is really good about reminding me that we can start anywhere we want and just go for it. This year, we've worked a lot on our starts because I think we have the tools to do well in any conditions and executing well on the start is important for making that happen. This year, we've become more risky with our starts and more comfortable with going in and trying to win races, as opposed to last year at Nationals when we never won a race. We were very conservative and finished with a bunch of fourth places. We took more risks this year, which was a lot more fun because we got to win six out of fourteen races.
Any crazy moments for you and Marla during Nationals?
On the last bit of the first day, when we got our 18th, we were third around the top mark and our speed downwind was incredible compared to our fleet. We practice at Yale in waves and breeze downwind, so we are really comfortable with it and have fun. We were coming in to the bottom mark first. When we jibed, we spun out because we didn't have enough vang on and the whole boat filled up with water. It was devastating. We decided to bail, though looking back on it, it probably would have been faster to capsize because there was a lot of water. After that race, we looked at each other and were like, okay let's go out and win this next race! If we got a first and an 18th that would be like a 10th and a ninth which aren't such bad scores. So the next start, we totally went for it. One of our team members thought that if we hadn't had that 18th place, we would have never turned on our game like that for the rest of the regatta. Maybe we would have still won, but we would have been fourth place in a lot of races like last year instead of going out there and just winning.