Monday, March 26, 2007

Respects to my sailing coach...

...the Mumm30. In the past year I have expanded my sailing horizons tremendously due to a steady commitment to the Mumm30 class. My level of sailing, boat handling and working as a team grew from the experiences within in this one design fleet. It's been a struggle observing from the rail as the fleet size decreased from event to event over the winter. The intention of this entry isn't to dwell on the "dock side rumors" but to share with the community a positive tale which hopes to remind and refresh what this class brings to sailing.

From the first time I spotted a Mumm on the waters of Long Island sound; I knew I wanted to sail on one. It was just my size and spirited! My first experience would not be till Key West 2006 and a fellow Mudhead boat was down crew due to illness, my boat had the misfortune of losing her mast . . . part of the deck on day 2 of racing leaving me free to fill in for the sick member and I was the right size and weight. I do not believe I had ever been so banged up, bruised and swollen from 2 days of sailing as I was after my time on the Mumm! It was great . . .not the war wounds but the sailing.

My first lesson that week: check the ego at the dock, every job is important and therefore every crew member plays an important role and the little mistakes can have a huge "wipe out" effect. My take home: this boat will test your drive to excel, teach one to work dynamically with a group of people and when you sail your best and work as "one" the rewards are: great days of sailing.

I made it my personal goal to do more Mumm sailing afterwards and continued with sailing another hometown boat at Acura Miami Race Week, picked up a steady position on yet another hometown ride for the entire season (some weeks got in 3-4 days of Mumm sailing!) which never really ended as I headed into fall (Worlds) , Key West again and recently Acura Grand Prix. In a few of these events; I'd never sailed with the crew, however; if you sail with a humble heart, positive attitude and do your job to the best of your ability: the experience will be positive. I have had some of my best sailing experiences on the Mumm with folks I met on the Mumm for the first time.

The boat design and layout for me is perfect! She's really not hard to figure out, however sensitive and if you get too cocky will spank you hard! (sorry but could not think of a better way to describe) I find the front end to be home, though really enjoy the pit and prefer to be in the back only on the ride home after all has been squared away from a full day of racing. The cockpit is nice and spacious and my 5'5" frame can easily stretch out and enjoy a post race beverage perfectly! She is easy to set up, break down and clean up . . . who could ask for more? Since we are focusing on the positives here . . .we'll stay away from cost thoughts and keep this a tale from the rail (crew's perspective).

I hope the low class participation in the US is a "phase" because the Mumm30 is a lovely boat and she has a lot to offer the sailing community of all ages and levels. My little dream . . . a SailTrim.Org Mumm . . .but that is when we return to the humble discussion on cost . . .I am not going to give up, will keep hunting down rides as I travel and hope the Mumm 30 sticks around!

One of my fav clips!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My office today...

...was a bit chilly, required full foul weather gear, fuzzy hat and gloves but the view from my "desk" was full of 420's sailed by one of the most upbeat and pleasant group of young sailors I have had the pleasure to work with!

For those of you just tuning in: I've been working at "Raising The Sail" 420 Advanced Racing Clinic Hosted by the Barnstable High School and Sailing Boosters Club at the Hyannis Yacht Club. This is their first time running such an event, however; you would never know! This clinic has been amazing and had they never said a word; I would have thought they'd been doing this for years.

I am working with coaches Tim Fallon and Kyle Shattuck; both accomplished, knowledgeable and AMAZING with the kids. We have 30 high school sailors who hung on their every word and it shows on the water. Today's schedule of events included:
  • Excellent Breakfast
  • Chalk Talk
  • Gear Up
  • Warm Up
  • Rig and Launch
  • Water Drills
  • Lunch
  • Chalk Talk
  • Racing (Watching them in the afternoon gave me chills it was so amazing!)

This was all done between 8am and 4pm . . .

What impressed me the most through out the day: the attitude of the kids. From the moment we arrived, they were ready to go, eager to learn and put new knowledge to use right away. One half expected to see a clear line between the upper and lower levels . . . nope. The level of skill was high and tight across the board.

The day began with a race to simply divide them into 2 manageable groups to work with. The coaches led them through speed and boat handling drills (I assisted at this point with boat handling and spent half my time with each group. My focus was on their body movements and posture with a goal of keeping speed and going fast). We stopped for lunch, quick chat and back on the water for fleet racing. This is the point where I was blown away.

These kids, each and everyone of them clearly paid attention to everything, soaking it up like a dry sponge! From the start of the first race to the finish of the last was simply beautiful sailing. There was one standout moment for me. I looked across the water, virtually every boat in my view heading to weather and with every tack observed in that one moment of time: each boat accelerated out of it in text book style...I had chills! As a result a tight fleet and any one's race to be won. When time came for us to be off the water; I was terribly sad knowing I would not be there to witness it all again tomorrow.

Even after a full day of solid sailing, they were still all ears and gave the coaches their complete attention, despite being tired. I envision tomorrow just as rewarding for both the kids and coaches. This group took in everything yesterday, today and I look forward staying in touch to see how they grow over the season after this experience. The questions and genuine concern of making healthier choices and developing better sailing skills was rewarding. My next clinic is not till June (Sail Newport) and I am counting down with excitement to do it all over again!

I could write for hours about the benefit's of youth sailing clinics, but you all know this! Looking to 2008; I would like to reach out to the community for a little help. This group would like to open the clinic to more 420 sailors in the region. It's a goal of SailTrim.Org to see them receive a sponsor who would be interested in covering the cost of coaches plus one more (4 total) for next year's event. The interested sponsor will receive ad/sales space on my site and monthly newsletter from the date they commit till next year's event plus one month post.

What would be really cool . . .a flood of e-mails from potential sponsors!!

Tomorrow morning is my last chance to infect their heads with healthy tricks and tips and as they sail off I must return home . . .what's next? You'll have to check back to find out (smile).

Fair Winds and thank you for reading! ~ Jenn

Link to Local Newspaper Article on Clinic ~ enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not quite warm enough . . .

...for the beach towel and swimming trucks in Hyannis, MA but the kids participating at the Hyannis YC's 420 clinic are ready to go! Today is day one for the club's first ever clinic and I feel honored to have been invited to speak and participate. Tonight is full of "chalk talk" were we've already covered "Preparation" and I was able to discuss with them the importance of: self care, hydration, nutrition and physical condition. They asked excellent questions about hydration and look forward to tomorrow morning's warm-up and on the water tips for all day energy and injury prevention. For those interested this was the assigned HW:
1. Go to bed with clear pee
(first and easiest self check a person can do to monitor their hydration and though a few giggles, they all are earnest to start tomorrow well hydrated!)
2. 3-5min pre-bed leg drain
(The simplest way to help blood and lymphatic fluid return to the heart and liver for proper "recycling")
3. Place a glass of water by bed for consumption first thing in the morning
(Start the day hydrated and you are already a step above the rest!)

The other point well received and my favorite for small boat sailors: pack a post sailing recovery meal:
  • 50/50 water sports drink mix
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain
  • Cut up oranges, a banana
  • Pretzels...

And finally, my favorite came from the coaches: Mental Readiness!

  • Confidence (To be built through practice!)
  • Concentration (Deal with issues as an "Event", address and think forward)
  • Determination

We had a cool discussion on how to practice concentration and ways to keep your mind wondering . . .this would be good on big boats as I have found myself hiked out on the rail during long legs leaving the boat and going someplace far away . . . . hmmm . . I think before you can practice you have to "acknowledge" you sometimes lose concentration. Oh boy...

It's time for dinner and I am beyond excited about tomorrow. Stay tuned for tomorrows report!

Fair Winds ~ Jenn

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's official . . . is the first day of Spring! In Southeastern CT it even feels like Spring. I've posted sign up instructions for my next session of Virtual Training "Stay Light and Strong on The Go". Please visit SailTrim.Org for details ~ it's easy and free! Here's the gist:

Starts: April 1st and runs through October
Goal: To walk members through 6 months of a no gym necessary training program suited for the sailor who is on the go (i.e. travels a fair bit, busy work and family lifestyle, etc).

** This is not to denote the value of a gym but to demonstrate how it can be done when the gym does not fit your lifestyle**

Aside from my own travel and continent hopping; I've had many discussions with sailors along the way on how they've struggled with fitness programs due to disruptions (i.e. regattas, family, travel time, etc). The best athlete can have a well structured plan, however even the most disciplined one can be thrown off by unexpected travel and events which may not pair well with the week's original training goals! In addition, eating habits can be greatly impacted and add to the downward spiral of disrupting the "perfect plan". The end result is typically the individual beating up on themselves for getting off track and frustration.

As much as I love the gym; the convenience of having all the "tools" and social environment, it's not in the cards for me from April till October. So on the plane ride home from Miami I got to thinking: there are quite a few folks out there who use no access to a gym as a reason for not having a health fitness plan. I myself have gotten stuck in a rut because the gym was my security blanket, a sure deal of accomplishing something if I showed up!

Well... my father recently pointed out the importance of my own sailing fitness and the value of active participation in our sport aside from my role through SailTrim.Org: no gym is no excuse and I need a plan. Since I like to share... the next 6 months will be a work in progress and I invite you all to join in, participate and experience the rewards and tackle the challenges as a virtual team.

I am looking forward to the challenge and a new group of virtual training partners!

Fair Winds,


Saturday, March 17, 2007

I dream of spring!

...I have been spoiled with beautiful weather and colorful places this past month! The Nor'easter has come and gone leaving behind wet snow and impending mud! I am ready for spring, warm weather and clear skies.

There was a positive from being snowed in: my newsletter update is complete and should be found in subscribers' inboxes early Sunday morning. I look forward to feedback on the new platform and will send a follow up note via "old way" to ensure no one misses out on the March/April issue.

The other news to stay on top of: my upcoming virtual training program for Spring and Summer. Individuals will be able to sign up March 21 and this will be a user/login format. The program will be housed on my home site under "SailTrim Racing". The goal this season is staying light and strong without the use of a gym . . .should be an interesting journey as I spend a fair amount of time traveling from April till October.

The idea sprung from conversations with professional sailors who travel a fair amount and can not easily maintain a gym routine, however; most college and Olympic campaigners are in similar situations. Furthermore, there are the sailors who carry full time jobs, juggle family and still find time to bang around the corners on a Wednesday night who wish they could adapt a fitness routine too. I think with some virtual support, we can all meet our goals despite our crazy lives.

I want to promote a fit, healthy and well balanced lifestyle to the sailing community and feel the best way I can support such is by putting myself out there and sharing with all of you how it can be done in real time. As I prepare to leave the US and head to Europe; it's my intention to share with all those interested my plan to train, stay on top of my nutritional needs and keep sane! This will all be posted on a separate blog and progress reports in my monthly newsletter.

I will publish my weekly goals on Sundays beginning April 1st (and this is no fool!), with daily blogs posted at the end of my day. Since there will be travel and time zones to contend with there will be a gap here and there. In my monthly newsletter (starting with May) there will be a progress report, hopefully some feedback and write ins from virtual team members as well. I would love to see this be interactive, building a true virtual team from all levels of sailing.

Fair Winds ~ Jenn

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's an abusive relationship . . .

...but the rewards of sailboat racing overshadow the cuts, bruises, aches and pains. I can not think of a better place to be than on a Mumm 30 off the shores of South Beach. Premiere Racing's Acura Grand Prix has come to a close and though a smaller venue this year, there was some great racing and beautiful conditions. During one upwind leg my pit man looks down in the the clear blue water and says, "...looks so good I could stick a staw in it...". The hiking hurt a bit but the view below was great!

This was a unique event for me. I started the event working with dear friends Ed Furry and Curtis Florence of Sail22 in pre-event work (boat set up, etc), spent a day sailing with Farr40 Ramrod doing pit (an amazing group of guys and yes boyz I will upgrade to full finger gloves before I sail with you next!!) and then onto training and racing with my Mumm30 Kiazen crew. In addition to this, I was rehabbing one professional sailor from a shoulder injury he acquired the week prior which lead to some consults of fellow pros on different boats with various aches and pains. The shoulders, neck and lower back...I will be sure to re-visit these areas in upcoming newsletters!

I would like to send out an apology to those who I would have enjoyed working with, sadly I acquired a cold early on and a sailing injury which limited my availability as the week rolled on. It was a great learning experience of limitations of both sailing in an event and working with folks afterwards . . .Sailing and spending time in the community was my goal for this event and given the decrease is size; I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful folks from around the world on the docks and at Monty's. It was great fun! However, due to the great interest in post racing therapy work...keep an eye out for SailTrim! I had great fun teaching dockside stretching and shore side massage therapy!

So what is next...the very overdue March Newsletter and planning the SailTrim European adventure! I have a great deal of writing to do for the community as well and look forward to delivering some meatier publications in the future.

Special thank you to Sail22, Iniki and my hometown Mudheads!

Fair Winds ~ Jenn

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Good breeze . . .

...nice days here in South Beach and solid racing for Premiere's Acura Grand Prix! I have been disappointed in my lack of blogging this week, however the sailing has been wonderful. I will be able to write more and look forward to sharing all my tales from the rail and Monty's Sunday evening! Stay tuned!

Fair Winds ~ Jenn

Sunday, March 04, 2007

If it's not the sailing that hurts . . .'s the fun we have off the water! I have had an interesting run of professionals (sailors) who enjoy cycling for land base training or getting around. They've been building their relationship with the cars sharing the same roads.

Without going into cycling 101 and rules of the road since most of us who do ride know you can do all the right things and still be at risk for road rash. SailTrim would like to stress a few things to those who have experienced a cycling accident or similar incident and how to get on the road of recovery quickly.

For starters, the shoulders as I have discussed in past newsletters are the most mobile and therefore unstable joint in the body. It is the most susceptible to injury, however; if addressed after an incident, is capable of sound recovery. The same is true for most joints in the body. What most folks seem to miss is the importance of caring for an injury sooner rather than later. Furthermore, taking the initiative to seek medical attention to assess level of injury.

Here is a quick refresher as we head into a week of heavy sailing:
  • Ice and elevation in a timely manner can have a positive in pact on joint injuries. The sooner you can apply ice and elevate; the impact of inflammation and swelling on the joint itself will be minimized.
  • Gentle compressions and rest post incident will support circulation to the region (joints do not have the best blood supply compared to muscle tissue and therefore do not have the best outward flow of intra and extra cellular waste material).
  • Do not ignore the pain! The pain sensation is your body telling you chill out! The "no pain no gain" theory does not work in your favor here. Listen to your body, address it's needs and you will be sailing for many years to come.

None of this is rocket science; I am sure you've heard it before, however; gentle reminders never hurt and since it is my mission to keep you all sailing . . .enough said. So here's an idea(if not already employed): shore managers can add ice packs to their kits for the untimely event of an injury and addressing it as soon as possible (you can get the disposable ice packets and have at least one in the boat's first aid kit . . . just a thought).

For those of you at Miami Race week and in the case of an untimely injury; I can be found mucking around the floating dock (Team Kiazen) or Pier F ~ the curly haired gal with white sunglasses. Please do not hesitate to stop me; I am glad to help out any race participants this week.

Fair Winds ~ Jenn

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sail Change . . .

...the GE skiff is on it's way back to the UK and I am en route to Miami for Acura Miami Race week and my own bit of sailing. After 2 weeks of sitting on the sidelines as my team skimmed the waters of Sydney Harbour; it's time for "field work" as I tackle the Atlantic swells and possible big breeze off the shores of South Beach Miami with my home port crew on Kiazen (Mumm30).

It was great fun sharing the shore side tid bits these past few weeks and I feel in the mood to write from the "rail" in the coming days. Of course, this will be from a different point of view all together. I hope those who are in Miami and cross paths with SailTrim on the dock or at the tent will share their aches, pains and rail side woes. We can start with weight ins!! Ahh . . . 12-15hrs in the airplane can lead to terrible water retention and bloating!!! I am in the middle of keeping my body at weight and counting down to a nice run along the beach upon my arrival. For now I am best friends with a bottle of water and the inflight head!

Untill then; I will be in Miami all weekend and please give me a call if interested in a "pre-weigh in" run or workout (see website for contact info).

Fair Winds ~ Jenn