As the United States SailGP Team heads toward Australia this weekend to train for the first event of SailGP’s Season 2, Sydney SailGP, the team shared a look inside its recent January training camp in Miami, Florida, the final component in an aggressive off-season training schedule for the re-designed team.
“It was really important for us to get the entire team together and map out our strategy for success in Season 2 as well as spend time sailing together, building the communication and teamwork we’ll need when we hit the ground in Sydney,” said U.S. SailGP Team helmsman Rome Kirby.
Seventeen members of the American team spent four days in Miami focused on fitness testing and performance sessions, Moth sailing, pre-race strategy meetings, and team-building exercises.
Athletic Performance Director Craig McFarlane, who is keen to develop the athletic agility and mental acuity of the team this season, focused on leading an intensive gym training that tested individual performance metrics.
“All our athletes have been individually working with custom fitness plans in the off-season to build strength, endurance, and performance functionality – all with an eye toward what we need to win this season," said McFarlane.
“We built the program on last season’s learnings for how best to communicate on and off the F50 and increase our mental focus during the high-performance maneuvers, something other SailGP teams who have sailed together for a long time already do well. We want to accelerate that.”
In addition to fitness testing, the majority of the American sailing team also spent ample time competing in the foiling Moth class in the off-season with the Miami training camp offering several of the athletes the chance to compete in the Moth Midwinters in Key Largo in addition to keelboat training in Miami.
“We capitalized on every opportunity to sail and help the team hone their strategy and communication,” said coach Joe Glanfield, who was a valuable off-season addition to the American squad, scored from the Great Britain SailGP Team. “During the camp, we also focused on activating the new playbook to develop code-names for maneuvers as well as practice how to execute tactics on the racecourse. These are all things we’re taking with us into Sydney.”
Off the water, evening team building exercises included courtside seats at a Miami Heat game, and axe-throwing competitions, all with the goal to build camaraderie for the 2020 team.
“There’s no question we’re better prepared coming into Season 2,” said Kirby. “We’re looking forward to finally getting back into the F50 and taking all the hard work from the off season and putting it to use on the water.”