What do you find most rewarding when training Helena and Paris or any of your athletes?
Racing sailboats is a unique combination of total immersion in nature, punctuated by intense bursts of competition. There is no better office to go to every day, than a coach boat on the ocean, and getting to work with athletes to help them learn how to play in this environment is super rewarding. As a competitor and an Olympic coach, the challenge to be the best boils down to optimizing your body, your technique, and your equipment to this infinitely complex playing field. When you string together a few seconds of perfection in a race or even a simple maneuver, time seems to slow down, and there is no better feeling.
Can you describe your typical "coaching day" when training with Helena and Paris?
It's hard to pin down a "typical" coaching day, because with a problem as complex as sailing, the learning process is so organic. Some days I'm up at 6am to catch a workout before we hit the water for a morning session, while other days I'm up editing video until 4am, so I try to sleep in! My athletes are generally on more of a fixed routine, so I work around their schedules to provide them with the tools they need to get the maximum improvement on any given day.
How does diet and training differ on and off season for sailing? Is one more important than the other?
On the water, fitness is a major key to performance; athletes need to be as strong as possible, but high performance boats are very weight sensitive, so cycling fitness goals throughout the year is very important. During the off season the goal is to gain muscle mass, while the competition season fitness goals center around cutting body fat, to get to the optimal strength to weight ratio.
What is your favourite Spinnaker model and why?
The bling on the Montecarlo is hard to beat, but the the whole Vessel collection is super classy for those sponsorship dinners. When I'm running drills on the water though, the Helium or Overboard get the more rugged jobs done!