Busy in Villasimius
So here it is, the highlight of the season! Already training on the water in the bay in front of Capo Carbonara, we are looking forward to the upcoming top-class regatta full of impatience and zest for action.
As we all know, the last metres are always the most difficult. And although the island of Sardinia shows itself from an extremely inviting side, we are not here to take a holiday. Quite the opposite:
Prepare to the max
Since our performance curve has been pointing constantly upwards for some time now, we know that we are on the right track and that our training methods are having a positive effect. The better we get, the more we focus on the countless details that still need to be improved.
As is now customary, we are also evaluating the so-called “Sailor’s Reports” after the second event in Lagos, in which each team member records their experiences and thoughts after racing. Now we are simply concentrating even more on the small things, as these may allow us to take another big step forward.
The fragments of the mast that broke in our first regatta were brought to Switzerland a few weeks ago and examined in detail. The aim was to determine whether there was a technical fault in the workmanship or whether too much stress led to the mast breaking: the stronger the winds, the more the sail is trimmed “flat”. This results in forces of several tonnes acting on the material. In interaction with the winds, this creates dynamically changing forces of enormous effect, which can still be calculated and simulated too little. Moreover, because in racing sports a minimum of material is used in order to reduce weight, the equipment also reaches the limits where failures are possible at any time.
Since a material fracture can happen again and again, we had our new mast checked for hairline cracks using ultrasound scans as a precaution. Other highly stressed parts were also subjected to this elaborate examination in the hope that we would be spared another surprise of this kind during the World Cup.
Simplified and strengthened
The situation in the Villasimius marina is also better compared to Lagos. The pier where the Black Star was moored overnight for the last two regattas was about 20 minutes walk from our container. Therefore, it was always up to the sailing crew to clean the boat together after a day of racing. This meant soaping all the wet parts thoroughly with biological products and using fresh water to remove the salt, cleaning blocks, clamps and winches individually and checking the boat for any damage before we made our way to the container to change. In Villasimius, the container is now inside the marina and only a few minutes away from the boat. We have therefore decided that at the Masterships the shore crew of Max, Alex and Pesche will clean the boats and prepare them for the next day, so that the sailing team can concentrate exclusively on sailing.
We expect an additional increase through the strengthening of the coaching. Flavio Marazzi will be joined by Jacopo Plazzi, an experienced coach from Team Luna Rossa. Jacopo will take photos and videos even more systematically, and will also use a drone for this purpose. This will allow Flavio to focus on tactics, manoeuvres and boat trim, while better and more versatile video footage will be available for a first debriefing immediately after race day.
More enjoyable and digestible
As in our first regatta in Villasimius in 2019, we have prepared a house for our accommodation this year. It is the same as last time and is about a kilometre from the marina. This is ideal in that commuting between accommodation and marina is possible with only one car.
One striking improvement over last time will be that we will no longer be cooking ourselves. Instead, two women from the village will spoil us with meals day after day. They will come up with local dishes adapted so that we can deliver our performance on water and on land. This meets our immense energy needs, strengthens our bodies, promotes recovery and keeps us in good spirits.
With these adaptations, our confidence and the necessary competition luck, we hope to top the Lagos result to eventually climb the final step of the podium.