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Although I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, this year I made one. I wanted to do everything possible to prepare for the North Americans in Barrington. I decided this preparation would include three things: On the water training, fitness training and education. Since it would be two months before we would be sailing again, I decided to focus on the last two first. For this WOW, I want to discuss some learning experiences on fitness. The other two are subjects for future WOWs.
With the fall frostbite season now over, I thought it would be a good idea to review some lessons learned. The biggest thing that comes to mind for me is the effects of current. While tide plays a huge role on the Warren River, we sometimes play it blindly and get into trouble by ignoring the other important elements of the race. One day, Scott, Andy and I Short tacked up the Barrington side of the river, only to be passed by most of the fleet sailing into the teeth of the current, because they had better pressure. Since current also plays a huge role at many championship venues, such as Hyannis, Lewes and Charleston, let’s take a look at some current basics and some of my theories.
One of my biggest problems, in the past, has been having a bad first day and then being mentally out of the series after that. Someone said “You can’t win the regatta on the first day, but you can certainly can lose it” With this in mind, I set a goal of being in good shape (striking range of the leaders) while not taking too many chances.
Well, we certainly had some interesting conditions this past weekend! While we had mostly light air, we also had two races with some of the best surfing conditions in years! As usual, there were several lessons to be learned. Here are some of my thoughts on dealing with the varying conditions.
I was going to write about all the tactical implications involved with sailing in a randomly shifting breeze, like we had on Sunday, but then realized I would be simply quoting Stuart Walker. I am a big fan of Walker, and if you read his articles about sailing in Category 3 conditions, you would see how useful his ideas are in these conditions.

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