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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Training Day in Canada!

Today we met down at Royal Vic at 7.45 am to go sailing. I'm not sure if I've ever rigged before the sun was fully up before! We were on the water at 8.30 am for almost two hours. We had a really good session in 5-10 knots from the SE. It was really nice to have slightly more breeze and be able to fully trapeze. It also made the accelerations off the start line a bit easier, something we have been working on (and struggling with) every day for the past week.

Mathew Kerr came on the water with us today. He is a local sailor, photographer and friend. He took a ton of photos for us to use on our new website so hopefully we will have some of those up for everyone to see soon! Thanks Matt for getting up so early and freezing your butt off in the coachboat for us today!

Once off the water we quickly de-rigged and changed in order to whisk coach Bunny off to the airport. Of course some where in the rush the keys to my car got misplaced. A bit of a disaster; but we managed to get my spare key from my house and Bunny made it onto his plane! Hopefully my car/house keys turn up soon...

This concludes or intense training month in Victoria! Since Hannah and I started sailing together on Sept 27th we have trained 22 days and sailed 18 days. Our sailing has improved massively as Hannah has picked things up really quickly!

We have packed up our gear and will go back to dry land training for a few weeks. Then we will be heading down to Miami to train! More on that later. This weekend we are going surfing in Tofino to celebrate our hard work and new partnership!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Team Name

We had another light wind training session today with Bunny. Lots of boat handling; working on smoothing out our gybes and tacks in the light air and making things consistent. Things were going great until my back started acting up, something it has never done in light wind before. Too much crunching in the bottom of the boat and aggressive rolling perhaps? We still managed over 3 hours of solid training though.

We have decided on a new team name " Wild Rose Girls." Since both Hannah and I are from Alberta "Wild Rose Country" we thought it was fitting. Better than Kelsey Stroppel's suggestion of "Blonde and Gigantor" anyways! We will have a new website up soon, and we have a new twitter account @Meers_Flanagan and a new Facebook page "Wild Rose Girls." Things are moving forward with our planning as well. We have made an offer on a boat in San Francisco and we are going to head down to Miami mid-November to train. More details on our spring schedule and budget will be on the new website.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day Four of Training with Bunny

Things have been going extremely well with our training here in Victoria. Our new training sails arrived in the mail yesterday, so we have some decent cloth to look at now. We have gotten into a routine with a bit of boatwork each morning before heading on the water. We have scaled back the fitness a bit so as not to become too tired while training. Yesterday and today we had a mixture of super light, light and light-medium breeze. Bunny has been pushing us really hard, following behind in the coach boat and giving us constant direction. Then just when you think you can't handle it anymore, he says. "Well, that was good. Really good." And then you feel awesome, and realize you just learned about five new things in the space of ten minutes. Hannah is proving to be a natural at 470 sailing and I am extremely impressed with her vertical learning curve! One more day of training tomorrow and then we will take Saturday off for some rest, then another four days of training with Bunny.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Training

Since Jen's decision mid-August to no longer continue campaigning the 470, things have been a bit tumultuous. I spent most of September searching for a new sailing partner and trying to figure out what to do. I am not that interested in campaigning for 2016, as I would like to continue to pursue my career in sciences; however 2012 is nearly upon us so finding someone suitable quickly would be difficult.

Since September 27th I have been back training out of Royal Victoria Yacht Club. I have been sailing with Hannah Meers, a young Laser Radial sailor from Strathmore, Alberta.We have spent the past two weeks training full time, which has been great! We have been doing fitness every morning and sailing every afternoon. It has been great to get back into things and have a steady routine. I love feeling constantly sore and full of endorphins! The sailing has been going really well, except for the general lack of wind.

We took this past weekend off to visit family and recuperate. This morning our coach Bunny Warren arrives. He will work with us for the next 10 days and offer some much needed guidance. At the end of our time with Bunny Hannah and I will evaluate if we want to continue and campaign for 2012 or if we think the timeline is too short.

I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of my sailing endeavors, and apologize for the delay in letting everyone know what is happening. Please check back regularly now for updates on our training with Bunny!

Recent Changes

Dear Supporters,

It is with much regret that I must announce that I can no longer participate in this Olympic campaign.  The financial resources required to continue our qualification process are beyond my means and as such I am forced to step back from competition at this point.  I have loved competing in the 470 and representing Canada. I truly appreciate all of your support and am so thankful for everything that you, our supporters, have done for us over the past two years.  Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart; it has been a privilege to sail for you and for Royal Victoria Yacht Club.  While I step back from sailing temporarily, Erin will continue on with a new partner. I fully support Erin's decision to continue competing, and hope for her success in 2012.  

Thank you again for your financial and emotional support. Erin and I could not have gone as far as we did without you, and I appreciate every single one our you, our supporters.

Yours in sailing,
Jen Braem