It’s been a while since our last update, and for good reason.
The last two days, light winds prevailed during our qualifying series which made getting the 9 daily schedule races on our racing circle difficult to fit in-three for each of the two 49er qualifying fleets and then 3 for the 49er FX. Our first day of racing was disappointing as we continued to struggle with our minimal trapping technique. However, we came back strong the second day with some better speed and continued good starting to get the job done and qualify for gold fleet. This included going back out for one final race at 7pm in a 3 knot easterly.
With higher winds in the forecast for the rest of the week, we were looking forward to three days sailing in gold fleet. Unfortunately, five days of light-air sailing days, both practice and race, made the transition to a moderate easterly with steep chop uncomfortably difficult. We had a difficult first race getting forced to the wrong side of the race course on the opening beat and a capsize on the final run ultimately ended our regatta. Having stuffed the bow on some irregularly steep coach boat waves, I dislocated my left shoulder while trying to right the boat. Remarkably, Zach was able to right the boat on his own and sail us back to shore, sailing through the finish line on the way back to the harbor before I was extracted for medical attention.
Additional tests will be needed when I get back in the States to determine the extent of the damage, but I am optimistic my recovery time will be short. Big thanks to the regatta medical staff, Luther Carpenter, and Will Ricketson for helping me ashore and getting me to a hospital. For the rest of the week, Zach will be on the water assisting the team when we aren’t slowly packing up the boat. We will finish this event 26th overall.
We are certainly disappointed that we will miss out on the racing with this injury, but by no means is this a significant setback for our team. After my knee injury this past September, we came back stronger and refocused to clinch our first World Cup gold in Miami. We will continue to improve ourselves and our team through this temporary hiatus from water training with the same fervent commitment to win a medal in Rio.