Athens Training

Boot Camp closed today. 21 days of sailing in 23 days. We are a bit tired. Four days off now…no sailing that is. I have to go for a short trip to Europe and Phil and Austin and Andy are packing up the boats so we can move into the venue on Sunday. Saturday is US Olympic Committee “processing”.

Today was another good day for the Red, white and blue racing team. Two bullets and a third. We are pretty happy with where we are at in our preparation so a perfect time to take a break.

I feel that we have made a lot of progress in the 23 days. No that we are much better than the trials but we somehow acquired a lot of rust in the month off before we came here. So we got rid of the rust, checked all our sails, got very fit by sailing everyday and going to the gym four days a week before sailing.

Today after sailing we had a team Go Cart session. Pretty fun. The Carts were pretty fast. Tomorrow morning we are have a team golf session.

All is good for now. I may be a bit sporadic on the reports over the next few days as things wont be very regular. Maybe you need a break too.

Athens Training

Good day for us today. Phil took the Godfather (Mark Reynolds) to the airport at 0730 and picked up his wife at 1030. So he was off to a happy start. Austin and I went to the gym and did squats and shoulders today.

We went down to the boat at 1230. And launched and lunched. We went out at 1400 and did some tuning with both our boats on the way to the starting line. We had Mark Mendletblatt (USA Laser) as our coach today with his able assistant Carrie. They set the course for the races. I can’t say enough how great it has been to have Andy Lovell and Austin sailing a second boat that is totally under our control each day. I watch these other guys sailing around by themselves trying to figure something out of get something done.

We won all three races today. We got to the windward mark first each time but the best part was how fast we were downwind. We stretched each time which is a really nice improvement for us.

We took it to the barn early. I am feeling a bit of wear and tear after sailing 19 days out of the last 21 and hitting the gym 14 of those days before sailing. Tennis elbow and knees are hurting. We have a Physio therapist here Mark Kenna, from Australia, thanks to Lanee Butler our women’s board sailors. He is working on me a bit at night which is great.

Break is coming up soon.

Athen Trainging

We hit the gym at 0900. We all felt strong after the weekend of rest. We took some pictures today to document the adventure. We even got Reynolds doing bar dips!

The sea breeze had a hard time filling today so we got off the dock at 1500. It was kind of nice to have a leisurely morning around the club talking to the other sailors, watching the new arrivals working hard in the heat. Finally the wind filled in to a nice 10-12 knots form 185.

Today we had to run the races so we inflated out West Marine buoys and after about a one our tuning session with Andy and ourselves, Mark Reynolds laid a race course and the others joined us for three races. Again, today we were not stellar. Our speed was ok but we succeeding at getting on the wong side of the course on the first two races then got too far into the good side the third time. We were always fast downwind which is a very nice improvement. Andy and Austin won a race and Xavier Rohart (FRA) won the other two.

We headed in around 1830 and left the boat park at 1900. Phil and Austin went shopping, I go the Q going and am writing up all my various logs and reports that I do every day.

Today was Mark Reynolds last day with us. Mark has been very helpful and putting in as much effort as he would have had he been going to the Olympics this time. He is the reigning Gold medallist. It was great to have him here for 10 days! Thanks Mark.

We will sail with Andy through Thursday then take four days off from sailing.

Paul Cayard

Athens Training

We hit the gym at 0900. We all felt strong after the weekend of rest. We took some pictures today to document the adventure. We even got Reynolds doing bar dips!

The sea breeze had a hard time filling today so we got off the dock at 1500. It was kind of nice to have a leisurely morning around the club talking to the other sailors, watching the new arrivals working hard in the heat. Finally the wind filled in to a nice 10-12 knots form 185.

Today we had to run the races so we inflated out West Marine buoys and after about a one our tuning session with Andy and ourselves, Mark Reynolds laid a race course and the others joined us for three races. Again, today we were not stellar. Our speed was ok but we succeeding at getting on the wong side of the course on the first two races then got too far into the good side the third time. We were always fast downwind which is a very nice improvement. Andy and Austin won a race and Xavier Rohart (FRA) won the other two.

We headed in around 1830 and left the boat park at 1900. Phil and Austin went shopping, I go the Q going and am writing up all my various logs and reports that I do every day.

Today was Mark Reynolds last day with us. Mark has been very helpful and putting in as much effort as he would have had he been going to the Olympics this time. He is the reigning Gold medallist. It was great to have him here for 10 days! Thanks Mark.

We will sail with Andy through Thursday then take four days off from sailing.

Athens Training

Another great day today. Seabreeze filled a bit earlier and provided some great testing conditions of 8-12 knots and pretty steady. We tested a couple of jibs and mains. Andy and Austin are doing a great job of being the base line boat. It is not easy to do that job and keep your enthusiasm up but they are doing a great job.

We joined the racing today about half way through. We did not have a good couple of races. The wind got turbulent and there were holes and large shift for a hour there right when we raced…a bit unusual for the seabreeze. Freddy Loof won both the races that we participated in and Andy and Austin got a 2-3. our speed was good we just went the wrong way. That is going to happen here. Probably the winner will be the team that can minimize the damage when things go against them because everyone will have there share of bad shifts.

After the others went in we went up wind for another pair of tests, then changed mainsails and sailed four more tests up wind. Then we sailed a long downwind in 10-12 knots will fairly good sized waves. Very good training for finding the grove and keeping the boat surfing. It is amazing how sloppy the wave pattern gets out here in the afternoon. All the ferry traffic I guess. We have made some good improvement in our downwind speed here in these weeks, which was one of our goals.

We got in a 1900, put the boats away and are headed out for dinner tonight. The stores close from 1800 on Saturday until 0900 on Monday. We missed shopping yesterday and our refrigerator doesn’t hold enough food for us for three days.

Tomorrow is Mark’s last day. Phil’s wife Chrissy is coming on Tuesday so his demeanor is going up like a thermometer in Death Valley on a June morning. We will shut down on Friday for a few days. None of us seems to be draggin but still it will be nice to take a break.

Athens Training

Another great day today. Seabreeze filled a bit earlier and provided some great testing conditions of 8-12 knots and pretty steady. We tested a couple of jibs and mains. Andy and Austin are doing a great job of being the base line boat. It is not easy to do that job and keep your enthusiasm up but they are doing a great job.

We joined the racing today about half way through. We did not have a good couple of races. The wind got turbulent and there were holes and large shift for a hour there right when we raced…a bit unusual for the seabreeze. Freddy Loof won both the races that we participated in and Andy and Austin got a 2-3. our speed was good we just went the wrong way. That is going to happen here. Probably the winner will be the team that can minimize the damage when things go against them because everyone will have there share of bad shifts.

After the others went in we went up wind for another pair of tests, then changed mainsails and sailed four more tests up wind. Then we sailed a long downwind in 10-12 knots will fairly good sized waves. Very good training for finding the grove and keeping the boat surfing. It is amazing how sloppy the wave pattern gets out here in the afternoon. All the ferry traffic I guess. We have made some good improvement in our downwind speed here in these weeks, which was one of our goals.

We got in a 1900, put the boats away and are headed out for dinner tonight. The stores close from 1800 on Saturday until 0900 on Monday. We missed shopping yesterday and our refrigerator doesn’t hold enough food for us for three days.

Tomorrow is Mark’s last day. Phil’s wife Chrissy is coming on Tuesday so his demeanor is going up like a thermometer in Death Valley on a June morning. We will shut down on Friday for a few days. None of us seems to be draggin but still it will be nice to take a break.

Paul Cayard

Athen Trainging

Good day for us today. Phil took the Godfather (Mark Reynolds) to the airport at 0730 and picked up his wife at 1030. So he was off to a happy start. Austin and I went to the gym and did squats and shoulders today.

We went down to the boat at 1230. And launched and lunched. We went out at 1400 and did some tuning with both our boats on the way to the starting line. We had Mark Mendletblatt (USA Laser) as our coach today with his able assistant Carrie. They set the course for the races. I can’t say enough how great it has been to have Andy Lovell and Austin sailing a second boat that is totally under our control each day. I watch these other guys sailing around by themselves trying to figure something out of get something done.

We won all three races today. We got to the windward mark first each time but the best part was how fast we were downwind. We stretched each time which is a really nice improvement for us.

We took it to the barn early. I am feeling a bit of wear and tear after sailing 19 days out of the last 21 and hitting the gym 14 of those days before sailing. Tennis elbow and knees are hurting. We have a Physio therapist here Mark Kenna, from Australia, thanks to Lanee Butler our women’s board sailors. He is working on me a bit at night which is great.

Break is coming up soon.

Paul Cayard

Athens Training

Another great day today. No gym so we got some extra sleep. We left the apartment at 1000 and got down to the boats at 1015. We took our mast down and reset everything to correct for the stretch. We also did a tip deflection of this new rig to compare with all the other ones we have had. There was not wind until about 1500 as the seabreeze was having a tough time filling. Then it finally came in and we were off the dock at 1530 with both boats. We had a good day of testing in the steadiest breeze we have had in two weeks. Results will be in August.

It has been so nice to have Andy, Mark and Austin here because I never have to think about when other people are sailing and trying to hook up with them. Also, with my own two boats I can control the schedule for what we test when and I know what the other boat has and is doing. Very productive.

We sailed until 1830 and had the boats on the trailer at 1900. The breeze got up to 10 knots today from 180. The chop builds very fast out here in the seabreeze direction. It is more like a washing machine. There is a constant flow of ferries coming in and out of Pireaus (Athens port)all day.

We are back at the ranch, the Q is going strong with Burgers and Yardbird. Salad, Zucchini on the grill, and my grandmothers famous potatoes. Reynolds is printing out the pictures, Phil is the Q master, Austin is peeling the potatoes (fairly safe task) and Lovell is holding court. I am on the computer for a change. We have the Stones playing on my sons I Pod speakers system. It doesn’t get much better than this and we get to get up tomorrow and do it all over again.

Paul Cayard

Athens Training

Another great day today. No gym so we got some extra sleep. We left the apartment at 1000 and got down to the boats at 1015. We took our mast down and reset everything to correct for the stretch. We also did a tip deflection of this new rig to compare with all the other ones we have had. There was not wind until about 1500 as the seabreeze was having a tough time filling. Then it finally came in and we were off the dock at 1530 with both boats. We had a good day of testing in the steadiest breeze we have had in two weeks. Results will be in August.

It has been so nice to have Andy, Mark and Austin here because I never have to think about when other people are sailing and trying to hook up with them. Also, with my own two boats I can control the schedule for what we test when and I know what the other boat has and is doing. Very productive.

We sailed until 1830 and had the boats on the trailer at 1900. The breeze got up to 10 knots today from 180. The chop builds very fast out here in the seabreeze direction. It is more like a washing machine. There is a constant flow of ferries coming in and out of Pireaus (Athens port)all day.

We are back at the ranch, the Q is going strong with Burgers and Yardbird. Salad, Zucchini on the grill, and my grandmothers famous potatoes. Reynolds is printing out the pictures, Phil is the Q master, Austin is peeling the potatoes (fairly safe task) and Lovell is holding court. I am on the computer for a change. We have the Stones playing on my sons I Pod speakers system. It doesn’t get much better than this and we get to get up tomorrow and do it all over again.

Athens Training

A great day today. Leg and shoulders today in the gym, breakfast and down to the boats by 12:00. Off the dock at 12:45 as we had no work to do before sailing! That is a first. The work list is getting smaller.

We tested downwind for about 45 minutes, then upwind for the same amount of time. Then we joined the others for racing. We were on fire in the first two wining both. Then we got a third and a fourth. I felt pretty good about how we sailed. Our boat handling is coming a long too. The wind is so shifty here that it is hard to tell about boat speed. But you have to have good intuition about what the wind is going to do next and then be very quick and agile to tack or gybe quickly before the rest of the fleet. This is what we did real well in the first two races.

Freddy and the others headed is around 1600. We decided to test downwind again fro about 30 minutes, change to another main and then sail back to the barn which took about 1 hour. We sail side by side and every ten minutes or so we swap sides…windward for leward..so that if one side is better than the other, we wash that out of the results. Just like those America’s Cup sailors do it.

We got the boats out and put away by 1830 but then had a one hour drive back to the apartment. They decided to do road work on the lane leading out of town (as opposed to the inbound lane) on a Friday afternoon at 1800. Phil and Austin went to the store to get some more food, I started the Bar-B-Q, made the salad and am doing some email. I got this mobile internet card and it is great. I can get online anywhere there is GPRS at 57KBPS.

It is still blowing Meltemi here. About 8 days straight now. It was 8-15 today so it is getting weaker. Maybe a seabreeze tomorrow. Haven’t seen one of those in 10 days. Lovell and Reynolds have never seen the seebreeze and they got here on the 15th and 16th.

It is the weekend tomorrow so no gym. We need to rest in order to build. We keep talking about taking a day off but we ask ourselves what would we do. We tried to get a T-time for tomorrow but they have a tournament. Maybe Sunday. There is also a go-cart track right near the Olympic venue so we are determined to get there one afternoon. For now, we are happy with the progress we are making and not too tired. For sure we will take off next Friday-Saturday and Sunday. Mark and Andy go home next week and Phil and I have to be “processed” by the IOC.

It has been great having Andy and Austin here sailing the other boat every day, and Mark coaching and taking the pictures. It makes it so much easier to know that you have a boat ready to sail with you, to do what they need to do so you can test what you want to test. This would be a lot harder to coordinate with one of our competitors.

Paul Cayard