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2019 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2019 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Unseasonably warm and wind only first thing in the morning. This race was my 10th finish. PHOTOS:    ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

Unseasonably warm and wind only first thing in the morning. This race was my 10th finish.
PHOTOS:
ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

In my experience, the U21 Worlds often come down to the last day. This year in Split, Croatia, they came down to the last day more so than ever with light winds due to unseasonably warm temperatures plaguing the event from day one. After 5 days of the event, the fleets had only completed two races each early in the morning.

Canadians waiting for wind. PHOTOS:    ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

Canadians waiting for wind.
PHOTOS:
ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

The final day arrived with a cold and rainy breeze from a new direction of southeast. Three races were completed under stormy skies in 15-20 knots of wind. I had strong starts and gave it my all, knowing it all came down to one day. In the three races, I scored notably consistent finishes of 12, 18, and 13. After dropping my 36th from day one, this left me with a 10, 12, 18, and 13 for 53 points and a 20th place finish overall. This is a huge result for me, improving vastly from 67th last year and a fantastic finish to my age group career.

Start line on the final day - you can just see barely me at the pin end for this one (215019) PHOTOS:    ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

Start line on the final day - you can just see barely me at the pin end for this one (215019)
PHOTOS:
ILCA Laser Under 21 Worlds Media

I’d like to thank everyone who supported me on the road to achieving this result. Special thanks to Chris Cowan my full time laser coach these past few years. Under your guidance I have continued to make consistent progress towards my goals. Thanks also to Greg Lewandowski for your strength and conditioning expertise, and to Chris Hewson for support as event coach.

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to be doing any of this without the great support from donors, my parents, or PCYC, thank you.

For the next little bit, I will be focusing on fitness and finishing up the rest of this semester of university before resuming on water training again in Florida this December in preparation for Miami World Cup in January and my first Men’s Worlds in Melbourne, Australia, in February 2020.

RESULTS

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2019 CORK OCR / SAIL CANADA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2019 CORK OCR / SAIL CANADA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

LIAM BRUCE - ELLE BRUCE - 2019 CORK OCR - round the leeward gate-20190819-4741-WM-1500.jpg
Getting a good start. In the center of the photo here - 215019.

Getting a good start. In the center of the photo here - 215019.

I finished up the summer regatta season with a 9th place finish at CORK OCR / Sail Canada Senior Championships. I was ecstatic to be sailing back in Canada on fresh water and in reasonable temperatures. A trying 4 days saw all sorts of conditions from light to heavy winds. While I was disappointed with my finish due to my inconsistency in results I managed to have another regatta with consistently strong starts. While unsatisfied I recognize my improvement from 12th place last year and have identified more areas for improvement on my journey to the top.

I am really grateful for the support from everyone to pursue my lofty goals, especially my parents who were on the water watching and mum managed to get some great photos as always!

Keeping good company upwind. Just to leeward of me in this shot is fellow Canadian Sailing Development Squad teammate and winner of the regatta Luke Ruitenberg (214514).

Keeping good company upwind. Just to leeward of me in this shot is fellow Canadian Sailing Development Squad teammate and winner of the regatta Luke Ruitenberg (214514).

Next up I’m staying in Kingston while I prepare for U21 Worlds this fall.

2019 CORK OCR RESULTS
PHOTOS




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2019 ILCA / COLIE SAILS LASER NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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2019 ILCA / COLIE SAILS LASER NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Third from the boat in this photo of one of the starts. PHOTO: Pete Buoy

Third from the boat in this photo of one of the starts.
PHOTO: Pete Buoy

I just finished up my first Laser North American Championships in Brant Beach, New Jersey. I finished up 8th out of 40 competitors in the sweltering conditions on Manahawkin Bay. I think I could have done better with a more acute focus on managing my heat better through hydration and fuelling. I will make this a focus point for my next regatta, CORK OCR and Sail Canada Senior Championships in Kingston, Ontario. In the meantime I am taking some time off and competing in the Kingston Triathlon before getting back on the water next week.

Perhaps the haze on the horizon hints at just how steamy the conditions were.  PHOTO: Pete Buoy

Perhaps the haze on the horizon hints at just how steamy the conditions were.
PHOTO: Pete Buoy

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2019 KIEL WEEK

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2019 KIEL WEEK

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

I’m happy to report that Kiel week went very well this year! I kept up my building momentum from both Canadians and Europeans. My focus goal for this event was to have solid starts, and I managed that in 7/9 races leading to good results. The other two races I had a little too good of a start and received a BFD (scored as DNC by the race committee) and the other I got rolled quickly. After two days of heavy wind and two days of light wind, I finished the regatta in 18th place out of 60 sailors. I am proud of my result, as I met my goal of finishing in the top half. I think with a stronger 2nd day when it was windy with chop from all directions I could have made the medal race. I am keen to focus on improving my boat speed in those conditions so that next time there is a similar level fleet I ensure my participation in the race on the final day which is often broadcasted so everyone at home can watch.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

Next up I’m off to the Laser North American Championships in Brant Beach, New Jersey where I hope to represent Port Credit Yacht Club and Canada near the top of the podium.


2019 KIEL WEEK RESULTS

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2019 ILCA LASER CANADIANS / IAN BRUCE MEMORIAL REGATTA

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2019 ILCA LASER CANADIANS / IAN BRUCE MEMORIAL REGATTA

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PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

I just got back to Kingston from the Laser Canadian Championships in Beaconsfield, Quebec. We didn’t manage to get off any races yesterday (Sunday) due to a lack of wind caused by rain. This did however leave me to win the regatta! After 2 days, 6 races and 8 points in mostly light conditions I was tied with Canadian Sailing Development Squad (CSDS) member Hugh Macrae. However I held the tie breaker since I had the last bullet and we had an identical scoreline of 1, 1, 1, 2, 3. I am ecstatic to be able to call myself Canadian champion for the next year. Congratulations to Hugh, and CSDS member Matti Muru for rounding out the podium in 3rd.

RESULTS

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

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2019 LASER SENIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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2019 LASER SENIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Duro Marina - host for the 2019 Laser European Championship

Duro Marina - host for the 2019 Laser European Championship

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I have just returned from the hardest and longest event I’ve ever competed in. The Laser Senior European Championships just wrapped up in Porto, Portugal this past Saturday. Six days of racing against the best in the world was an incredible learning experience. From frustration in light winds over the first couple days to gruelling 23-minute upwinds in 20 knots in the last few the event offered every challenge imaginable.

I finished 127 out of 162 competitors and 5th Canadian. I was very pleased to have my best races come on the last two days in the heaviest winds of the event. This gave me confidence in my ability in the conditions I don’t generally favour. This event made me realize how much stronger these European fleets are and how much more time I need to spend starting next to the best to beat them.

RESULTS

Good starts were my goal and they were key to doing well. This photograph captures one of my starts in the qualifying races. (middle of photo - sail #215019)

Good starts were my goal and they were key to doing well. This photograph captures one of my starts in the qualifying races. (middle of photo - sail #215019)

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2019 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST

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2019 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST

Over Reading Week I continued the longstanding tradition of going down to Clearwater, Florida for the Laser Midwinter East Championships.

LIAM BRUCE - 2019 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST - Liam Bruce Upwind sparkling water -20190224-7297-WM-1500.jpg

Overall I had a really positive event finishing in 11th place, my best finish ever by a significant margin. I improved on my finish of 24th (24/45) last year; however, the fleet was stronger last year. I had great starts all regatta and had the opportunity to duke it out at the front of the pack on numerous occasions. I had multiple top 5 finishes and feel with some better consistency in game planning and speed I could have moved up the tight leaderboard. I leave this regatta with a great motivation to improve my fitness over the next couple of months in the gym and prepare myself for my next event, the Senior European Championships in May.

In the lead coming into the second windward mark - crossing just behind me on port is Chris Barnard (USA 210780) US Sailing Team member and winner of the regatta.

In the lead coming into the second windward mark - crossing just behind me on port is Chris Barnard (USA 210780) US Sailing Team member and winner of the regatta.

A link to results can be found below, shoutout to my mom for taking some great pics!

RESULTS
PHOTOS

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2019 HEMPEL WORLD CUP SERIES MIAMI

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2019 HEMPEL WORLD CUP SERIES MIAMI

Last week I had the opportunity to represent Port Credit Yacht Club, the Ontario Sailing Team and Canada on the world stage at the Hempel Sailing World Cup Series - Miami. This was an incredible experience to line up beside some of the best in the world relatively close to home.

Liam Bruce (CAN 215019), Josh Armit (NZL 212259) and Rob Davis (CAN 211542)

Liam Bruce (CAN 215019), Josh Armit (NZL 212259) and Rob Davis (CAN 211542)

The regatta brought forth numerous challenges from long 7 hour days in the grueling heat to tricky light winds that were often affected by clouds. With such a high caliber fleet, I was well aware that the qualifying series was going to be a challenge. Being my first world cup event, I dealt with some serious nerves that lead to a few poor nights of sleep resulting in me making some big mistakes in the qualifying races. I ended up deep in the silver fleet after a trying qualifying series.

Laser fleet downwind leg. My Ontario Sailing Teammate James Juhasz visible in the center of the photo.

Laser fleet downwind leg. My Ontario Sailing Teammate James Juhasz visible in the center of the photo.

However, for the rest of the event, I found a good relaxed groove that allowed me to leave the experience very positive and excited for what the future holds. I finished up 76th of 101 boats and I am looking forward to getting back out there again at Laser Midwinters East in Clearwater at the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m back at school in Kingston training hard in the gym.

RESULTS

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2019 LAUDERDALE OCR/ US NATIONALS/ CANADIAN PAN AM QUALIFIER

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2019 LAUDERDALE OCR/ US NATIONALS/ CANADIAN PAN AM QUALIFIER

Leeward mark rounding (new sail number 215019) with fellow Canadian and 2016 Canadian Olympian Lee Parkhill (sail number 208869). Photo Credit: Coach Chris Cowan

Leeward mark rounding (new sail number 215019) with fellow Canadian and 2016 Canadian Olympian Lee Parkhill (sail number 208869).
Photo Credit: Coach Chris Cowan

Lauderdale OCR and US nationals was a very competitive event this year in the lead up to Sailing World Cup Miami. Additionally, it was the Canadian qualifier for the Pan-Am Games. This means that the top finishing Canadian would go to Lima, Peru this summer and represent Canada. This brought an added pressure to the event and 15 Canadian sailors.

Photo Credit: David Sloan

Photo Credit: David Sloan

I was proud of my consistency throughout the regatta however every time I was in a good position to finish well I would make a mistake that was easily capitalized on by the strong sailors around me. I finished 26th out of 54 sailors, improving on my 36th place finish from last year and 4th junior (under 21). I think my big takeaways from this regatta have to do with simplifying my decision making when around more experienced sailors. Instead of trying to outsmart them I need to stay with them and trust my own speed and my ability to not to make boat handling mistakes.

Congratulations to Canadian Sailing Team athletes Robert Davis in laser and Sarah Douglas in radial for winning the spots for Pan-Ams this summer.

You can check out the results at the link below.

RESULTS

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WRAP UP 2018 - WELCOME 2019

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WRAP UP 2018 - WELCOME 2019

WRAPPED 2018 UP WITH ONE LAST REGATTA AND KEY LEARNING

At the beginning of December, I trained and raced leading up to the District-13 championships. Unfortunately, I got sick on the second day and was hampered by a bad cold for the entire camp. This limited the amount of time I was able to function at a high capacity on the water but I made the most of it and had a really productive camp working on starting and boat-on-boat battles. For next time I know I need to be more diligent about protecting my health. Doing a 24-hour straight through drive (with someone still on antibiotics for pneumonia) followed by a hard double session in the gym and then on the bike on the first day took its toll. The racing was held out of St. Petersburg Yacht Club and we had a great steady breeze each day in the 10-14 knot range with no shifts. Strong downwind speed carried me to 3rd place however I definitely feel that I could have been more competitive had I been at full strength.

2018 D13 RESULTS

DISTRICT 13 - On the start line and taking advantage of a mid-line sag. (Sail Number - CAN 206038)

DISTRICT 13 - On the start line and taking advantage of a mid-line sag. (Sail Number - CAN 206038)

TWO BIG REGATTAS TO KICK OFF 2019
I would like to wish everyone a happy new year and thank everyone for their continued support of me pursuing my dream. 2019 marks a year of opportunity for me and it is beginning this January with the biggest regattas of my sailing career with Lauderdale OCR which serves as the 2019 Pan-Am Games country trial and Sailing World Cup Miami. Later in the year, I will be working towards the U-21 World Championships as this is my last year of eligibility and I hope to make my mark.

If you don’t already subscribe to my quarterly updates hit the button below to get all the news.

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2018 FALL CORK

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2018 FALL CORK

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Another year, another fall cork. It was great to supplement our fall training program with some racing. This year we got 2 days of light winds. On saturday the breeze was cold and came from the north bringing lots of puffs and shifts. It often would die off during races and required extra focus to stay racing the whole time. Sunday brought a light sea breeze after we waited a couple of hours for wind. I sailed consistently and finished up in 3rd place. I’m unhappy I was unable to defend my title but I was still within a shot of winning going into the last race so I was pleased with that.

Third place this year at Fall CORK. Congratulations to my fellow competitors Matti Muru (center) - 1st place, Justin Norton (right) - 2nd place.

Third place this year at Fall CORK. Congratulations to my fellow competitors Matti Muru (center) - 1st place, Justin Norton (right) - 2nd place.

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CORK OCR

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CORK OCR

I competed in my first Sail Canada Senior Championships from August 18 - 21 in the laser class. From a performance perspective I was unhappy with how I finished - 12th place overall. I opened the regatta with a 10, 4, 13, 1 on the first day leaving me in 4th place so my drop from there was tough. On the other hand I had a great regatta from a focus standpoint. I felt that I was on my game for the whole regatta even though the results don’t reflect that.

A line squall came through on the final day and when the visibility dropped the Race Committee sent us in. It was a quick if wet reach back to the harbour.  (#206038)

A line squall came through on the final day and when the visibility dropped the Race Committee sent us in. It was a quick if wet reach back to the harbour.  (#206038)

I’m looking forward to getting back to school this fall and putting in a strong training block before the winter regatta season. The next key event for me will be Lauderdale Yacht Club OCR in January 2019 which is the selection event for Canada’s spot at the Pan Am Games.

2018 CORK OCR RESULTS
EVENT PHOTOS

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2018 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2018 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

I have recently returned from a very beneficial trip to Europe for my peak event of the season Laser Under 21 Worlds.

On the start line. (206038 - left side of photo)  Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

On the start line. (206038 - left side of photo)
Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

In the week leading up to the regatta, we trained in steady winds from the north ranging from 8 to 20 knots each day. This changed drastically for the event itself as the first 4 days consisted of shifty offshore conditions from the west. Only on the last 2 days did we see excellent conditions from the north. It was a challenging regatta, and after 6 days and 12 races, I finished 67th out of 133 boats. While not as good an overall result as I wanted, I was pleased to achieve a top 10 finish in the qualifiers, and I happily achieved the first part of my goal by making gold fleet. Once there I learned how small the margin for error was in a trying finals series.

Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

This event was a good experience and a significant first step on a long journey. I look forward to returning to U21 ’s next year to improve on my first worlds in a laser standard.

2018 U21 LASER WORLDS RESULTS
EVENT PHOTOS

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2018 KIEL WEEK

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2018 KIEL WEEK

Kiel week lived up to its reputation with heavy wind and cold weather. This event threw everything it could at me from big breeze and a strong fleet to unpredictable racing schedules (delaying us all day then launching us at 7 pm). My results might suggest that I didn’t have a good event but in fact, it was a great learning experience for where I need to be in order to be successful competing in these types of fleets and at world-class events. Not only do you need to have a complete sailing skill set but you also need to be in the right spot mentally to compete at 100%. In the case of this event I was not prepared fully in either category. I did however spend the regatta focused on my starting and saw positive results in this aspect towards the end of the event. I plan to carry this onto u21 worlds in Gdynia! Overall Kiel Week was a great event, a fantastic learning experience and I’m sure I will be back in the future.

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2018 LILAC REGATTA

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2018 LILAC REGATTA

Laser fleet start

Laser fleet start

Chilling at the coach boat with OST Coach Chris Cowan.

Chilling at the coach boat with OST Coach Chris Cowan.

Another local regatta is in the books! Royal Hamilton Yacht Club was our host for the Lilac Regatta.  After no racing on Saturday due to no wind, we sailed five races in marginal hiking to light wind on Sunday. Racing was extremely close, and consistency was the name of the game. I managed to secure the win after finishing in the top 4 every race. I stayed focused on my starts and upwind technique, and this placed me consistently in a good place at the first windward and allowed me to stay in the game every race. Racing in such a small fleet has its own unique challenges but I consider it good practice for the future when I look forward to racing in some medal races.

Honoured to share the Haida Cup Award with fellow Ontario Sailing Teammate Clara Gravely.

Honoured to share the Haida Cup Award with fellow Ontario Sailing Teammate Clara Gravely.

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2018 ICE BREAKER REGATTA

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2018 ICE BREAKER REGATTA

The local regatta season kicked off on the May long weekend with the Ice Breaker Regatta at Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club. We sailed for two days on Humber Bay in varying conditions. The first day brought plenty of wind from the east at around 12-17 knots and waves. I focused on my downwinds and starts in more breeze. I was happy with how I executed these and sailed very well. I sat in 2nd out of a fleet of 12 after the first day.

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The second day brought fluctuating wind strength and direction from the north-west. These unsettled conditions lead to exciting racing with such a small fleet. I fell to 4th place and one point off the podium after a difficult second day. Big thanks to everyone who braved the cold to make this regatta happen. And my mom (Elle Bruce) who was out and took some great photos!

2018 ICE BREAKER RESULTS
REGATTA PHOTOS
 

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2018 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST REGATTA

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2018 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST REGATTA

Elle Bruce - LIAM BRUCE - 2018 Laser Midwinters East Regatta -20180223-3396.jpg
Elle Bruce - LIAM BRUCE - 2018 Laser Midwinters East Regatta - Chris C James - Watching the radial fleet-20180223-3418-WM-1200.jpg

I am recently back from a great training session and the Midwinters East Regatta in Florida. While on my reading week I went to work in preparing myself for u21 worlds in Gdynia, Poland this summer. Four days of solid training with a great group of sailors including a couple of Olympians gave me a clear insight into what it takes to be at the top of this fleet. The four days of racing were filled with difficult and puffy conditions that tested even the best sailors.  That combined with a very deep and competitive fleet resulted in more tough racing. I stumbled out of the blocks on the first day posting poor scores of 35 and 34 in the first two races. I followed that up with better and consistent finishes in the 20s and teens. I finished a disappointing 24th out of 42, but it is important to for me to remember that my focus for this regatta was on process goals and not placement goals. I found I struggled with my starts, so I will continue to focus on this more in the coming months. For now, I am back at school finishing up my semester and will be working in the gym continuing to improve my fitness until I can get back on the water again to train.

RESULTS - 2018 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST
PHOTOS - 2018 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST

Elle Bruce - LIAM BRUCE - 2018 Laser Midwinters East Regatta - leeward gate rounding -20180224-3529-WM-1200.jpg

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2018 LAUDERDALE OLYMPIC CLASS REGATTA / ATLANTIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIP

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2018 LAUDERDALE OLYMPIC CLASS REGATTA / ATLANTIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIP

Mark rounding. 
Photo Credit: Boo Carraway / John Porter

The best fleet I’ve sailed against yet in the full rig and challenging conditions both came at Lauderdale Yacht Club OCR/ACCs last weekend. The three days of racing brought difficult conditions.  A shifty offshore breeze on day one meant my position in each race at any given moment changed drastically.  Day two we had a big breeze and swell that continued to build throughout the day.  Day three with a forecast of wind building to 30 plus knots race management elected to send us out early before things became unsailable.  These conditions were exactly what I was expecting.  

Good sized fleet.  (206038) Photo Credit: Ken Dool

Good sized fleet.  (206038)
Photo Credit: Ken Dool

What I wasn't expecting were those challenges to be compounded by a large, fast and more experienced fleet. With the competition level high, it became a game of precision.  You could be within yards of the top guys, but there would be 20 boats between you.  I made a lot of mistakes and didn’t finish quite as I had hoped but my goals for this regatta were mostly process goals. There is a lot I can take away from this event from a learning perspective, and I will apply these to my next time sailing in the lead up to the Laser Midwinter East Championships in Clearwater, FL. I have a long way to go towards achieving my goals at u21 Worlds in Poland, and this is just part of the process. Thanks to all of those who made this event possible from the event organizers and volunteers to my coach and training partners as well as my parents and supporters.

RESULTS - 2018 LOCR/ACC

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2017 DISTRICT 13 LASER CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2017 DISTRICT 13 LASER CHAMPIONSHIPS

During the first weekend of December, I competed in the D13 Championships in Jensen Beach Florida. I arrived on Thursday and trained for two days with the Ontario Team and a good group of Canadians in excellent conditions.

Pre-Regatta Training. PHOTO CREDIT: Coach Chris Cowan

Pre-Regatta Training.
PHOTO CREDIT: Coach Chris Cowan

Just a few of the Ontario sailors! Matti Muru, Liam, James Juhasz

Just a few of the Ontario sailors!
Matti Muru, Liam, James Juhasz

Sadly the wind didn’t hold up for the regatta, leaving us to compete for two days in lighter winds. The Race Committee managed four races the first day with winds from the east. Conditions were shifty and puffy with little visible differences on the water as the wind came directly off the Atlantic Ocean over a strip of land and down onto our course located on the Intercoastal Waterway.  I had a series of very poor finishes leaving me in 19th after the first day out of 32. The second day brought wind from the north and more stable conditions. I had finishes of 7 and 3, allowing me to climb the standings to 12th. I’m happy with how the second day went and will take that confidence into my next event in January at the Lauderdale Yacht Club OCR.

RESULTS - 2017 SAIL CANADA YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP
PHOTOS - 2017 SAIL CANADA YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP

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