Miami World Cup
Well I am writing this blog, like so many others, on a plane heading back home from a regatta. This time the regatta was the Miami World Cup, and shortly after landing I will be meeting Tim Hulse who looks after the GBR Youth training for the UKLA (check out his interview on the UKLA Facebook page).
With 18 months to go before the Olympic games the level of the fleet in Miami was extremely high, with some of the normally top performers struggling for consistency. To get to this level requires constant work, continuity of coaching and training group. This is what we have seen with both the British Standard rig squad under Chris Gowers and the Australian Standard rig squad under Michael Blackburn.
Before Miami we were working with Maite Carlier, and Emma Plasschaert who had a fantastic 2018 season and is now being coached by Mark Littlejohn, who actually used to coach me when I was a Youth. Our next training camp is in Cadiz next month and we will also be joined by Sarah Douglas, another name to watch for in 2020, coached by Vaughn Harrision of the International Sailing Academy.
The regatta itself as is traditional in Miami was a light wind affair, dominated by the Chinese Sailing Team who are technically so good in these conditions. They won both Men’s and Women’s windsurfing and it was great to see Eko (Dongshuang Zhang) whom I coached at the same time as Lily (Lijia Xu) dominate the Radials after finally managing to get clear of Paige Railey on points on the final day before the medal race. She then stuck by Paige like glue, with them finishing 9th and 10th in the medal race, to win the Radials.
Eko has also improved a huge amount in recent months in the stronger winds, as we were able to witness this in training but not in the regatta. It is amazing given the high levels of skill and fitness, as you would expect with any Olympic sport, how wide the competitive weight range is in the Radial class.
Jon Emmett has over 20 years of coaching experience from grass roots to Olympic Gold.