Vilamoura Grand Prix
Much as I love Weymouth it is slightly harder to convince yourself to go training in 2 degrees and a northerly wind than when the temperature is in double figures, especially when you need to be off the water by 16:00 due to lack of daylight. Hence my mind wanders back to Vilamoura and the great work Vilamoura Sailing did with the 2020 RSX Europeans and continue to do with the Portugal Grand Prix and hopefully the 2021 470 World Championships.
The Vilamoura training camp was with the Finnish Radials Tuula Tenkanen and Monika Mikkola and top Dutch Coach Sietse Jan. Vilamoura sailing could not have been more helpful and we had a safe and very productive training environment. Travelling south doesn’t only increase the temperature which for the sailors is very important (being warm requires less energy, meaning you can train for longer and less chance of injury for warm muscles), but also the available daylight makes it so much easier for the girls to do 2 sessions in a day (for example a sail and a cycle). The conditions are also much like those expected for the Tokyo Olympic games.
Our first stop in 2021 will be Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. It looks like maybe due to Covid-19 there will be no big regattas for quite some time. So, it is a case of eat, sleep, train repeat. Maybe with a few very informal races thrown together with people who are in the same venue. Anyway, in any normal Olympic year this would be the skills development period, followed by the concentrated fitness block before we go into racing mode with the final phase being venue familiarisation (when the conditions at the Olympic venue be similar to those we would expect to race in).
Jon Emmett has over 20 years of coaching experience from grass roots to Olympic Gold.