January - After enjoying our trial sailing together so much, Bora and I teamed up on a mission for gold in Tokyo 2020. I spoke at the PNW Coaches' Clinic in Seattle and sailed 10 days on the 49erFX. Bora raced Key West Race Week with Quantum Racing (TP52) and raced Sailing World Cup Miami with another crew while I continued my Master's degree.
February - I did three weekends of redeyes in order to log time on the Nacra together in Miami and present the keynote at the US Sailing Programs Symposium on "Making Change and Paying It Forward". That was in Austin, Texas, and the next day I spoke at St Francis Yacht Club, in San Francisco. Bora kept his Moth sailing sharp at the Key Largo regatta.
March - Bora raced with Quantum Racing again in Miami, and then we had really productive Nacra training there with coach Mike Ingham. I finished another quarter at Stanford with an autonomous robot to show for it, and as soon as that wrapped up we were on a plane to the Netherlands (can you say, "Spring Break!" Sunny... not so much). We had our first week on a prototype foiling Nacra 17 which was our initial foiling experience together. We came away really happy as the first team to do foiling gybes on the Nacra 17!
April - Bora and I sailed the Nacra for two cold & wet weekends in Detroit, which was, in fact, my initiation to Midwest sailing. I enjoyed coaching an enthusiastic group of 29er sailors (the youth boat that I raced before college) at the CISA clinic in Long Beach, CA.
May - We logged another weekend in Detroit before Bora went to Italy for TP52 racing with Quantum Racing. We did a lot of summer prep work such as Bora shipping the container to Europe, meeting with our nutritionist, strength coach, sailing coach, a 3D body scan, a sponsor, and of course continuing workouts and physical therapy. There are lots of aspects to an Olympic sailing campaign!
June - After another Nacra training weekend, in the middle of the month I graduated with my Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Phew! Finishing this degree signified not just the end of those studies but also the beginning of another full-time Olympic campaign, and I was raring to go (read: daydreaming of sailing... often)!
July - After collecting our new foiling Nacra 17 from the Netherlands (of the first batch in the world) we began our training in Lake Garda, Italy. It's a stunning location and we were able to log a lot of hours with coach David Howlett and training partners Riley and Louisa (USA) and Santi and Ceci (Rio 2016 gold medallists from ARG).
August - We continued training in Lake Garda, Italy, and then moved to Barcelona, Spain to experience a different sea state. Then we made our way up the coast to to La Grande Motte, near Marseille, France. Unfortunately just five days before the World Championships began, we had a bad crash (pitchpole) and during it, parts of three of Bora's fingers were completely cut off. It was, of course, shocking and disappointing, but I saw so much determination, persistence, and passion in my new teammate.
September - I stayed in France to watch and learn from the World Championships that we weren't able to sail. Bora immersed himself in the rehab and healing process which takes a lot more time and resolve than people may realize.
October - I spent a lot of time in Detroit with Bora, at the gym together and preparing our boat to be its best. Then I sailed the Enoshima Olympic Week regatta in Enoshima, Japan, which is the 2020 Olympic sailing venue. It is an amazing place. I sailed the 49erFX with a skipper from my hometown and we both enjoyed racing and getting to know Japanese culture.
November - Bora and I did some Moth sailing and then we were ready to get back in the Nacra for the first time since the accident. Success! Incredible mental strength by Bora. We attended a US Sailing Team camp (fitness and medical testing, meetings, psychology and team building, etc.) at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (see video below) and then drove all night from Michigan to Fort Walton Beach, FL, to start training there.
December - Thanks to the generosity of coach (and host!) Randy Smyth, we logged solid hours in northwestern Florida at Fort Walton Beach. It was cold but we achieved a lot with technique, settings, and boatwork before moving camp to Miami and taking a break for the holidays.
Thank you to everyone who supported us in our initial year as a team. 2017 certainly included a large and impactful challenge that few teams go through. We would particularly like to thank the US Sailing Team, Bayview Yacht Club, the St Francis Sailing Foundation, the Seattle Yacht Club Foundation, Futuramic, All-Ways, Harken, NE Ropes, and the Sailing Foundation of New York.
We look forward to 2018, doing what we love!