The training build up

Each day the windsurfers would do practice races, some pushed hard, some pushed lighter.  The Korean guy was super fast then, and won most of the practice races.  I had some top 2 races as well and felt like my form was on, or atleast in there with the best guys.  I was excited and I would alternate days sailing so that I had max recovery and built a solid peak for the games.  Windsurfing is the only class in the sailing program that allows pumping of the sail in all conditions.  This makes it an endurance event with our heart rates pegged at near max the entire 35-55 minute race.  This requires tons of training in this “tour de sail” board race over 9 days and separates us uniquely from the rest of sailing.  Not to mention windsurfers usually start much younger and end their careers as windsurfers as well.  It’s a very lively and passionate group and there is much team work between foreign teams because the skills take so long to learn.  I checked my start list for the games, 22 out of the 36 were 2nd or 3rd time Olympians, making me the minority.  15 of the guys competing were European or world champions and made this fleet one of the most competitive and developed fleets out of the sailing classes.  But I always loved how hard this aspect of sailing was, if your not fit enough, your not smart enough, if your not smooth enough in technique your sluggish in balance or coordination.  Call it many things, but I’d consider myself part gymnast, part staged event cyclist, part sailing and I love each of the daunting challenges it contains.