Bermuda’s Olympic hopefuls Jesse and Zander Kirkland have for the past 2 weeks been putting together their new boat in Mallorca, Spain.
The brothers are gearing up for the first major World Cup Event of the European Season, most of the major players of the fleet are already in Spain or showing up in the next week, thus making for great practice races every afternoon in de Bahia de Palma.
The event starts here on April 2 and runs through April 7th and will serve as a great “dry-run” for the World Championships (Croatia – May 7-12), which will be the brothers Olympic Qualifier.
The Kirkland’s coach Ramon Oliden will be putting them through a week of training to help them continue to refine the new boat, improve their boat handling and analyze their practice races. “It will be good to have him here to start the mental preparation for Croatia and make sure we are approaching the event in the right way,” said Zander Kirkland.
Jesse Kirland said, “The early feedback on the boat is promising. The boat has come out of the box pretty ready to go and we were able to transfer our tuning numbers from our old rig. She feels immensely stiffer (less energy lost and able to hold rig tension) than the boat we were sailing in Miami and the new style wing construction makes for a more stable platform for boat handling operations. Lining up with top teams now, with correct rig tuning, we have confidence to hold our position. That is easier said than done, but if we can consistently stay on top of our tuning, our boat speed should put us in tremendous shape.”
“Over these next few weeks, we will continue to tweak the boat, but also focus on our boat handling and keep our sailing ‘tidy’ (to keep the speed through all turns) around the race course. This is vital to maintain the good positioning that our speedy boat has given us with the margin for error so minimal at the top of the fleet,” continued Zander Kirkland.
Zander Kirkland concluded, “All in all, we are energized about this final stage in the qualification phase and are looking forward to making Bermuda proud over the next few months!”