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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Kirklands Preparing for Olympics Qualifier

The last month has been an exciting and busy one for Bermuda’s Olympic Hopefuls Jesse and Zander Kirkland. Prior to their arrival in Palma de Mallorca, they knew that it was going to be a critically important segment of training as we crescendo towards the Olympics Qualifier in early May in Croatia.

When the brothers arrived they were busy for several days rigging the new boat, ‘Cahow’- she’s looking real good! After sailing 1042 for so long, they long forgot how stiff a new boat feels! The Kirklands are happy to say the masts’ performance during their training have been very promising.

“Following the preparation of the boat, we had 2 1/2 weeks of probably our most productive tranche of training to date in the beautiful bay of Palma. Almost all of the top European boats were present for at least portions of our sailing, constantly allowing us to weigh our progress. Although the weather has been a little chilly at times, we have had numerous valuable sessions on the water in light, windy, shifty, steady, flat and choppy seas. Since there are constantly world-class boats out practicing, we have been able to consistently assess our quality in both speed and maneuvers up and downwind,” said Jesse Kirkland.

Zander Kirkland said, “In the middle of our training, we were able to test our progress in a ‘Training Camp Regatta” that fielded many good teams. The conditions through the three day event couldn’t have been more different from one another as we saw light, shifty winds on Day 1, steadier 8knots on Day 2 and concluding with a real wavy 14-18knots! We ended up finishing mid-fleet with a couple good results. A real standout out for us was our starting and speed. But again, we were plagued with some little mistakes that cost us a few top tens, specifically downwind in light winds. With some good critical evaluating of what went wrong, we prepared for Ramon’s training that began 2 days after the event.”

Jesse Kirkland went on to say, “Our week of training with Ramon couldn’t have been better timed. After feeling a little exhausted after our first half of training, Ramon’s arrival sparked us into form again. With more practice races with quality teams, we again were able to practice our skills- except this time under the watchful eye of our coach. His keen observations of our maneuvers, tactical decisions and sail trim were incredibly beneficial to us.”

Zander Kirkland concluded, “After Ramon left on Tuesday, we finally took a few days off to rest and relax. While European teams can just take an easy 2hr flight home to recuperate, Bermuda isn’t so close! However, we were able to escape the confines of the boat park and explore the other, less developed and more beautiful coasts of the island.”

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