Jesse and Zander Kirkland concluded their final race prior to the London 2012 Olympics. The pair have taken time to reflect on preparations and the upcoming Games.
Jesse Kirkland said, “Our month of training has flown by, with our arrival to Weymouth in late May seeming just like yesterday. The sailing at the Olympic venue has been beneficial yet wearing, as we put in a lot of hours on the water in more than undesirable conditions. England blessed us with munificent rainfall as it goes down as “one of the wettest Junes on record”! Weather aside, the sailing was very productive with training sandwiched between two events, the Sail for Gold and the Coaches Regatta. Our goals heading into this important Pre-Olympic training were to: get acquainted (more like slapped in the face) with sailing in Weymouth, get stronger, and above all, refine our 15 knots racing tactics and speed.”
Zander Kirkland went on to say, “In the month we accomplished what we set out to do- we both feel stronger and more confident in the breeze. Weymouth brought forth about every wind speed and direction over the tranche of training. We were fortunate to be granted such a diverse pallet of conditions to get ourselves comfortable and the rig appropriately tuned. It was almost Ground-Hog Day every week, as we were constantly bombarded by low pressure system after low pressure system on the same weekly schedule!...Friday was usually the day when it would blow 40knots+ and we could do nothing but check over the equipment and gym it.”
“The training culminated with the Coaches Regatta which was attended by everyone but the Aussies and Kiwis. It was a great experience to not only to gauge our abilities against these top-caliber guys, but also to observe and analyze the nuances and tendencies of a quality 20-boat fleet. On evaluation of the racing (which saw several days of 15 + knots, with the last day hitting mid 20s), we are stoked to be able to play with the top players. Looking towards the Games, we are optimistic of our chances of getting quality scores if we get a blustery day,” continued Jesse Kirkland.
Zander Kirkland concluded, “So, with the Olympic Venue closed for preparations, we are returning home to thaw out and rest before the BIG EVENT. We are excited to experience a little summer, and to recharge the battery! We will have a little reprieve from each other as I will head out to Hawaii to be a Groomsman for a friend’s wedding. On July 17th, we will reunite in London and resume a week of hard training to get to mind and body back in rhythm with the boat before the Regatta starts on the 30th.”