The following is the May APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthy hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):
When we last checked in with APS Chesapeake Racer Profile alumnus Bryan Boyd, he was 30 years old, weighed a “wispy” 195 pounds, was training hard to gain mass to compete in the heavyweight, Olympic Finn class, and was headed off to Europe. Last month, we caught up with the soon-to-be 34-year-old, who has gained 20 pounds and launched a full-time Olympic campaign for the 2012 Games in England. The U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) member is off once again for 10 weeks to compete in the Finn class for the ISAF Sailing World Cup events in Spain, Croatia, Germany, France, Holland, and England.
A native of Panama City, FL, Boyd happened upon an old Flying Scot at the age of 17 and began racing it up and down the Gulf Coast. A relative latecomer to the sport compared to many of his competitors who had a 10-year head start in junior programs, Boyd was undeterred by the
lack of formal background. That he went on to become the captain of the sailing team at the University of Florida, head coach at Severn SA, the North American Finn Class president, and an Olympic hopeful show his drive to lead and win.
Even as he launched and ran a large-scale construction and development business in Annapolis six years ago, Boyd has been honing his sailing skills. One of the top-ranked Finn sailors in the country, he has been a USSTAG member since 2002 and won the Finn National Championships in 2004. This past January, he won the medal race at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR.
Boyd qualified for the 2010 USSTAG by finishing in the top 20 at three 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup events—at Palma, Spain (11th), Hyeres, France (13th) and Kiel, Germany (12th). He and his wife Elizabeth Foscue, fellow University of Florida sailing team alum, have put their
construction business “in hibernation” so he can focus on sailing through the 2012 Olympic Games.
The demands of Boyd’s training and regatta schedule will keep him abroad almost continuously through the end of September with the winter months devoted to South Florida training. As part of his team training through USSTAG, Boyd will spend 120 days with a coach this year. “The base level of support on the team has gotten so much better,” he says. “It’s been the biggest game changer for our program.” Although Boyd assures us that racing in Europe has its moments, he says, “It’s a pretty monastic existence. The days are long; you sail, go to the gym, have debriefings, work with coaches, and watch videos. It’s fantastic, yes, but
there’s not a lot of free time.”
As well as a demanding training and travel schedule, Olympic campaigns are expensive. Sails, insurance, and travel expenses add up quickly, and while USSTAG helps with funding, athletes such as Boyd must bridge the gap with private and corporate sponsorships. You may learn more about Boyd’s campaign via his website and blog at bryansail.com. He will keep SpinSheet readers posted on his progress along the Olympic trail.
SpinSheet: What was your most memorable racing moment in 2009?
The first race of the Finn World Championships in Denmark. I had made the decision to be a contender. When I won the first race, that moment cemented my decision to make a go of it full-time.
What would surprise Chesapeake Bay racers about training for Olympic sailing?
What might surprise them is how much of our training is off the water. We spend three hours a day in the gym working with trainers, and our dieticians keep us on a strict diet.
Who are your best sailing buddies these days?
My teammates at USSTAG. The team has really become tightly knit lately. We train together with our own classes and other classes. I just got back from an intense fitness training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, where we go twice a year. We also sail and train together in Miami.
What’s in your gear bag?
Zhik hiking pants, Atlantis top layers, Aigle boots, Kaenon sunglasses on the water, Sperrys off the water, and garden gloves.
Have you downloaded any new iTunes or seen any live music lately?
We went old school and went to a Depeche Mode concert in Denmark. It was pretty funny as I had to actually tell my younger teammates who this band was. I’ve been listening to flashback music on my iPod: REM, Pearl Jam, and stuff from the early 1990s.
What do you read?
I’m a consumer of pulp fiction: Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, and whatever falls off my wife’s nightstand.
When it comes to the Olympics, we hear the Parade of Nations is pretty cool...
The opening of the ceremonies of the Olympics will be in London on July 27, 2012. When you pass through the stadium tunnel and walk out, and they light the torch, you are an Olympian forever. That will be the moment. That’s my dream.