Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interview with Jennifer Chamberlin fresh off Olympic Trials






 Jen Chamberlin gave us a few minutes to talk about her women's match racing campaign in the Elliot 6m with with GETsailing.Two years of racing and preparation got them all the way to the US team finals in Weymouth, England.

What was your favorite event of the campaign?

The final month of our campaign was a really good run, it consisted of two events and two weeks of training. We started off racing in Hyeres, the World Cup Event in France and training in Weymouth and then our Olympic Trials in Weymouth. It was breeze on for the entire month! It was cool to push the limits in the Elliott, this may of  included some swimming, sailing in a hail storm and a few extra days off because it was blowing 50+!! It had been hard to get a lot of big breeze practice and we got our share during this time. Our final month of the campaign we had our goal of where we wanted to be physically and mentally for the US Trials, I believe we meet those goals and put up a solid fight at the end, the results just didn't quite go our way. 





What was the craziest moment during racing you had?

Olympic Trials in Weymouth this May, 2012, Race 1 on Day 2 against Sally... Long story short we spun 4 penalties, we got a 5th but it was offset and still won the race. (To break that down...We spun 4 penalties, a penalty takes about 15 seconds so we spent a minute of that race just doing penalties and were still able to come out ahead).

We got our 1st penalty in the pre-start. We were behind at the top mark and passed on the downwind but got another penalty for rule 17 close to the bottom starboard layline, (We then had 2 penalties, so we had to spin it immediately) we rounded the leeward mark a BL behind. We followed her into the top mark and passed her on her left and were able to gybe across, she got a penalty that offset our penalty.  She was to our left and we gybed for the RC, missing the anchor line by a hair! At this point we got another penalty for gybing too close. We spun it while missing the RC's anchor line and then were given a double penalty at the finish. We managed to spin them and finish ahead. In these type of scenario's there is a lot going on with boat handling and driving so it was a really nice team effort to pull off a race like that! 


How do you enjoy the transition from college dinghy sailing to match racing keelboats?

I've enjoyed it. There are quite a few similarities from Match Racing to College Sailing. Ex. the length of courses, the type of venues (shifty, mostly flat water and close to land), and you have to be able to race at any moment but also expect long breaks. At St . Mary's we called this a lot of "hurry up and wait"  in reference to the regatta format. For example, we could be 1st start at 10am for 5 races in the morning, end by 2pm and but be ready to go at 6:30 pm for a crucial race for a spot in the next round could be a normal scenario. The format of college sailing can be very similar, a lot of waiting around but you have to be ready to perform when the time comes. 

In terms of the type of boat- transition it has definitely been a learning experience. I really enjoyed the Elliott 6m it has a very thin keel, so learning how to sail the boat down-speed and in chop and waves took a lot of practice. 
       

What gear would you not leave the dock without?

SUNSCREEN!, Visor, Tech-t, wet suit shorts or spandexshorts... I prefer grey lenses Kaenon's, Atlas gloves, wet suit booties.. If we are sailing somewhere colder it's a different story... it requires a lot more wet suit layers, thicker boots, warmer hats... 

Where can we find you now?

From the APS Storefront !
I am currently living in Newport, RI for a few months before I moving to San Francisco in the Fall. I am spending most of my time in Newport and my with my family in DC.

What do you like do when you are not sailing?

I enjoy traveling, photography, surfing, biking, cooking.

One thing you wish you would have known before starting the campaign:

Invest in good luggage, nothing is like leaving for Europe for a month and your bag explodes in the DC Metro 2 hours before your flight! After "Fixing" that bag don't continue to use it because my next trip to California at baggage claim it was duck taped together by the Airline..

Don't ever slack on wearing Sunscreen, protect your skin!! Visit all doctors/dentist before leaving...flying home for an emergency Root Canal a week before your World Championship is no fun!


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