We had a great week of training in Cascais, Portugal with the Singaporean team Kimmy Lim and Cecilia Low. Just outside Lisbon, Cascais is the most southwestern tip of Europe on the Atlantic Ocean, or in other words, we were as close to home as possible on the European Continent. 

 Write here…

The focus of this camp was boat-handling on very short racecourses. Often times I would set the kite, douse it immediately, then we would do a 360-degree turn around a mark, and re-set the kite again. As our coach Giulia says, “it is us against the boat” in these gut-busting drills. In the 49erFX, so much distance on the racecourse can be gained or lost in the maneuvers that we spend a majority of our time perfecting the most basic things, like tacks and gybes. These drills were designed to push my limits physically, and Steph’s limits mentally. My job is to pull as hard as I can, and Steph has to drive the boat on a course that makes my life easier. Happy crew, happy boat! 

This training also tested physical fitness and stamina. For example, my heart rate one day reached 194 bpm during a short course drill, and was above 180 bpm for 15 minutes of the 90 minute session. Fortunately, as the week progressed, our skills did too and we executed the maneuvers at a higher percentage despite the cumulative fatigue. This means we are getting stronger and our time in the gym is paying off! 

The conditions in Cascais were particularly challenging because the strong, predominant wind came from the shore, so it was gusty and very shifty. Sometimes the wind would go from 5 knots to 15 knots in a single puff, and shift 30 degrees. Needless to say, we did some swimming. But it was a great chance to work on anticipation of velocity changes and smooth transitions, even if that is all just guesswork. 

We sailed against Kimmy Lim and Cecilia Low from Singapore. Their coach, Fernando Quo, generously coached both teams throughout the week. We enjoyed a great dynamic on the water pushing (and encouraging!) each other through six tough days. We are also so grateful for the girls’ generosity off the water as well, lending us a boat, sails and all their equipment. Cacais was a great venue and we are grateful for the solid training. 


Next up is a technical training camp in San Francisco with the US Sailing Team. We are really excited to learn about the new technology developments from the USST and our supporting sponsors, and for the chance to be together as a team. 


Stephanie Roble
Growing Pains in Palma
palma downwind.JPG

Regatta: Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Finish: 28th out of 53

Recap: The European regatta circuit began at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca, Spain last month, and it was a harsh dose of reality for us. In the fleet of 53 boats, we finished just below mid-fleet. We were reminded how much work lies ahead of us, how tough the competition is in this fleet, and most importantly that we absolutely love the challenge of this sport. 

The two-day qualifying series was sailed in light and shifty breeze. We struggled to get off the starting line cleanly, which made the races extremely difficult. We constantly passed boats around the race course, but we definitely made our jobs harder than they needed to be. 

We missed the gold fleet cut-off of top 25 by only a few places places, and had the chance to battle some other great teams in Silver fleet. We focused on small tactical moments, like creating our pre-race game plan and communicating it throughout the race. We focused on small, process-oriented goals to keep our big picture mission in focus: use every race as a learning opportunity and appreciate the small gains. Posting a bad result always tests our patience, but it also is extremely motivating. 

We originally planned to spend a week at home between the regatta in Spain and the next regatta in Hyeres, France, but we decided to cancel our flights and stay in Palma to log more hours on the water. Palma delivered some epic conditions, with big breeze and huge swell, and we were so grateful for the extra time in these uniquely challenging conditions. 

Highlights: Crepe stand next to the boat park. 

Lowlights: A bad capsize recovery on the windy day cost us DNF (due to the time limit expiring). Moving forward, sounds like we need some more capsizing practice! 


A bad regatta result can sometimes be the best motivation to spend more time on the water, work harder in the gym, re-examine our goals and focus on the process. And for that reason, we’re glad to have gotten it out of the way so early in the season! Onwards and upwards! 


Stephanie Roble
Light Airs in Hyeres
pin end start.JPG

Regatta: Sailing World Cup Hyeres (France) 

Finish: 11th of 40 (by invitation only) 


A light air regatta is what the coach ordered and that's just what we got. It was the perfect opportunity to continue working on our light air upwind technique as well as getting off the starting line in a really good fleet. The Sailing World Cup regattas are by invitation only and therefore draw the best teams in the world. 

Results showed a lot of inconsistency in our scores. However, taking scores out of the picture, we accomplished our goal of executing starts. Our coach, Giulia Conti, scores us on each start and for this regatta (11 races) we received an average score of 3.45 (out of 5), with 4 of the starts being a 5. This is a huge improvement from the Miami event in January, where we averaged 1.875 in 8 races. This scoring reflects our positioning and acceleration technique. 

A few of the races we simply chose the wrong game plan which led to higher scores and some races we didn't get locked into our mode soon enough off the line forcing us to tack out, also leading to higher scores. This is the next step for us which will help us produce more consistent and better scores.

Around the course we continued to focus on micro goals to help focus on the process and not the result. At the end of the day, we need to be focused on growing in each area of the course in every condition, our boathandling and strategy/tactics. This is a lot!  One step at a time...

Highlight: that feeling when you crush a start!!

Lowlight: a really bad "low tide" ocean smell at the launch ramp...and the launch ramp itself! 

Progress isn't always linear. We must focus on the optimizing the process and trusting the results will follow. We are keeping our eyes on the prize for the World Championship this summer in Aarhus. 



Stephanie Roble