Staying focused at the Marseille Final
jeudi 7 juin 2018
The 212 competitors racing at Sailing’s World Cup Series Final in Marseille, France had to maintain their focus in what turned out to be a frustrating Thursday. Two days of sunshine and breeze were followed by rain and cloud cover passing through Marseille, which forced a morning and early afternoon postponement.
The sailors' patience paid off towards the middle part of
the afternoon when they were summoned on to the water by the race
management team as a slight breeze began to develop.
However a wind suitable for racing did not materialise and, just before 16:00 local time, the fleets were sent back to the shore as the day was postponed.
Delays in sailing are not uncommon and the sailors had to maintain their concentration and rhythm as they waited for the wind to fill in.
London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympians Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson (RSA) used to play chess to keep their mind sharp and focused during weather delays. Those fortunate enough to stay near the venue put their feet up and wait for a call from their coach, while others use the time to tune their equipment.
For Mateo Sanz Lanz, Switzerland's windsurfing star, he tries to maintain his regular process. "I do my usual debriefs with my coach. We still talk about goals and targets for the next few days, including weather forecasts," he explained.
"Whether or not I am racing, I still keep the same food and liquid routine so I don't lose that focus."
Windsurfers exert an extortionate amount of physical and mental energy when they race, so Sanz's intake is certainly more than the recommended daily calorie intake. "I don't have a strict diet but I aim to consume 3000 - 4000 calories per day, spreading it out into four to five meals.
"So I would have 250g protein, 400g carbohydrates and the rest would be vegetables and some fruit, per meal. And just before I go out to race, I usually have an energy bar.
"For my fluids, I usually take one litre of electrolyte replacement mix with me out on the water. I'll probably have two litres a day, minimum."
Israel's Yoav Omer also has a similar routine. "For windsurfing, you need a lot of power and having fruit or power bars really helps just before racing.
"I need around 4000 calories per day and I try to stick to that. But on a day like this, it's harder to eat as I usually do, because I am not putting a lot of strain on my body.
"We arrived at the venue after a big breakfast and we were waiting, so we just snacked on protein bars and fruit because we didn't know when we would race."
On days when the RS:X windsurfers do not race, all of that energy still has to be released. "I would go for a 30-minute run to wake my body up," commented Omer, "then another 30 minutes of stretching. I would then rest and eat well for the rest of the day."
As for Sanz, "Physically, I would go running or cycle for an hour or so. Also, 30 minutes of stretching. I try my best to keep up with my routine."
Due to the physical stresses RS:X races put on the racers' bodies, they can only sail three races per day at a high level. They will resume on Friday to complete their opening series.
The remaining fleets have an additional race scheduled, with all classes scheduled to commence competition from 12:00 local time.