Have you ever wondered what it takes to get ready to sail in a totally new place that’s on the other side of the world?
We asked former World Champion, Liz Baylis, how she would prep for an event miles from home and here’s what she had to say:
I like to get to the new venue as early as possible to get used to the weather, find my way around (find the best coffee in town and where the free wifi is), figure out how to get from the housing to the sailing club, and get my sleep pattern adjusted – there’s nothing worse than feeling jetlagged when you’re sailing in an important event (well, maybe not having your luggage arrive would top that!). Even better is to show up really early and get totally settled in – One year we were going to the Worlds in Sundsvall, Sweden, so we arranged to show up a week early and sail a practice event in Göteborg with the Swedish teams in the same type of boats as the Worlds. A great way to get acclimated (figure out how to sleep with the 9 hour time difference and when the sun doesn’t set!) as well as get in some quality practice time.
A real key for me is to bring everything you think you’ll
need to make yourself as comfortable in the new setting as possible. By this I mean bringing things you’re really familiar with:
– clothing (sailing gear for EVERY condition, not just what you expect it to be like – How many times have you been someplace and the locals say “It’s never like this here… You should have been here last week!”),
– food (for an American that’s often peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches and your favorite candy for the long days on the boat),
– music player (to keep that creep from bugging you on the long flight or to help you relax after a stressful day of racing),
– exercise things (not many better ways to relax and help you sleep or help you feel normal than a good workout),
– suncream (the one you know works and won’t make you cry when you sweat),
– even a sleep mask (if you’re going to Sweden in mid-summer),
– you name it and the more you can make the new setting feel familiar or easy to get into a “normal” routine, the better your adjustment will be.
I might have been a bit fanatical in the prep, but I don’t like to be stressed. I like to tick off the check boxes early so that there were no distractions and I can focus on the sailing.