Feb 15 at Palm Beach saw the biggest regatta of the season take to the waters…  

Feb 15 at Palm Beach saw the biggest regatta of the season take to the waters. All up there were 20 mens crews and 11 womens crews battling it out in what is arguably one of the best ocean racing locations in the world.

With such big numbers there was some fantastic close racing throughout. In fact the kind that makes ocean racing such a challenge and awesome fun all at once!

You can check out the full results and comparisons to previous races here… 2010 OC6 Results Tally v3.xls.

Where to now?
Lots of changes are occurring around training which you read all about on the forum posting, OC Training is a Changing!

Coming off the back of our High Intensity & High Volume Training Macro the Mar 14 Te Ika Nui Regatta is going to be our toughest yet. We’re mentally prepared for that and are going to tear it apart regardless.

Following that we’re going to get faster by dropping the volume and up the intensity as part of our final prep and taper the State Titles on Mar 27 and the Gold Coast Cup 3 weeks later.

Women’s Wrap-up

Crew Things that worked well

Things for improvement

A Crew
Mel Bishop
Annett Happich
Nicola Frowen
Rachel Mosen
Charmian Gradwell
Amanda Wyllie

– Refocussing at each “turning” point (the island, buoys) – treating it as the start of a new race
– Power strokes and maintaining focus in the last part of the race when pulling in other crews.
– More focus before the race so we get the rhythm in the boat straight away (took a while to settle in)
– More blending, ensuring power phase hitting together
B Crew
Di Morgan
Suzy Kong
Lisa Green
Jo Petterson
Mei-Sing Ong
Linda Ng
– When the call for the pushes came, could see and feel paddlers increasing power on the 3-4 push calls, which enabled us to get some good runs.
– Paddlers working well together, talking to each other for encouragement/motivation
– Keeping our focus on technique and power in the longer 2nd leg when we were getting tired. Suggestion was to break the race into 5 “races”, instead of 4, to break the longer 2nd leg up.
– Quick changes, strong on the last stroke, strong on the first four strokes to keep boat run

Mens Wrap-up
Other Crews… Port Hacking improved by 2-4% against pretty much all crews. Cronulla also improved 4-6% against most crews. For SOCCI it was 1-2% improvement. This indicates these crews have either gotten fitter, more skilled or have changed personnel. It’s probably a combination of all three.

Our A Crew… The point of doing this is to try look at PDs performance in this race (ie. a time of 1:25:19) independent of the outcome (ie. 4th place). Given the overall improvements by Port Hacking and Cronulla and the fact they were approx 3% in front at the finish, the PD A crew has performed very well and not that far behind their performance at Long Reef.

Our B Crew… In a simlar way you have to look behind the B crew’s 13th place to get an idea of how they really performed. With gap closing by around 4% to many crews there was clearly a good performance improvement. This partly reflects the huli in the previous regatta but also the almost weekly fitness and skill gains being made by members of this crew. In addition it shows the depth being built amongst the fellas with previous key members of this crew moving up to the A crew for this race.

Regardless of the result there are a couple of things we nailed and a couple of things we’d like to improve on at the next regatta…

Surfing brilliance… both crews had surfing legs which just hummed. Our bodies and minds know how to do it. As we continue to train our minds to stay free of distractions and our bodies to deliver better speed and endurance we will join up these ‘sweet spots’ more and more.

Race focus… continues to be a mens crew strength in 2010. Even when the heat was on both crews were able to keeping bringing their minds back to delivering their best possible stroke in time with the crew while hunting down the next surfing run.

Keeping the canoe dry… two things to improve here: identify potential bail points in our pre-race planning and all paddlers to look at fastening drink systems to the seats and have a detachable clip for the tube. This will allow skirts to be done up high and tight.

Turns… we need to add a tight turn to our repertoire of race skills. This particularly so for a heavy crew in the Pirrama. We will do this at training.

Short Course Wrap-up
Once again the short course got the most challenging conditions of the day!

Special congrats to Stu who took another big step forward by steering is first regatta.

Some of the things the crews did well was keeping the timing together in such tough conditions, good response to challenges from crews around them and all round enthusiasm and positive attitude from start to finish.

As with some of the long course crews, turns are an area for improvement. As per the Long Reef Regatta the other key area is to become more coordinated around catching runs by hutting at the right time, varying the rate with canoe speed. Balmoral training sessions will help you tick all these boxes.