Fitness is a huge subject within any sport, but within the sport of sailing, it is becoming a greater focal point and fundamental due to the nature of the boats and the way technology has taken the sport.
We see the sheer scale of difference if we compare Americas Cups boats from a decade ago requiring powerful grinders but with bursts of power and speed but then also times of rest and recovery. Nowadays that simply does not exist. The requirement for the power of track cyclist but with the endurance capabilities of a road cyclist, but for the entire body, on a moving platform flying on hydrofoils over the water at 30+knots. Being able to have the physical fitness to push your body through back to back races with a heart rate of over 90+% throughout a race and still have the ability to think clearly, make quick decisions and take in every other variable possible is a huge task but one this class is highlighting.
In our sport we have always known that the fitter, stronger, faster, more flexible you can be will provide significant gains but this has never been showcased as clearly as we see on many a modern class of boat. Platforms such as the Olympics, Americas Cup, Extreme Sailing Series and plenty of other development classes are just the pinnacle of this.
So is there a clear pathway to what we need to do? Well thats the joy of fitness training. Identifying the requirements, setting goals, creating a programme that pushes the limits, while also keeping things interesting and driving for more. Building a programme that encases the key point of minimising injury, while performing at the highest possible level and also all being undertaken when fatigued has to be one of those key factors within any programme.
The use of versatile training systems, and recreating the movements, as well as developing a solid base to work from is the way we are driving our programmes. The use of weights, machines, cardio machines, body weight, battle ropes, tyres, medicine balls and the never ending list makes this also an exciting training prospect but an equally daunting one.
Corker Coaching has teamed up with Fluid Boat Services to help deliver bespoke fitness programmes to sailors moving through the exciting variety of catamarans that are within the market at the moment. The main focus being on the Nacra 15 and the more physical Olympic Class Nacra 17. To give Paul Wakelin founder of Fluid Boat Services an eye opener to what is available, Corky put Paul through his paces with a range of versatile movements that mirrored what was being required on these physical foiling boats. With Fluid Boat Services establishment within the catamaran scene, Corky will work alongside many of the sailors Paul Wakelin supplies boats and coaching to.
This is a hugely exciting time for youth sailors having opportunities starting in Nacra 15's and moving into classes to what many world class sailing platforms as using, but being mentally and physically prepared is fundamental. Starting to develop a strong foundation of fitness and strength within junior and youth classes is critical to providing that springboard, 1.) in opportunity to succeed 2.) a solid base foundation to continue to strengthen and reduce injury 3.) open doors onto many classes of boats that require a large fitness presence.
The sport of sailing is continuing to announce names of World Class female sailors competing head to head across the highest sailing platforms such as the Americas Cup, World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, Olympics and not through their sheer talent but their dedication to their fitness. The Nacra 17 is hugely physical for the crew and with many a top team having their female team mate as the heart of the engine is inspiring to the outright physical prowess required by these athletes. Every athlete who has a dream of making to the top of their sport know the determination, passion, skill, pain and sacrifice that is required and the fitness element is just one piece of the puzzle but is definitely becoming of the larger pieces.
2017 is going to be an exciting year helping develop the sailors of the future and giving them the right information and direction for them to pursue their dreams. If you interested to know more about how we can give you the right programme / information for you to develop then drop with Fluid Boat Services a line or go straight to contact page on Corker Coaching and get in touch.