Mckee Minute: Sustenance is Speed
O I’m not known for taking huge risks on the racecourse. With 30 seconds to go until the start of the third race of the Tasar Worlds, my wife, Libby, and I were set up too close to weather of the midline boat. As I sheeted in, it was obvious we were not going to clear the anchor line. In desperation, I tacked, but the boat to windward was too close, so after fouling it and tacking back, we hit the committee boat and drifted back along its side. After completing the penalty, we started up the beat, well behind the rest of the fleet. I felt our championship drifting away.
The day had started better. We won the first two windy races. The second was hard fought, and I had used up a lot of energy to secure the win. I was exhausted. I thought I was in decent shape, and fortunately Libby is, but with one more windy race scheduled, I had to find a way to rally. As we sailed back to the start, we drank water and had a snack. But it was too little, too late. I was less than 100 percent, both mentally and physically.
We were lucky to score 10th in that third race, enough to salvage our series and win our fourth Tasar world title.
This was an important lesson for us with regard to nutrition and performance:
Start the day hydrated and well-fed.
After the first day, we ate a small lunch before going out, and that helped. We also drank as much water as we could.
After each race, drink lots of water and have a snack. If you get behind on hydration, you can’t catch up. Same with food. Even though you might not feel like it, force yourself to eat something.
Manage your physical and mental energy. We had worked really hard, especially in the previous race, where we had been pushed hard right up to the finish. In retrospect, I should have conserved a energy for the final heat. If I had done that, our aggregate scores for the day would have been better.
-- Jonathan Mckee
What you get out of an event can often depend on what you put in.