Mckee Minute: Sus­te­nance is Speed

Sailing World - - Starting Line -

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.

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