Miami time!!

Happy new year everybody!

We had a lovely couple of days off during Christmas and New Year’s celebration, and are now back up to full speed!

We started off the new year at our YC Braassemermeer New Year’s Drink where we had the opportunity to celebrate the successes of our fellow club members and to thank everyone who helped us during the last year. It’s so great to hear how well everyone has done and in particular we are very proud of our club’s victory in the Dutch Team Racing Championships!!

We focused a lot on our physical training during the first week, had a nice little photo shoot at our main sponsor Magic Marine (photo’s will follow soon on our ‘Team’ page) and an interview with the National newspaper Trouw, in which we looked back on 2014 and talked about our upcoming adventures in 2015!

We also paid a visit to Rake Rigging in Medemblik, with whom we have started a new cooperation this Winter. We are designing some ropes that are perfectly fit for 49er FX sailing with the famous brand Lancelin. The ropes are currently being produced.. We are very excited for the result and we really look forward to using them!!

On the 7th of January we were completely ready and super excited to get on the plane to Miami, where we compete in the Mid Winter Championships and the Miami World Cup in the midst and end of January. But before taking off, we had a meeting with two very talented former RS Feva sailors, Manus and Willemijn Offermans (just moved to 29ers), on the airport of Amsterdam. They recorded a little video in which they interviewed us about our latest experiences on our Road to Rio. Last year Nina met the two of them at the general assembly meeting of the Dutch National RS Feva Class, where she told the youth sailors her experiences from being an inspired youth sailor to becoming a member of the Dutch National Sailing team and aiming for the Olympic Games of 2016. Although we both ended our membership of the Dutch National Sailing Team last October, we are still aiming for the Olympic Games and we like to keep sharing our story with the youth sailors and hopefully inspire them to have a lot of sailing fun, get the best out of themselves and maybe one day aim for the Olympics themselves as well! The video will be showed on the general assembly meeting of the Dutch National RS Feva class on the 25th of January. We will definitely try to get hold of it and post it on our blog!!

Now we are in Miami, preparing ourselves for the two regatta’s in January. We are staying in the beautiful apartment of Bill and Jo Mauk, on an Island right next to the US Sailing Center. We are on the 9th floor so we have a superb view over the bay, from every single room in the house!! We don’t want to make people jealous but we also have access to the swimming pool, gym, tennis courts and hot tub that belong to our apartment building!! :-) Thank you Carrie Howe for getting us in contact with this lovely and welcoming couple!

Another great view from our apartment, this time in Miami!!

Our first few days here, we got a lot of help from Hans van Stekelenborg, father of our training partner Lars, who happened to be in the US for business and decided to pay us a visit. It was so nice to have him around on and off the water! He also lends us his rib to use here and allowed us to customize it a bit with Magic Marine branding;-) Francisco is super happy with it and feels very upgraded compared to his last one!

Happy team in Hans' rib!!
Happy team in Hans’ rib!!
The rib has its own floating parking spot in the harbor on our apartment's island, next to this enormous blue yacht!
The rib has its own floating parking spot in the harbor on our apartment’s island, next to this enormous blue yacht!

We were planning to use a our new boat during our stay here in Miami, but unfortunately it has some delay coming over by container ship from New Zealand. We are so happy we prepared for a delay and chartered a good boat from an American girl called Jenny!! Of course we renamed the boat “Jenny from the Block”…;-) We are able to rent this boat until ours arrives, so we can still make the training days very useful! The rental was just in time because all the charter boats seem to be rented out and some teams are very unlucky and have to wait for the containers while staying on shore..

Jenny from the Block training in front of Miami's Skyline!
Jenny from the Block training in front of Miami’s Skyline!

Last weekend the Mid Winter Championships took place. Unfortunately our new boat was still not cleared from customs, which meant that we had to continue chartering our ‘Jenny from the Block’ boat and use the old training sails that we brought. The training sails were really the oldest set that we have, and definitely not suited for speed training, let alone races! Nevertheless we were very happy to participate and rehearse all the things that we’ve worked on so hard for the last few months. We could really see the improvement in our starts, which we were of course very happy with. One black flag and a few big mistakes in the downwind made us drop back a little each race, putting us in 10th overall. After all a great practice regatta and perfect lead up to the World Cup next week!

Our new boat arrived!!
Our new boat arrived!!

Luckily our new boat arrived on the last day of the Mid Winter’s, so we have been putting it together bit by bit and of course enjoying some relaxing time off before we start racing again on Monday the 26th. Everglades and Miami South Beach, here we come!;-)



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