It’s easy to find various examples of it; some Opti sailors prefers to focus on trainings on home waters with five to six regattas a year. We can as well look at some Olympic sailors who sail all year long, travelling around the globe to train wherever the conditions are good enough- sometimes they compete in as much as 16 regattas during a year. Analyzing all the data there should be some optimum number- it seems that it’s 11.
Let’s take some time to think how many days of trainings you should plan and how many regattas during a year will help you achieving optimum season, getting the best results and improving your sailing performance.
Let’s have a look at the practices that the best Olympic sailors follows. Peeking at their sailing plans it is clear that there is no one right answer on how to schedule your season. It’s easy to find how important the trainings are and there is one thing that’s clear for all of them- it’s all about the quality, not the quantity.
One example can be a group of the Laser sailors who teamed up internationally. They spend on water between 220 and 250 days a year. They practice in 3/1 blocks: 3 days of training days and 1 recovery day. Standard training day contains bike, gym, or swimming in the morning, about 3 hours of sailing during a day. What is interesting, most of the time they stay in one place, trying to avoid wasting of time and energy for the travels. In the planning time they schedule no more than eight regattas during the year and choose only two of them as the main goals to focus on.
Very strong group of Finn sailors took a different approach to planning the season. They choose a sailing venue and decided to train there for six months. Sailing every day for 3 weeks (unless there was no wind, or it was blowing over 30 knots) and go home for a week of break and recovery. Most of those athletes decide to participate in only 4-5 regattas during a season. Of course, during the training days, they do the practice races very often. This approach objective was to avoid too much traveling and to focus on trainings, tests and improving skills. The main goal was to hit the most important regatta with the peak of performance.
Limiting trips, transporting equipment, a the right number of starts in regattas and focusing on development during well-prepared, systematic trainings seems to be a general trend nowadays. Adding 11 regattas, groupings, consultations, tests and travel time together, gives over 200 days a year devoted to sailing. For some sailors it may be the right solution, others may choose one of the ones listed above. It’s worth considering best practices and thinking about how to arrange your training and regatta calendar for next season.