It would be hard to imagine competing in a regatta and winning 7 out of 12 races… particularly a major championship. It would even harder to imagine having that score line and not winning the event too. However, that was how the U.S. Optimist Team Trials went for Bradley Adam, finishing 8th in an event used to qualify which Optimist sailors would be sent to major events around the world during the current season.
Inconsistency plagued his event (5-1-1-26-1-30-1-1-25-1-40-1), but Bradley receives high marks for improving from 43rd the year before. As Bradley notes, “My Dad runs a bunch of Opti clinics throughout the year and he has provided much of my coaching since day one. We started sailing each weekend from the first weekend in March through team trials. It is a small group of 8-10 sailors who are really good and help push one another to the limits. Sometimes my sister Grace and I would go sailing after school without a coach for a few hours. I go to a lot of Opti regattas without a coach and this helps in our preparation. Neither Grace or I had a coach at Team Trials.”
While it was revealing to learn that Bradley did not have a coach at the Team Trials, it was even more revealing to learn what some of the coaches were doing. When asked about what happened in some of the races he didn’t win, Bradley remarked, “Wind Shifts!!! I was on the wrong side of them. I found it a little bit discouraging that some kids had coaches upwind and radioed back to the starting line what the breeze was doing at the windward mark."
What…coaches at the top of the course providing weather information back to the starting area? Scuttlebutt eagerly awaits comments as to the prevalence of this practice at the youth level, AND if anything is being done to manage it.
Source: North Sails interview with Bradley Adam
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