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2014 Update

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Sponsors,

I hope everyone is enjoying this great holiday season! Hope you enjoy this short update as we head into the New Years!

After a great holiday back home with the family for Thanksgiving, I was back on the road again. I drove my car once again from my home in Newport Beach across the country to Florida where the majority of my training will take place in the coming months. It was a long drive to accomplish by myself, but I had plenty of sports radio, audiobooks, and coffee to keep me occupied and awake.

When I returned from my previous training camp in Rio in November, I began the transition of my fitness program, focusing more on muscular endurance. This is primarily done through the help of Jaguar Therapeutics, the designated physical therapist for the US Sailing Team, as well as some Cross-Fit mixed in. The idea is to add a mixture of dynamic, technical, cardiovascular movements in my workouts in order to develop muscular endurance that also demands strong mental focus and coordination. It is an extremely tough transition, but very much loving the switch and am starting to see the effects on the water.

On December 10th, it was time to head back down to Rio for the Copa Brasil de Vela, also known as the Brazilian Sailing Cup. Many other country federations are starting to find comfort in coming to Rio more often, so the competition for the regatta was at a very high level with 28 Lasers as well as competitive fleets in all other Olympic classes. We spent four days training on the water before the regatta started on December 16th and ended on the 20th.

As Rio always brings, we had a variety of wind and wave conditions, racing both inside in the shifty winds, and outside in the large swell. My main focus of the week was continuing to develop my racing "playbook" with strong rules of thumb and moves based on certain wind and current patterns, with particular focus for Rio. I started the regatta out strong with a few top 5 finishes and leveled off towards the end, entering the medal race in 7th overall. In the medal race, I had a great start and led around the first lap with a controlling lead. However on the second beat, the wind went fluky and I hesitated to adjust my strategy to properly control and cover the boats behind me, and suddenly lost almost the entire fleet by the end of last upwind beat. I finished a heartbreaking 9th place in the race after potentially winning and moving dramatically up the standings. It was not to be and finished 8th overall.

Despite this, I was happy with my week of racing, and my playbook is continuing to grow each day. My speed is coming along as well, and I find the more I put myself in strong positions on the race course, the more opportunities I have to go fast in space.

I just finished enjoying the holidays with my girlfriend and her family in Vero Beach as well as coaching CISA at the annual Orange Bowl Regatta, always a great experience giving back to foundations like CISA that were key to my development as a youth sailor.

The few weeks will be composed of heavy gym work as I peak for the Miami Sailing World Cup at the end of January. It will be two weeks of hard gym, followed by tapering work to maximize peak performance and strength for racing. On the water training will begin with a week in Ft. Lauderdale for the Lauderdale OCR on January 17-19 and then a week of training before SWC Miami January 26-31. Afterwards, I will be heading back to Guatemala for another great training camp with my good friend Juan Maegli.

As 2014 closes, my sailing has come a long way in just one year in all aspects of my game, speed, smarts, fitness, philosophy, and self-awareness. Each day I am growing more aware of the lessons still out there to be learned, and am growing in confidence that I can achieve theses goals with the properly placed focus and effort.

Thank you all to have supported me this past year, I think we can all agree that it was a great success and many of my goals were met and exceeded. There is great promise for 2015 and I know many of you are excited to continue to be part of the team.

If you are interested in continuing your support for 2015 with a tax-deductible donation to my campaign, please write a check to Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation, write Chris Barnard in the memo, and mail to:

Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation
720 West Bay Avenue
Balboa, CA, 92661

Thank you so much and Happy New Year!!!

Sail Fast!

Chris Barnard