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Dialing the racing mindset at Oakcliff Triple Crown

by US Sailing Team 5 Oct 2020 05:37 PDT October 2-4, 2020
US Sailing Team 470 athletes © Allison Chenard / Chenard Visuals / US Sailing

On Sunday, October 4, the second and final stage of this year's Oakcliff Triple Crown Series wrapped, marking the end of this summer's racing opportunities for the US Sailing Team 470 athletes.

Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) finished first in the 10 boat fleet, followed closely behind by Carmen Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.). In the past two weeks, both boats have enjoyed the opportunity to race in an official regatta. This weekend, the Cowles twins especially enjoyed immersing themselves in the racing mindset one again, particularly in the face of multiple postponements.

"Something that was big for us was this weekend was our mindset," said Emma. "We had some postponements and something that's so different while racing is the mentality with how you approach a day whether you're postponed or not. In practice, very rarely are you postponing for an hour and shifting that mindset to racing again by getting back in the routine of checking the settings and boat speed before the start. You're still in the zone when you're in practice but the mindset you need for racing isn't something you can simulate without a regatta."

Apart from focusing on getting back into the zone during the pre-start, Carmen also appreciated the challenge of training with higher stakes, "When you're going out training, it's not like mistakes are costly. When you train and make a mistake, you move on and learn. While you want to move on and learn quickly while racing, there are always consequences that don't exist in most training situations."

Next, the Cowles twins will enjoy a little bit of time off at home in Larchmont, N.Y., before heading back up to Massachusetts to wrap up their season in the northeast before heading down to Miami for the winter. The Cowles are especially looking forward to the warmer weather training in Miami as they'll be able to reunite with several of their fellow US Sailing Team athletes, albeit from a safe distance.

"It seems like quite a bit of the team will be down there this winter, which is pretty cool," said Carmen. "Very rarely are we all in the same spot training."

Visit the event website to view the full results.

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