Venue training: Working toward Worlds

Published on July 12th, 2018

We are fans of Sarah Douglas who is seeking to represent Canada in the Laser Radial at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Here she shares a look into her life…


Every training camp has two requirements: it’s high quality and serves a purpose. This month focused precisely on those two things. I traveled to Aarhus, Demark for a 10 day training camp in preparation for the Sailing World Championships in August.

Back in February, I had the opportunity to travel to Spain and train with some of the top girls in my fleet. The training in February went very well and resulted with the formation of the Aarhus training camp.

The World Championships is always our peak event for the year and with that, we plan venue training. It is important for sailors to learn about each venue that we compete at, not only the wind, waves and courses but the logistics of the area; where’s the best gym, do we need to rent a car, etc.

So we planned a training camp with some other countries where our world championships will be in early August. I traveled to Aarhus, Denmark; where the sun rises at 4:30am and sets at 10:30pm. Note to self: Always travel with eye shades.

We (Coach Vaughn Harrison, teammate Brenda Bowskill, American Erika Reineke and I) stayed in an awesome modern Scandinavian style house outside the city. We settled in, hit the grocery store and prepared ourselves for the first day of training. The next 5 days were windy, cold and intense training. We headed out with sailors from Netherlands, Poland and Hungary to train where we will be racing in August.

Next was a surprise to us. The Volvo Ocean Race was to come right into the Aarhus port to round a mark in their final leg to the finish. After an early 9am practice, we headed back on the water in our coach boat and got an up-close view of the boats in action.

I hadn’t followed much of the racing this year nor had I seen the boats in person, but it was spectacular. They were going roughly 10knots and we were able to get really close to Mapfre as they came close to shore to round the mark.

After a rest day, we got back to training. The conditions in Denmark were completely different, it was hot, sunny and very light. We made the most of every day and learnt about the local sea breeze that occurs in Aarhus.

We pushed hard for the 10 day block both on the water and in the gym. I am very happy with this training camp and how it showed us how important venue training is.

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