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About Me

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Connecticut, United States
VISIT MY WEBSITE AT www.sailbenny.weebly.com, or email me at bleibowi@usc.edu. I'm an 20 year old college sophomore. I mainly sail Lasers and Finns for now, and have been sailing since I was 8.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 Finn Pacific Coast Champion

Over the weekend, I was up in San Francisco for the 2011 Finn Pacific Coast Championships, where I finished 1st overall. On the first day, fog and a slight drizzle greeted us, and I was able to get a 1, 2, 1 on the first day to put myself in a good position going into day 2. The second day was a bit windier, with the final race building to about 14 knots. I was able to secure 3 good races, including a bullet in the final race to close the regatta.

I am currently in Cascade Locks, Oregon for my last Laser event, the US Singlehanded Championships.


New Zealand Junior National Finn Champion

Good afternoon gang,
Since my last update in Australia, I have started to transition from the Laser into the Finn, the Olympic Heavyweight Dinghy. The Finn is a powerful boat that requires tuning knowledge, tactical excellence, and brute strength. I'm still getting up to Finn weight and probably will be for the next few months.

In New Zealand, I trained in the Finn and Laser and did gym work to prepare for the upcoming events. Here is a quick rundown of some of the major events:

2011 Auckland Championships, Laser - I was leading the regatta until the last race when a throwout put me back to 2nd overall. I was disappointed, but that gave me a chance to make my game even better.

2011 New Zealand Finn Nationals - An event held in tough conditions, I finished as the Junior National Finn Champion

I flew back to Marina del Ray for the Laser Midwinters West, and finished 5th overall.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 3

Day 3 of Sail Melbourne was blown out due to high winds, which is a bit of a surprise considering that Australia gets these breezes pretty regularly. They were expecting gusts of over 40 knots though, which I guess is a bit excessive...



Good afternoon from Melbourne! or morning, I don't know really. We're down here for Sail Melbourne, the first leg of the 2010/2011 ISAF World Cup. All the best in the world are here, which will make for a competitive event. After finishing a final exam, putting my stuff from my dorm in storage, and running to catch my flight, I'm finally here.

The first day of practice was interesting... a good breeze of 20+ greeted us. We hadn't even sailed 40 yards outside the breakwall when my rudder sheared in two pieces! Immediately the boat spun and flipped and I was able to look at the damage. The rudder was dangling by the thin layer of gelcoat - when I went to touch the rudder, it came off in my hand... not what you want in a good breeze and stiff sea. My coach and I spent a good 30 minutes taking the mast down and putting the rig in the coach boat. Better during practice than the race I guess!

For the racing we have mostly had light wind under 8 knots, and of course, a spare rudder on the coach boat. I had a rude shock the first two races when I could not get off the start line cleanly. After that, I was able to pull off a clean start at the pin, and rounded the top mark in 2nd behind the Swiss sailor.

Pretty tired, but I have to finish this final paper in a few hours.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gym Time

Over the past 4 days I have been out of the boat and in the gym. It has been good for me to get a few days to focus purely on the workouts, weight, and diet before hopping back into the Laser to prep for Australia.

The additional time in the weight room has definitely been helping... I'm slowly adding a bit more muscle to my frame.

I saw a great dietitian the other day as well. She recommended some key additions to my diet to help achieve my weight goals. I do enjoy eating...

Either way, I have been adding about 4/5 of a pound per day, which is great news and right where I was hoping to be.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finn Practice

Hey guys. So over the past month and a half, I've been practicing in the Finn with my coach Rob to work on a bunch of different skills. The Finn is great to sharpen my boat tuning skills, and it takes a combination of theory and experimentation to get the rig going fast for my very-well-under-Finn weight.

Also, it's a very tactical and tough boat- missing a shift is costly and the boat becomes a beast very quickly as the breeze comes up...

What's nice is that it has absolutely added an edge to my sailing. In a fleet where you are chewed up for mistakes, you can't help but step up the level of tactics and strategy.

In that respect, the Finn has been extremely helpful. It is also been a refreshing change of pace from the Laser for a bit.

Yesterday the Finnster went into storage though, as it had served its purpose. Back to the Laser to prepare for the Australian circuit coming up in December!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Catching up on my posts / 1st at Great Lake Champs

It's been a while since my last post - we've been sailing pretty hard and I haven't had time for much else. After completing training in Long Beach, we drove to the Houston Yacht Club in Texas to train for the North American Championships.

The event was a tough one for me, one where I dropped to finish in 23rd overall. A difficult chop and puzzling geographical shifts kept me on my toes for the duration.

After North American's we headed to Iowa to sail on the lake, learn more about shifty conditions and chop, and get more regatta experience in different boats. I sailed MC-Scows and C-Scows and even hopped in on local races.

We then headed down to Kansas for the District 16 Championships. Going into the last day, I was leading by a slim margin until during the pre-start of the last race, I was involved in a collision with another boat. Somehow my tiller went clear through his hull (Why? Still not sure... maybe his boat was made of eggshells or something...) and according to rule 44.1 (b), I retired from the race having caused "serious damage." This placed me off the podium.

Milwaukee was the next venue to prepare for the nationals. It was good to get training time on Lake Michigan for the event. To further my lake sailing and sailing in shifty conditions, we went to the Great Lake Championships in Sandusky, Ohio, an ISAF Grade 2 event. After a light first day with one race, I was lying in 3rd, two points behind the leader. The second day brought more breeze and 4 more races, in which I picked up a few bullets to secure the overall lead in the event. I won the event and there was a clear and distinct improvement in my sailing the shifts.

Nationals was the next event where I had an OCS on the last day to pull me back from 8th and possibly higher to 10th for the final score.

Back to California for more training and hopefully I will be able to fit some school in here and there...