Jon's Blog

Browse Category

Apr 30, 2021 |
Coaching, 2021 - 2022,  |

Heading back north

It has been a busy few weeks and as I always say, time flies when you are having fun. Hard work and fun can definitely go “hand in hand” and if you are not enjoying yourself when you are improving performance perhaps you are doing something wrong. This winter I have spent my entire time in the same time zone whether it be UK, Vilamoura or Lanzarote...[click to read more]

In the Olympic circuit we usually follow the sun, so in terms of Europe going progressively south as it gets colder after autumn and then returning back north as spring approaches. Despite the postponement of regattas such legendary venues as Palma and Hyeres due to Covid, this has still been the case this winter season.

For sailors and coaches alike variety is the spice of life. We need to produce good all-round sailors as after all how many times do we get to a venue of a major championships to be told the conditions are never normally like this, at this time of year! Of course, we try to prioritise training in conditions we expect at the Olympics, but nothing is guaranteed especially in 2021 and looking back we had mainly offshore winds in Japan for the “Olympic test test event” in 2018 and mainly onshore winds for the “Olympic test event” in 2019*, so who knows what it will be like for the “Olympic event” in 2021?!?

We try to keep travel at a minimum, fewer but longer trips with much needed home time in between. Home time is not having a rest or taking a break but more a mental recharge in familiar surroundings because however great the location and welcoming the venue, time with friends and family is very important.

Looking forward this actually seems a good way of doing things. Less time in airplanes, more time on the water, and coach meetings via zoom from the comfort of the Villa rather than all huddled round trying desperately to hear what the PRO is saying in real life.

We (Tuula Tenkanen FIN and I) have been lucky that we had what now seems an early selection for the Olympic games (given the delay) and have therefore been able to focus on making as much improvement for racing in Enoshima this summer as possible, rather than having to peak for selection regattas.

At the time of writing we have just finished the ILCA European continental qualifier and some classes/continents are still selecting the final few qualifying countries/sailors, giving them very little time for focused preparation. The quality of the sailors who sadly will not get the opportunity to race in Tokyo 2020[one] just shows how limited the sailing quotas are at the Olympics.

Full results from Vilamoura

Time to continue heading north, next stop Holland…

*Sadly there were no events in Japan in 2020

Racing in Vilamoura


Jon Emmett has over 20 years of coaching experience from grass roots to Olympic Gold.