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Sailing World Cup Palma

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

That you for your incredible support of my Olympic efforts! I just got back to the United States from Palma de Mallorca, Spain where I competed in the Princess Sofia Regatta. This was my first my first international ISAF Regatta of 2013 and it was a great experience. For this event I teamed up with 2012 470 Olympic crew, Sarah Lihan, who has two years of experience training and racing on the International Olympic circuit in the 470. Sarah and I spent several days training in Miami preparing for this event.

We experienced a variety of conditions at this event, which made for interesting racing-no two days were alike. Day one of the event was probably the most exciting, with 25 to 30 knots of breeze and 6 foot swell. As a team, we never sailed in conditions like this, but we kept it together and produced two solid results. We actually had a lot of fun racing in the big breeze! As the week went on, we learned more about each other as sailors and competitors and started to determine the best way to work together as a team, using our relative strengths and weaknesses to our advantage.

Throughout the regatta we hovered around 10th place, sitting as high as 7th and as low as 12th, but when it really mattered at the end of day 5, we sat in 10th, winning the tie breaker with FRA 22 and qualifying for the medal race. We didn't know it at the time, but as we fought back on the final downwind leg of race 11, the last race in the final series, we were fighting for our chance to compete in the medal race. Having established overlap on the inside of FRA 22 at the final leeward mark, we were able to round ahead and finish just in front of FRA 22. Had we not beat the French in this race we would have lost the tie breaker and finished 11th overall. This anecdote speaks to the tight racing we experienced throughout the week and the high level of competition in the Women's 470 Olympic class.

The Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma was an incredible opportunity to gain experience competing amongst some of the top international sailors. I learned so much throughout this regatta and I look forward to continuing to improve as a 470 helm and work towards my overarching goal of winning a medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio!

Thank you so much for your continued support. As I am just in the beginning phases of my Olympic campaign, I truly would not have the opportunity to compete in these international events without the support of the Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation.

Thank you,

Sydney