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2013 Summer 29er Campaign

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

Our campaign started in the beginning of September 2012. We were both in the 29er class a few years prior, but sailed with a different team. Connor and I both agreed to team up together because of the particular talents both of us would be able to share with one another. Our training started right away because we both knew that we had a lot to get done to reach our goals. Both having past international regatta experience, we knew this was the year to make it happen. Setting goals was very important in our training process because it shows our growth as team looking back on each month. We both agreed to give it our all this year because we knew if we wanted it enough we could make our serial dreams of being at the top of the Gold Fleet at Worlds real life. Our training consisted of a step-by-step process. With the help of our coach Willie McBride, we put together a practice schedule consisting of weekly workouts and practice out of Long beach for the ideal conditions two or three times a week. Alamitos Bay Yacht Club became our home during the fall and spring. We knew that our long hours of dedication would pay off in the end. Continuing the vigorous training schedule of workouts and practice, growth was evident every time we were in the boat together.

Our summer journey started June 20, 2013, the day we got out of school Connor and I hopped on a plan to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where we met up with our team for the summer. U.S. Youth Developmental coordinator Leandro Spina put together a U.S. team of the top 29er sailors around the country. The first team consisted of Kai Frienski (crew) and Nic Muller from Ft. Lauderdale. The second team was Duncan Williford from Ft. Lauderdale and Matthew Mollerus from Long Island, New York,- and lastly Connor Kelter and I from Newport Beach, Ca. In Florida the team met with our coach Fernando Gwodz, an Argentinian 29er sailor who knows the boats inside and out. Fernando has gotten second twice at Lake Garda Worlds in 2011 and Argentina Worlds in 2012. Having several past 29er and 470 campaigns, Fernando was able to push us in not only our sailing, but also our physical exercise. Out of the seven days Connor and I were in Florida, every day consisted of early morning runs in the excruciating heat, as well as 5-6 hours on the water. By the end of each day, Connor and I were so physically drained that we would go to sleep the second we got home. Connor and I learned so much from Leandro and Fernando and were excited to take what we learned and put it on the racecourse.

After having a week of fitness and time to relax back home in Newport Beach, on July 8 Connor and I were on a plane to Germany to meet up with the team. After several flights and layovers, we finally made it to Hamburg, Germany where we found at that half of our baggage and sails didn't arrive. Despite the fact, we all piled into this van from the airport to our first stop, Warnemunde, Germany. Arriving a few days in advance before our tune of regatta before the World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark the team got right to work. After the 32 hours of traveling, we unloaded the boats and started rigging. We spent a full day sunrise to sunset of rigging the boats getting them all dialed in with all of Fernando's special rigging tips. The team was able to spend one day on the water to get familiar with the ocean venue. The Warnemunde Woche was a three-day regatta that many top teams participated in from around the world before the World Championship. Teams all the way from Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Denmark made up the 35-boat fleet. The regatta consisted of heavy wind and big waves. Fernando was extremely helpful because he hasn't seen the team race before so he was able to critique all of our tactical skills and small boat handling errors. Connor and I were extremely stoked on our performance at the Warnemunde Woche with the result of our first place win!

Our next stop was at Kai's grandmas house, a few hours away from Warnemunde. The house was right on a lake in a small farm town in the countryside. We spent a week at the lake house where the team was able to relax and exercise before we arrive a week before the start of the worlds in Denmark, our main event. At the lake house we were able to get away from the busy schedule and were able to start touring around Germany. The team even went sky diving one day thanks to Are Friesika, Kai's dad. The setting of the lake house was absolutely beautiful, massive trees surrounded the lake and the hills of the German countryside.

After a relaxing week, the team packed up and headed towards Aarhus, Denmark for the regatta we have all been waiting for, the 2013 29er World Championship. The week prior to the regatta was very light winds. Although some of the toughest conditions to sail in, you can never get enough practice in the light air. After a very mentally and physically preparing 11 months of training, the event is finally here. Going into the night before the regatta, Connor and I knew that we have done everything in our hands to have a successful World Championship, and now we just had to prove it. After several years of international experience under our belts, we've learned from our past mistakes to ensure they won't happen again. After a daily routine of waking up at 7:30, running at 7:45, core workout at 8:30, the first day of worlds was just like every other day. Our plan going into the qualifiers was keeping it simple and executing our game plan, but overall playing the percentages and making conservative decisions. We did exactly that putting us in 22nd place out of the 222-boat fleet. Doing everything we could to move up place by place daily, Connor and I finished the 2nd day of qualifying in 16th place. Going into the third and last day of qualifying, Connor and I knew we could take a bit more of a risk in our racing since the position of your qualification carried over to your fleet. And we did exactly that, ending a solid day of racing in 6th place in the overall qualifying series. The team did awesome, all three of us qualified in the top 25.

Conditions were looking wonderful for the first day of gold fleet with big dark clouds producing plenty of wind. Our coach Fernando was very helpful on making sure Connor and I were reliving the pressure off of our shoulders and focusing on the racing. After three races for the first day, Connor and I scored a 4-2-16 winning the day in the 50 boat gold fleet. Both Connor and I were blown away by the competition in the gold fleet, being both of our first time in the gold fleet at a World Championship. The starting line was like nothing we've ever seen before; every boat was bloodthirsty, so it really came down to who wanted it more. Could not of been more pleased with our performance ending the first day of Gold Fleet in 2nd place. Unfortunately not getting the windy conditions we were looking for on the second day of racing, we struggled in the light air. The wind was blowing from the land producing some of the trickiest sailing conditions both Connor and I have ever seen. It was all about keeping consistent results and letting the other boats make mistakes. Dropping a few places after the fifth day of racing, Connor and I sat in 6th place out of the 50 boat Gold Fleet. One of our team members, Kai and Nick move up into third place loving the light air conditions as well as Duncan and Matt moving up into 12th. Going into the final day of racing, the team wasn't sure what to expect regarding what the wind was going to do since every forecast was a bit different. We all went into the last day expecting that anything could happen and giving it everything we had left. A total of three races were scheduled on the sixth and final day of racing of the 29er World Championship. The first two races were very difficult conditions blowing 4-6 knots from the east (the land). After sailing a very clean regatta, we finished the second to last race with a black flag, but on a positive note ended the last race with a top ten. Although very frustrated about the last two days of performance, we both gave it our all and felt that was all that mattered. Ending the 29er World Championship in 10th place, followed by our team members Nick and Kai in 11th. As well as Duncan and Matt having another great last day with a bullet and a second moving them into 9th. Fernando was very pleased with the growth of the team's performance over the month and a half of working with him.

Besides the regatta, the trip was much more than just the sailing side of it. It was fun seeing my old friends from Australia, England, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and many more countries that I still kept in touch with throughout the year, as well as meeting new friends. I can assure that I made friends for life with people all around the world that I would have never met if it weren't for the sport of sailing. On top of that I built a stronger relationship with my teammates and Fernando, which practically became my brothers since I was living with them for an entire month.

Overall, huge thanks to my Grandma Mary for being my biggest fan and following my every regatta as well as my Father Bruce D'Eliscu for all the support. Without them, none of my sailing would be possible. Also a huge thanks to my crew Connor Kelter as well as the support from Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation, Steve Rosenberg at Kaenon, CISA Sailing, and Gill North America.

Stay up to date on our sailing at campbelldeliscusailing.com, as well as pictures from the summer sailing and traveling.

Sincerely,
Campbell D'Eliscu & Conner Kelter