Olympic Reflection

August 20, 2012

We returned home from London a week ago. It has not entirely sunk in yet, but this campaign has come to an end. We competed in the Olympic Games. We put everything we had into our quest for a Medal. We finished 15th in the regatta we had worked tirelessly towards for four years. We are disappointed in that result, yes, but we have no regrets. Some regattas go your way, and some don’t. This was not our regatta. The result does not change the fact that we dedicated ourselves to something great.

We put up two good races on day one. While it was frustrating to know that we lost a few places, we were happy with the results. On the second day, we had two races again, and put up a big score in the first race by allowing ourselves to deviate from our strategy on the first beat. We made up for it by executing in the second race and recording a race win, a highlight of the event. The third day was nothing special, and again we left some points on the board with small mistakes. The fourth day was when we began to give ourselves an uphill climb toward the end of the event. We capsized once, and generally did not sail cleanly. With the pressure on, we sailed well for the majority of the three-race day 5. With four lap windward-leeward courses on the tricky Nothe course, we put up a 2-17-5. The 17 could have been much better. The other races were truly well sailed. After a rest day, we sailed in some very light conditions on the outside course. We found ourselves behind both races and could not climb back. The final day was all or nothing for the medal race. We had a good first race going but fouled another boat on the final upwind leg and had to do a 360. The final race was indicative of much of our event. We just missed one or two crosses, and found ourselves fighting from the back.

Our preparation going into the Olympics was everything it could have been. The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider gave us all the possible advantages to succeed. Our supporters and sponsors did the same. We want to thank everyone for your faith in us, and we want to assure everyone who was behind us that we never gave up. We gave it our all right up to the end. There are far too many individuals and organizations to thank by name here. Please know that we are forever indebted to you, and that we could not have made it to the Olympics without your help in so many ways.

The greatest thing Trevor and I were able to do throughout this campaign was to connect with so many people, especially kids, about the sport that we love. We would never trade that opportunity for any result at any event.

We are both going to take some time off now before deciding what is next. So, for now, we offer once again our most sincere thanks, and look forward to seeing you on the water!

Erik

Storck Moore Sailing


The end of this chapter

August 6, 2012

Being a part of the Olympic Games, even as a spectator is a truly amazing experience and I encourage everyone to try and have it for themselves someday. Over the past few days I have had the opportunity to witness dreams coming true for some of the best sailors in the world, as I sat alongside tens of thousands of sailing fans in Weymouth, UK. While the large grass hill just south of the Nothe Fort sent roars of appreciation to those sailors realizing their greatest dreams in front of our eyes, there are many more sailors returning to the ramp with some amount of disappointment. Consider the Dutch Finn sailor who accidentally made slight contact with another boat as he was moving into position to win the gold medal with only 200 meters to the finish; following his penalty turn he would finish out of the medals entirely. There is certainly a full range of emotions at the end of this event.

 

Erik and Trevor sailed to the Nothe Course on Monday with hopes of putting together a good day and making the medal race. They sailed well during two very tough races, but it wouldn’t be enough. This chapter of their sailing careers had come to a close.

 

As I walked slowly up the spectator hill towards my rented bicycle, I became swamped with emotions for my two friends. Thinking of the countless hours they have put in over the years to get to this point, knowing that they were likely disappointed with the outcome. As mentioned above, very few sailors walk away from this regatta fully satisfied. That said, having watched the sailing over the past few days, every competitor has accomplished massive things to be able to sail for their country at the Olympics.

 

This part is for the boys:

 

Erik,

 

Eight and a half years ago you called me from your dorm room and asked if I wanted to start sailing 49ers with you. I hesitated briefly, imagining if we were actually good enough to even stay upright in a 49er, before saying, “hell yeah!” After three years filled with what seemed like more swimming than sailing, we found ourselves reasonably competitive at the 2007 Olympic Trials. The dream ended there for me, but you carried on. The sacrifices that you have made for this goal are an inspiration that I will hold forever. It has been an incredible journey, bro. We are all very proud.

 

Trev,

 

I knew you decently well as young Opti sailor, but our relationship certainly grew in September of 2003 when you showed up at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. Having spent more time riding tractors than sailboats in recent years, your first season on our team was not all that impressive. Some of our teammates didn’t know who you were and assumed that you would be a nice, middle-of-the-road guy for the next few years. Our coach and I, and most importantly you, knew different. A year and a half later you were a dominant force as we won our team’s only two sailing National Championships. When I decided to move on from 49er sailing, there was only one guy that I wanted to take my place. Your competitive drive and natural talent are inspiring to all of us. We are incredibly proud.

 

 

 

This chapter has come to a close, but knowing the two of you, the books are far from written. It has been an amazing ride, filled with experiences along the way that you will hold for a lifetime. By now, we all know that you are supremely appreciative of all of the support that you have received from so many over these past few years. At this point, I would like to thank you on behalf of all of your supporters for letting us be a part of your dream. It truly was an amazing journey and you two should be very proud.

 

Job well done, boys.

 

Thanks and good luck,

 

John Storck III


Back to Form

August 3, 2012

The Nothe Course put on quite a show today in Weymouth, UK. Over ten thousand people gathered on the hill for some fantastic racing on yet another gorgeous day along the Jurassic Coast. After the Olympic Laser class got the crowd warmed up, the 49er fleet kept the entertainment up with three races. It really was an amazing experience to be a part of.

The race organizers made a slight change to the course in an effort to keep the crowd entertained. The plan for the day was 3 races, each with four laps! Anyone who has sailed a 49er knows that four laps, for three races is a massive task for the crew. When I got that news, I hoped Trevor had eaten a big breakfast.

Erik and Trevor put yesterday’s difficulties behind them quickly and lead at the first mark of the day. Their training partners from Finland battled with them as the two boats extended on the fleet. Their Scandinavian friends capitalized on one shift and eventually passed the Americans. The day on a whole showed the USA 49er team in much better form, as they posted a 2, 17, 5, and have moved back into the top ten.

A well-deserved day off comes tomorrow before the final push for the event. On Sunday, the 49er fleet moves offshore for the only time of the regatta, onto the Weymouth Bay West Course. Conditions out there should be less shifty and more chop and waves. Boatspeed should be critical out on that course. Monday will bring them back to the exciting Nothe Course for the final two races of the regatta prior to the Medal Race. With potentially five races left, the boys are taking things one race at a time and remain psyched. We’ll all have to stay tuned to see how it finishes up.

Settling into things in Portland, UK,

John Storck III


Battling through Day 3

August 1, 2012

As darkness fell on the final evening of July in Weymouth, UK, the atmosphere in town was filled with some anxiety due to many locals predicting a gale for the next day. A strong front was forecasted to blow through the Olympic sailing venue at some point on August 1, it was only a matter of timing. Fortunately, the front slowed on its approach to Weymouth, allowing the 49ers to get two more great races in.

Race 5 of the regatta had the American team off to a great start near the pin and going fast to the left side. As the pressure filled from the top-left, it came to them first, allowing them to sail a lower angle and roll over the fleet to have the lead at mark 1. The next few legs would prove again that there is little room for error in this fleet. Erik and Trevor made no real mistakes from that point, but did not capitalize on some shifts as well as others and eventually finished in 7th. Having lead during the race, it could be easy to get frustrated, but a 7 is still a solid race and the boys were quick to refocus towards race 6.

The fleet battled hard for the pin at the start of race 6 and Erik and Trevor were sure to be in the fight. With seconds to go to the start, they realized that they were running out of real estate and were going to be over. Fortunately, they were only two boats from the pin and were able to clear relatively fast. Good lanes were hard to come by on the first beat and the USA 49er team found themselves in a deep 19th at mark 1. Flying down the first run, they brought themselves right back to the tail end of the pack. Over the next four legs, Erik and Trevor fought hard and came back to a 13. They have to be psyched with that performance.

The Olympic 49er Regatta is allowing for one race to be discarded in the series. That is now in effect. With that in play, Erik and Trevor now stand in 7th position. It is hard to believe, but the regatta is still not at its halfway point! This is a long event, and the Americans have done great to keep themselves in the game. The points remain tight throughout the top ten, and looks to be lining up an exciting second half to the event.

The support from back home is coming in loud and clear, and everyone over here is feeling it!

Cheers,

John Storck III


The pack gets tight on Day 2

July 31, 2012

As myself and other members of the Storck/Moore support team gathered ourselves this morning after having logged some hours in the famed, Cove House Inn last night, the athletes were suiting up for day two of their Olympic regatta. As the 49ers made the short sail out to the Portland Harbor Course, the breeze strength remained very similar to day one, varying between 8 and 16 knots. There were occasional higher gusts during the racing, but mostly stayed in that range. The presence of marine-fog made conditions a bit colder and damper for the spectators, but I doubt the athletes cared.

The fleet showed a priority for the right side of the starting line in race one, and Erik and Trevor got off well from that end. As they worked up the right side, the course began to show more even than most expected. Two thirds of the way up the first leg, the Americans was forced to take one more tack out to the right due to some traffic in front of them. The top-left would soon fill hard, leaving them ahead of one boat at the first mark. In this tight fleet, passing lanes are hard to find. Erik and Trevor did a great job to catch a few boats and save themselves some crucial points over the next five legs.

Adjusting their strategy from the first race, the USA 49er team got themselves off to a great start near the pin in race two. Along with the Australians and the Irish, Erik and Trevor crossed the fleet coming back to the mark and had the lead at mark one. The Australians were going very well, and soon left the other two teams behind. Team USA sailed strong over the next four legs to extend slightly on IRL. Nearing the finish, Australia reminded everyone how difficult these boats really are to sail, as they capsized in a simple gybe. Erik and Trevor, along with two other teams buzzed past the Aussies before eventually recovering to a 4th. Winning race four, Erik and Trevor knew they had done everything they could to stay in contention on a day that saw many inconsistent scores.

Their day two performance has slipped them back to 9th overall, but the points have gotten tighter. With many races still to come, the next few days should be very fun. Two races are scheduled for each of the next two days, again on the Portland Harbor Course. Stay tuned to see how they go.

Go USA!

John Storck III


Solid Day One

July 30, 2012

@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”; }@font-face { font-family: “Cambria Math”; }@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }

We have all been bracing for “proper” English weather for months, but Weymouth gifted us with a champagne day for sailing in front of the Nothe Fort. With temperatures in the mid 60s and partly cloudy skies, the 49er fleet put on a great show for the large crowd gathered on the grass next to the fort. It really is a pretty fantastic experience for spectators, complete with a big screen to keep you up to speed with the other courses, all the concessions you would need, and live commentary that is great as long as a certain Brit is not currently racing in the Finn class; at which point the production becomes a bit narrow-focused.

The Nothe Course, while great for spectators, does present some challenges for the racers as it is tucked in rather close to land. The breeze was steady enough for good racing, but there were plenty of scary wholes on the race course that could leave a team begging for more breeze, while a competitor just a few lengths away could be going much better. Both edges could reward the patience of those sailors that stayed committed, causing tight racing at the marks. If today was a sign of things to come, traffic management will be important as the regatta unfolds.

Erik and Trevor jumped the gun along with a group of other boats at the first start, but were fast to restart as they were lined up to win the pin. Good speed and staying in the pressure climbed them all the way back to 3rd by the first mark. The shifty conditions shuffled the fleet on the Nothe Course all day, and the boys came through in 6th at the end of their first Olympic race. The second race presented more dense traffic and they battled their way to a 10. When asked how they feel after their first Olympic day, Erik responded, “We’re very happy with the day. We clearly left a few points on the board, but we are pleased with our standing and looking forward to lots more racing.”

The next three days of racing will have Erik and Trevor racing on the Portland Harbor Course, which should be slightly less shifty. The speed that they showed today should prove well on that course. Stay tuned!

Cheers,

John Storck III


Rest easy, boys. Olympics in the morning.

July 29, 2012

Our Mom, Wiley Wakeman (college roommate), and I spent Friday evening in a restaurant/bar with some of South London’s finest patrons accompanying us during the spectacle that was the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Though some of those patrons were more interested in dancing under the disco-ball, many were filling the atmosphere with raw excitement.

I was glad to get so many reports from back home of Storck/Moore sightings on NBC. You may imagine that the coverage is a bit more focused on the team that walked last over here, so we did not see either of our boys. Still, it was a fantastic evening to be in London. In an email to his family, Erik wrote, “You wouldn’t believe the energy in the tunnel before walking into the stadium.” It truly must be an unimaginable experience.

With the fun of the Opening Ceremony in our wake, we have all pushed south to Weymouth. Some of the US team had their first races today, but Erik and Trevor had one final day to check things over and enjoy lunch with some members of their supporters who have made the trip.

It has been a long road to this point. Countless nights away from home, thousands of travel hours, good days, bad days, injuries, and many other experiences over the past 3+ years have all prepared Erik and Trevor for tomorrow- the beginning of their Olympic Regatta. They are thrilled to get started and cannot thank all of the support which you have given them on this journey.

Racing begins at 6:00 am EST. Be sure to tune in during breakfast!

Cheers,

John Storck III


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.