Going Forward

Whig shot- Julie Balakrishnan

It is with heavy hearts to say, that we, Team Rafuse Boyd are now going our separate ways. It has been a long 6.5 months since the Olympic Games, with many emotions and decisions being made. In January, we had our best event finish, placing 5th at the Miami World Cup. We are very happy to have finished on such a high note. We are parting ways on positive terms, hoping to continue our strong friendship.

Dannie:

Since September, I have been attending St Lawrence College in Kingston, ON studying Digital Marketing. I have decided to step out of the Olympic sailing circuit and enter the job market this spring. It has been an incredibly challenging decision for me to leave Olympic sailing. It has been a great experience, having made so many good friends and memories. However I look forward to the next challenge life presents. I wish all the best to my competitors and teammates who are already attacking their 2020 goals! Thank you to everyone who has supported Erin and I over the past 4 years, you have been an incredible asset to our journey, and we could not have accomplished what we did without you!

Erin:

Similar to Dannie, I have been furthering my education over the fall and winter months. I have been taking two courses at Dalhousie University, continuing to expand on my education. Since the beginning of September, I have been weighing my options between campaigning for Tokyo 2020 or moving forward on another path. At this moment, I would like to continue campaigning to Tokyo 2020. Since Miami, I have been actively searching for a new crew. I have had to chance to sail with someone over the past month, testing the waters. We will be sailing one more month together before making a definitive decision. I hope to be able to continue chasing my dream of winning an Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020!

Thank you to all our sponsors who have supported us over the course of our campaign, as well as our fundraising committees in both Kingston and Halifax, and our communities for always being behind us!

Our Sponsors:

Sail Canada, Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, Wind Athletes Canada, Samson Rope, Emma Osborne and Transat Marine / Harken, Helly Hansen, Elevate, Support 4 Sport, Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, Kingston Yacht Club, Colonial Honda, North Sails Yacht Shop and The Binnacle.

As well as a huge thank you to all our event sponsors at our fundraisers.

Thank you,

Dannie and Erin

The following are some images highlighting our past 4 year adventure:

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Big Splash! Racing in Garda

Big Splash! Racing in Garda

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Rio Training and Halifax Send Off

We just finished up a great two week training block down in Rio de Janeiro with our British training partners. Over the first week we focused on boat speed, technique and tested out our Olympic sails. Rio is a very tricky place to sail, and getting consistent technique in the conditions is important (especially on the courses outside the bay). There is very challenging swell that takes a lot of concentration and movement to keep the rhythm over the waves.

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In the second week we began to focus more on boat handling and course strategy. It was great to take a look at the course areas that we will be sailing on and start to get a feel for their characteristics. We also joined in with some of the other teams to do coach lead racing.

On July 2nd we made the trip back to Canada for a quick week (we had a lot going on)! After a day of rest in our respective home towns we met back in Toronto for a send of with Sail Canada, Helly Hansen and Volvo Cars of Canada. It was great to get together with the rest of our Olympic and Paralympic sailors and receive our technical kit for the games.

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After a short day in Toronto, we headed back to Halifax for a send off and fundraiser at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS). We enjoyed meeting with the young sailors at the learn to sail program and an afternoon on the lawn for a media event. We felt overwhelmed by the turn out, including the Lieutenant Governor, the Halifax MP and many more. Thank you for all your inspiring words.

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That evening we gathered at the Saraguay House for a fundraising dinner. The event was sold out and we were honoured by all the support. We shared the evening with the our Squadron teammates, Paul Tingley and the Saunders Brothers.

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Thank you again to both our Halifax and Kingston communities for the incredible support we have received over the last month. We are proud to announce that we have met and surpassed our fundraising goal. This takes a huge amount of stress of our shoulders as we head to our final training camp in Rio. We are down for ten days before returning to Halifax for a week and a half to rest and recover and get ready for the Olympic Games! Races start August 12th!

Thank you again!

Dannie and Erin

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Update Spring 2016

Team Rafuse Boyd have been hard at work!

In early May we hopped across the pond to join our British training partners at a camp in Warash UK. Warsash, close to Southhampton, is located on the river Hamble and has a double high tide. This provided us with very interesting training. We were able to focus on starting in current, and sailing in a different types of chop. Each day provided different conditions and new challenges.

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Once we wrapped up in Warsash, we headed over to Weymouth, UK.  We welcomed Erik Stibbe, our new games coach, and Scott Willgress our strength and conditioning coach to work  with us through the World Cup.

Weymouth provided a small and challenging fleet, with only 15 boats on the start line. Great practice for the games where there will be only 20 boats! Conditions were very light and challenging. Over the scheduled 4 days of racing we only raced on 2 of them, and only completed 7 races by the end of day 4. We saw huge improvements in our communication and were excited with the developments in our light air technique.

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Medal race day in Weymouth was the windiest of the event. We were excited to get on the water and stretch our legs! After a bit of a slow start we came back to finish the medal race in 3rd, and move up to finish the regatta in 9th overall. You can watch the medal race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DljxrjNTyLo FX race starts at 3:16.00

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Following a long intense 6 weeks in the UK we were excited to board a plane for Canada. We both headed to Kingston for our Going to Rio fundraiser. It was a short stopover, but we made it count! We had tv, radio and newspaper appearancces scheduled, as well as a big event planned at the Kingston Yacht Club.

The night was a great success and we were so honoured by the amazing turnout. The live entertainment provided by the Taxi Dancers (Emily Fennell, Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker) with special guest Reid Cunningham really got the crowd on their feet! John Curtis with special guest Alicia Gordon did an amazing job with the live auction. We had a great time!

Here are some pictures from the night taken by Karen Dolan:

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We are now in Rio de Janeiro for our first pre Olympic training camp. We have had an exciting first couple days testing out our new Olympic kites!

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European Round Up

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We just finished up six intense weeks in Spain, where we competed in two big regattas.

The Trofeo Princess Sofia Regatta took place in Palma March 28-April 2. We raced in a 34 boat fleet over five days, working on our boat handling, and executing our maneuvers effectively around the race course. After a slow start to the event we had some great races to finish the event in 13th overall. Full results can be found here here: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall

After Palma we made the quick trip over to Barcelona, Spain for our European Championships. As we approach the games, we will be trialing who our Olympic games coach will be. For this event, we worked with Canadian Team coach Erik Stibbe. Stibbe helped us approach racing in a different way, focusing on different aspects we might not have worked on. It was great to have a different set of eyes on the race course. We spent the event really focused on our starting and communication, two weaker areas in our program. Our pre event training really translated into racing and we had one of our best starting events to date. We also developed specific communication that now works in a much more positive manner.
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We are tackling our sailing one step at a time towards the games, with lots more work to be done. Europeans was very tight fleet racing, and some major mistakes cost us some expensive points. Although it didn’t show in our overall result, we made massive gains in our sailing progress and are looking forward to really rounding out the rest. We finished the regatta in 22nd overall. See full results here: http://49er.org/2016-european-championship/?event_id=6909

Now its home to Canada for ten days rest and recovery, then back to the UK for training and racing!

We spent the event really focused on our starting and communication. These were two weaker areas in our program. Some pre event training really translated into racing and we had one of our best starting events to date. We also developed specific communication that now works in a much more positive manner. We were happy to see these areas improve, however we were disappointed that it did not translate into the over all results. It was very tight fleet racing, and some major mistakes cost us some expensive points. We finished the regatta in 22nd overall, and are happy to have made some big gains in important areas of our racing. See full results here: http://49er.org/2016-european-championship/?event_id=6909

Now its home to Canada for ten days rest. Then back to the UK for training and racing!

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