Hobart and William Smith Colleges Head Sailing Coach Scott Iklé recently spent some time at ORACLE TEAM USA’s training camp in Bermuda. He was selected by the ICSA to work with the ORACLE TEAM USA coaching staff, exchanging ideas and learning what athlete performance analysis techniques are in place at the America’s Cup level.
ORACLE TEAM USA is the defending champion of the America’s Cup and is stationed in Bermuda, training for the 35th America’s Cup Race scheduled to begin in 2017.
The three-day training program involved four of the country’s top sailors selected by the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association and three of the top coaches from US College sailing teams. The group was integrated into Team USA’s schedule to learn the many facets necessary to put together an America’s Cup campaign.
Iklé and the other collegians were immersed in every aspect of Team USA’s training to defend the trophy at the 2017 America’s Cup. They were housed with host families and joined in on ORACLE’s workouts, meals, and debrief sessions. They also spent time in the boat maintenance sheds learning from boat builders and designers. While the weather did not allow for the coaches and sailors to go out on the water, they were able to sail on land with blokarts. These wheel and wind-powered karts will be woven into the curriculum for students of all ages.
“It was a great opportunity to be a fly on the wall of a team in training for the America’s Cup,” Iklé said. “It was interesting to see how all the parts work together to improve the performance of the boats and the crew. Everybody plays an equal part from the crew of the boat, to the designers, to the guy that sands the boat.”
The Endeavour Program was launched by the America’s Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA as a community sailing project with a focus on leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda, the host of the 2017 America’s Cup. There are three main pillars to the program, first is an educational initiative that will allow students across Bermuda to learn more about sailing through a cross-curricular STEAM Education (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) Program. The second pillar is centered on youth sailing and provides in-boat experience for kids aged 8-12. The final pillar is college sailing internships with ORACLE TEAM USA. It provides some of the top college sailors in the United States with an opportunity to train and learn with the team.
Iklé has been at the helm of HWS sailing since 1993. He has guided the Colleges to 55 national championship regatta appearances and two national championships. HWS won the 2005 ICSA/Layline North American Team Race Championship and then three days later won the ICSA/Gill North American Coed Dinghy Championship. Iklé has been a part of Team USA’s support staff at the Pan American Games three times. He was appointed head coach of the U.S. team at the International Sailing Federation World Sailing Games in Marseille, France.
The Endeavour Program will continue in January when the sailors and coaches travel to the North Sails facility in Minden Nev., to learn additional aspects of the industry. North Sails is the world leader in sail-making technology.