The 49er FX replacing the Elliott 6m quickly became a beacon of hope for the German national sailing team.  With a fixed starting place for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz could boost the results of the German team at the Worlds. Former Olympian Max Groy uses the mental and technical expertise he developed during his own campaign to improve the women’s training efforts.

Max Groy, who participated as a sailor in the 2004 Olympic Games in the 49er, is the coach of ten female members of the Audi Sailing Team Germany. Apart from the 2 World Champions,  Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke, Leonie Meyer/Elena Stoffers, Jule and Lotta Goerge, Ann Kristin and Pia Sophie Wedemeyer bring  new hope to  the national German sailing team. Groy is aware, ”to train a team of ten women in a new boat class is a special task that requires emotional as well as technical expertise."

Crucial preparation phase. When the trained pilot is coaching his athletes he uses data, which is being collected in real-time on site in Rio. The simulation of the best courses through the complex system of currents as derived from the data of the sailing area "is extremely important to be successful whilst sailing in the Olympic area in Rio. To gain knowledge of the current data, no fixed marks are required anymore to be utilised as a reference, but we can use GPS systems. This makes it much easier, quicker and more precise." He always takes his tablet computer along as “there are apps on it, that we developed together with the Walldorf software company SAP. With the SAP Wind App, we can for example detect the exact wind status and existing wind patterns easier and quicker than ever before.“

Technology like a referee uses during a soccer match. "In the high performance sailing sport, it is important to have a very disciplined training on the water. The women's teams especially want to communicate a lot and are grateful for every comment during the training." A radio system, known from its assistance to the FIFA referees in soccer, connects the former Olympian with his sailors on the water, “I can hear what is being spoken on the boat and join in directly and make corrections. That helps me a lot to use the training sessions ideally; they get my instructions right away and without any delay.”

Data instead of discussions. When the sailors are back ashore an analysis of the training follows. During the discussion with his sailors, Groy relies on his "SAP Sailing Analytics" - another innovation for the high performance sailing sport from SAP in Walldorf. Thus it is possible to analyse the sailed course, the speed, wind angles and much more via the computer. ”During the training on the water, you do not always judge the situation precisely and might not draw the right conclusions. From the bird's eye, we pretty much see it all in black and white", explains the trainer. The objectification of each individual’s performance via the computer analysis "I would have wished for that in Athens 2004. But we were way not there back then, where we are today."

Published November 27, 2014 in Sailing