Going above and beyond chasing their dreams
As many of us are stuck in traffic, members of Team BDA are already working out.
The young sailors are due to make 8am at Beyond Fitness Bermuda in Hamilton, but very often the enthusiasts arrive at the gymnasium from 7am, which is well before their designated time.
The opportunity for both Beyond Fitness Bermuda and Team BDA came about after a chance meeting between Shaun Green and Craig McFarlane, Oracle Team USA’s physical performance manager. Once Abby Kermode, the Beyond Fitness Bermuda owner, heard about how her facility could assist Team BDA, she immediately jumped on board and went a step further to train the team for free.
They now have three trainers at the gym: Kermode, a personal trainer and yoga instructor, Green, who is also employed by Oracle Team USA, and April Summerlin, a Pilates instructor.
The three work on ensuring that the team not only increase their strength, but that they also have restorative rehabilitation, rejuvenation and stretch to reduce the occurrence of injury.
Team BDA sailors came from varying backgrounds, some who previously sailed, while others hadn’t, but all needed increased fitness levels to deal with the demands of sailing.
“The men and women who drive these boats really are the engines,” Green said. “So we actually now have a bunch of sailors who have increased their physical performance and a bunch of athletes who have really taken to the water and become sailors.
“It is a great team to be a part of and it has been a great evolution of the team so far.”
Beyond Fitness Bermuda offers many of the same training offered at many of the other America’s Cup teams.
“It’s probably the exact environment that we need, as far as I know it is the only on-island facility that has the artificial turf with the sleds,” Green said.
“Having the experience with the America’s Cup team, I knew what exercises to programme and what the exercises would bring to the athlete.”
At the start of this week Team BDA — consisting of Connor Astwood, Edmund Mackenzie Cooper, Peter Dill, Philip Hagen, Mustafa Ingham, Emily Nagel, Danny Pell, Owen Siese, Dimitri Stevens, Shomari Warner and Ceci Wollmann — became full time sailors.
They put work and study commitments aside to take part in the opportunity of a lifetime.
“They get up in the morning and they come see me at Beyond Fitness,” said Green, who added that the Team BDA members put in between eight to 12 hours a week at the gym.
“They then go to the team manager’s house for breakfast and a team debrief, jump on the team boats and go to Darrell’s Island where the base is and start work for the day.”
The team are then on the water throughout the day, but Beyond Fitness are still with them into the evenings.
“I ensure that their nutrition is right and that they are taking their supplements pre and post sail,” Green said.
“Often it is making sure they are hydrating themselves the right way, even if we are out on the water and it is cold.
“They are really not happy at the moment, as I am making them do a ten minute soak in the ocean after they have finished. It’s that cold.
“Not too many happy, smiling faces, but I’m making sure they are cooling off properly. It is all about their recovery.”
The Australian, who moved here after marrying a Bermudian, was asked if he ever thought he’d be training sailors for the America’s Cup?
“Not in a million years. When I moved here, I didn’t think that I would be dealing with a professional sporting team, that’s not taking away from any of the semi or professional sides here in Bermuda, but no.
“I wouldn’t say that it is a dream come true, but it is definitely something to challenge yourself on a professional level. “It is just great to make something better, being a part of something that really could change so many lives, not just in this group, but in future groups.”
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