At Christmas 2018, the sailing team sat down and talked about sailing and the dream. We won the National Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Had we now become complacent or too old to become Norwegian champions again?

We then asked ourselves three questions:

1. What is possible?

The conclusion was clear; we were not done and strongly desired to stand at the podium again. The competition was tougher; there were more competitors with strong teams and more experience than us. But we believed it was possible to win the national championship gold again.

2. What does it take?

# We had to have a competitive boat with good sails. We almost had that; with a little less adjustments, we were competitive. Stein took responsibility for this.

# We had to be focused on everything we did on board until the national championship. We had to be in continuous development and into the learning zone. We had done this before, and we tightened up our debriefs and focused even more on taking new steps and learning every time we were together on board. Esben took the initiative and ensured good debriefs where we concluded the development areas we consciously worked on further as a team.

# We had to be strong tactically, especially in better understanding the Racing rules of sailing. Esben became active as a sailing umpire when he was not part of the team and competed himself.

# We had to have engagement, smiles, and team spirit. We had to ask ourselves how and not why continuously. Tellef took the ball and ensured that the focus was always forward.

# We had to get all the focus out of the boat on competitors, waves, current, clouds, wind, and tactical elements. What happens in the boat goes "by itself." Trygve focuses stronger on giving feedback on the "feeling" as helmsman; if the "feeling" is good, we do not need to adjust sails or trim. It freed up the capacity to make the right tactical choices.

# We had to be systematic and prioritize tough until the championship. We did three prioritization rounds towards the tournament, where we made choices that were not necessarily fun but were all important. We drilled into the details that could make a difference; it was ultimately decisive.

And finally, the most important thing: We are one team. We set goals and have fun together.

3. How important is this for us?

We talked well through this point to ensure that the whole team was willing to contribute to the result. Clear expectations commit the entire team to the goal and get the best out of everyone. Yes, we had a good feeling that we would achieve this together.

-> The story

We stayed focused despite being hit by King Harald on competition day two of three, and the boat suffered significant damage. We never gave up, fought for every meter, and were one team throughout the championship. After a round in the jury room where good rule understanding was decisive, we finally became Norwegian champions in 2019.

We are proud of what we have achieved. We have worked hard and had fun together. We are one team, and we are ready for new challenges.

Esben Keim
Member of team Hvergang / Founder of Vital Few

Norwegian sailing champions 2019