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Hobie Sailor of the Month: January, 2014Luke Muller
Young sailors from around the globe traveled to South Florida for the 68th Annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta (OBIYR) late last month, which took place on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove.
The regatta is one of the largest in the world for sailors ages 8 to 18. The event was held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, with support from the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. This year’s event boasted 689 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries.
Perhaps one of the most impressive competitors was Luke Muller of Fort Pierce, Fla. Muller took home first place honors in the enormous Laser Radial fleet that included 127 sailors. He won 6 of 11 races and won by 14 points.
“I think my biggest key to winning Orange Bowl was preparation,” said Muller. “My coach and I placed an extreme emphasis on training and not always results. I'm usually a full rig guy but with my eyes now set on the ISAF Youth Worlds, I have been training and racing a lot in the Radial. Prior to the event I was working adamantly on my diet and fitness to get as light as I could.”
Muller enjoys the quality of competition in the Laser Radial and embraces the new challenge. “A lot of the top sailors are willing to put up a fight and are relentlessly chipping away or extending. You can't slack off for a second if you want to win a race.”
The regatta also served as another learning experience for Muller and his coach, Chris Dold. “I think I learned a lot about execution and my tendencies when trying to win a regatta. My coach and I learn together as a team and how to best work together every time we are on the water.”
Despite his focus on the Laser Radial, Muller will be competing at the upcoming ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami event in the men’s Laser fleet. His short term goal is to qualify for the ISAF Youth Worlds in Tavira, Portugal this July.
“For now, we are strictly focused on qualification and working every day to get closer to that dream.”