Sailor Spotlight - Aidan Millar

November 30, 2018 7:15:14 AM EST

Sailor Spotlight:  Aidan Millar

Aidan Millar is fresh off a breakthrough performance at the Optimist Midwinter Championship.  With a focus on consistency and avoiding the big mistakes, Aidan strung together an impressive scoreline - highlighted by a 6th place finish - to make Gold fleet and likely qualify for his first international team.  Now that Aidan has a taste of Gold fleet racing, he's only going to work harder.  So many local sailors put in the hours during the summer and off-season months; it's nice to see their dedication pay off and it only propels them to keep the pedal down and work harder.  Aidan is a perfect example of this.

Name: Aidan Millar

Age: 14
School: Verona Highschool
Yacht Club: Little Egg Harbour Yacht Club

1) Aidan, you just returned from the Opti Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans.  Tell me about the event?  Midwinters at Southern Yacht Club was absolutely amazing this year. It was a three day event in the famous New Orleans, Louisiana. The conditions were relatively light, with winds 5-12 knots the first 2 days and 0-5 knots the last day. The first two days were really choppy due to storms that had passed a few days earlier leaving waves behind. Due to the light conditions and heavy chop, the gold fleet only got 6 races off while the silver fleet only got 5.

Opti Midwinter Results
Gold Fleet
Silver Fleet

2) This year, the Midwinters was also the "Spring Team Qualifier" for international events next Spring.  Can you explain to the average sailor who may not know about the international Opti opportunities what that means?  What regattas are you qualifying for?  A “Spring Team Qualifier” happens once a year at either the Midwinters or another fall event.  It actually rotates so every other year it's at the Midwinters. This event is a qualifier for international events in the spring. You can qualify for one of four events. The first is the South American Championship. Next is the International Palamos Regetta in Palamos, Spain. Then there is the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting. Lastly, there is the Magic Marine Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, Holland. Based on my result, I likely qualified for the Holland trip.

3) You had somewhat of a breakout regatta.  I saw on your scoreline that you were very consistent and even had a top 10 one race!  Congratulations!  What do you think you did well at this regatta to jump up the leader board a little?  Thank you! I definitely felt that this was the best I have ever sailed. I think that there multiple reasons to why I had such a solid event. One was my consistency. My races were very similar finishes, and I minimized risk taking while sailing. Another reason was my new Olimpic Medium race sail. This sail helped me a lot with pointing and speed. I can't remember the time I could point as high as I did!  One last reason was my ability to move my boat through the chop. I had heard that there could be some waves here, so in the training days prior to the event and the CERT training days I really focused on getting my weight back when the wave hits. 

4) You've been training hard with Mike Dowd and the CERT team for a few years now.  Now that you have a taste of Gold fleet racing, what are you going to work on in the future to keep improving?  Basically, what are a couple areas of your game that you want to focus on?  I will continue to work on my consistency and weight movements thoughtout the off-season. I will he also working on my mental game. I can sometimes lose focus during the last race of long days. I am going to work on staying sharp longer and if there is a postponement, relax a little bit so I don’t get tired, but be able to get it right back when racing resumes.  Constantly being ready to sail at your best is hard to do over a long day or regatta.

5) It's hard up in NJ because the weather gets cold in the winter.  Will you participate in any other sports or do anything in the "off-season" to stay sharp?  Do you have any other regattas on the calendar in the near future?  In the winter through spring, I play lacrosse for Verona High School. Also, I do crossfit training. I will be sailing any chance I have, which could mean pulling out the dry suit for some cold water sailing in the late winter/early spring or traveling to sail. In the near future I will be competing in Holland over Easter and Team Trails in early May.



Posted in News By

Colie Sails