Pro Take: American Magic Trimmer/Grinder Dan Morris Talks Training with Garmin Wearables

As a headsail trimmer for American Magic’s 75-foot America’s Cup yacht, Dan Morris has a front-row seat to the sea’s ultimate adventure. Throughout his career, the multiple World Match Racing Tour champion has raced at the highest level in the sport, across a variety of classes, including the International 14, 49er, Farr 40 and Melges 24, and he’s always ready for a new challenge.

Before competing in the 2021 America’s Cup series, Morris shared some training insights and secrets with Garmin.

Garmin: You’ve trained with MARQ® Captain and, most recently, MARQ Captain: American Magic Edition. What role does Garmin technology play for you on a daily basis?

Morris: My relationship with my Garmin is an interesting one because I wear it every day, and I can’t go anywhere without it. The fact that it’s easy to use makes it makes it possible for me to utilize it consistently.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check how my sleep was, whether it’s a training day, a race day or a day off. I also check my resting and my waking heart rate. For me, that is a good indicator of how hard I’ve been training, or how much stress I’ve been putting on my body. I’ve noticed that if it’s been pretty mellow, and I’ve had a lot of rest, then my waking heart rate is pretty low, and it’s pretty consistent. If it’s been a big week or a big two weeks, and we’ve been just training in the gym, training on the water and pushing or even racing, I’ve found that my resting heart rate or waking heart rate is actually maybe 10 beats faster than normal, and that’s a great indicator that I need some rest and to make rest a priority.

Garmin: How does wearable technology help you and your American Magic teammates train?

DM: Every time we go sailing, I turn on the Sail Racing app, which tracks my heart rate and tracks how hard we are working.

When you’re racing a sailboat or training — because we train the same way we race, and that’s paramount — you always train like you’re racing because you put in just as much effort. After the sailing, when you’re analyzing the boat speed and the decisions you made in the way you sailed the boat, we get to look at the data from our watch. The data tells us our heart rate and the effort that we’re putting in. If you find that you were sailing the boat very nicely and the way you want to win the big race and your heart rate and your effort is in a range that’s doable, that speaks volumes to the way the boat is set up and also to your fitness.

It means you’re at the standard that you need to be at.

Garmin: How have Garmin wearables helped prepare the team for the rigors of sailing?

DM: When we’re in the gym and tracking every session, there’s nowhere to hide, and that gives you accountability to yourself and accountability to your teammates. It’s a simple thing, but that accountability might not be there if the watch wasn’t recording it.

Garmin: You mentioned finding value in wellness features to help guide your training regimen. Tell us more about that.

DM: In addition to looking at heart rate and sleep stats, I’ve started exploring the Body Battery™ function. It’s pretty interesting because, you know how you feel, at least you think you know how you feel. But for me, I’m so fortunate that I really love what I do and I might wake up to a beautiful sunrise and good wind and all I want to do is to get out on the water, but in reality, my body might be worn down and my Body Battery might not be 100 percent because of the past few days if training.

So I’m learning how to use the Body Battery and how to pay attention to that percentage in addition to how I physically feel.


When he isn’t sailing, Morris stays true to his Minnesota roots by playing ice hockey and exploring the mountains through rock climbing and mountain biking.

To follow American Magic’s 2021 America’s Cup journey, click here.

Also, Check out MARQ Captain: American Magic Edition, a special-edition commemorative watch developed alongside the world-renowned American Magic sailing team. MARQ Captain: American Magic Edition is a modern tool watch at the helm of technology, athletic performance and tactical execution.

Created with American Magic in preparation for the prestigious 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA, this watch combines the tradition and innovation that’s long been a part of the sport.


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