This time tomorrow I will be one of around 700 expectant crew gathered from around the world in the Guildhall at Portsmouth to hear the news I have been waiting for since I applied to this race 22 months ago…which Skipper, yacht and team I have been assigned to, as well as which ports we will visit during the race and when the race might actually be scheduled to start. All key information, which once we are informed, will make this race very, very real …and exciting! I could hardly sleep last night for the anticipation.
As I head off to Portsmouth later today I will be reflecting on my responses to the questions we are required to address prior to meeting our team tomorrow. Big questions that ask each crew member to articulate their fears, expectations, measures of success and motivations for their part in the ocean race, so that each Skipper can begin developing their team’s race campaign tomorrow afternoon. I noted that 99% of my personal responses to my fears and anxieties about the race, my personal objectives, measures of success in the race and expectations of myself and others all focused on the relational, interpersonal aspects of ocean racing. I wonder what that say’s about me? I also noted that right now, in the lead up to the race, being on the winning team would be a bonus, because I value good team spirit and crew relations on board more than winning. Tomorrow I might be challenged on that by my Skipper and fellow team mates and my values may change as the race campaign gathers momentum…only time will tell!
For anyone reading this living in the vicinity of Portsmouth, there will be two Clipper 70 racing yachts moored at Gunwharf Quays so that anyone can step aboard and see for themselves what life aboard will be like for the race crew.
Bring your friends and family to tour above and below deck. See what a stripped-out 70 foot ocean racing yacht is like and imagine life at a 40º angle. It’s free to tour, but donations are welcome in aid of Unicef. You can tour the yachts at these times: Saturday 11 May 1000-1900 and Sunday 12 May 1000-1700. Remember to wear flat shoes though!