It is so wonderful to be back on board Visit Sanya, China (I last sailed on her for Leg 2). I love our boat. It is a happy boat. We are fully crewed with 18 sailors who want to sail the North Atlantic and have waited and prepared for this moment years in advance. Our skills, our experience, our nationalities, languages and accents are divergent (2 Australians, 2 Chinese, 1 German, 1 Irish, 2 from the USA, 1 Scot and 9 English). The English with their varying accents (Yorkshire, Lancashire, Hertfordshire and London,) are the hardest for me to understand.
We want to learn, we want to race hard, but we will take the time to teach all who want how to helm and set up the spinnaker. We understand that in the short term this could slow us down, but we know that the race is long and that we are building a crew that is competent, satisfied and well rounded. Our mantra is: “We are not the brightest, we are not the strongest, we are not the best looking – but we have the best spirit!” And we do know how to laugh at our failures, successes and struggles. Today was a good day for me as I helmed the boat to a 16.8 knot surf.
We will win because each crew member has their place, their spot on the boat that they are best at. But we all know that winning comes from our mutual respect and admiration of our Skipper, AQP and all of the quirks and skills that come with each of us, from wherever we come from and from whatever position we find ourselves at on the boat at crunch time. It’s great to be back on board!
Best wishes from all the crew aboard Visit Sanya, China.