It’s been one of the toughest most gruelling races of my life. Sailing around the world as a Skipper is even harder than I thought it would be. Teaching sailing whilst running a race campaign is so demanding. You want to be on deck the whole time as you know the more you train the crew the better they become and the better the boat will be raced. That being said, after nearly 1,400 nautical miles of sailing with my team, I'm still so proud of them all.
I'm a racer. I don't know the spirit of competition without trying your hardest. I treat them with the same regard and they have risen and overcome every challenge. Train how you race, race how you train. Everyone is learning but they have been worked liked a professional team. We do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Everyone is in on that. We all respect each other, look after each other and nurture each other. Our sailing family is so united in its goals.
It’s approaching 06:00 UTC and first light is with us. Yesterday, we had epic sailing in white water surfing in 45 knots of breeze. This past night has thrown the other end of that coin with tactical decisions to be made in very still air, sometimes down to just 2 knots boat speed. The concentration on trim hurts my eyes, my mind. We've laid down our hand and are coming into a finish 70-80 nautical miles away now and I have no idea how it will pan out. All I know is we'll keep working until the end.
Nervous and exhaustion spring to mind. It’s so exciting that even when I try I can't sleep, instead watching our heading and poking my head up to give advice. Sometimes you have to leave things alone to develop and that may be Race 2, but for now, people are still learning so much, 31 miles until our next turn marking our last run into the finish. The wind is veering and going very light once more and it's also very unpredictable too.
Keep watching... and hopefully you can share with us how we get on. No matter what the result and let’s make it good, everyone has done so well and invested their all.
A big hi to all the loved ones and supporters and one for all our fellow team members, who will join us on coming legs - we look forward to seeing you and are racing hard for you.
To the Qingdao Sports Commissioner, I hope our performance will live up to your expectations and will stand up for sailing excellence associated with the great city of Qingdao.