Usually at this time of year I’ve got about five or six different programs all overlapping in my calendar with very little certainty about what sailing I’m going to be doing in a few months time. The uncertainties of obtaining entries to match racing events or getting asked to race on fully crewed boats make planning for a full season pretty hard and as a result it’s not easy to feel like you’ve put 100% into any one thing. This is why the Artemis Offshore Academy confirming last week that they are backing me to race in the AG2R across the Atlantic and the Solitare around France in June is such a welcome relief. It’s easy to find the motivation to be at the gym when it opens at 7am, or stay up late looking at weather forecasts and sponsorship proposals when you can say for sure that it’s definitely going to make a difference in a major race.
Whilst I haven’t been sailing at all in the last 27 days there has been plenty to do off the water. Working in East Cowes tickling up #77 with the help of Tom Dawson, tasting every freeze dried meal available from RTW food, working with ‘ologists’ Pete Cunningham and Neil Weston on physical and mental preparation, not to mention all the planning and logistics needed to make sure we get to and from all the different training venues and regattas in one piece. Whilst the rest of the squad are down in La Grande Motte myself and Sam Goodchild will doing all of our preseason sailing based out of Lorient. The benefits of this being that it’s right in the center of the course for the Solitaire in the summer and also a bit cheaper than trucking the boats down south. The draw back of our plan though will come when we have to chip ice off the decks to go sailing. This is something we’ll most likely find out about as we sail down to Lorient on the west coast of France from Cowes on Monday!