It’s my first day off since I joined Team Vestas Wind in August. I’m sitting in my hotel room some what perplexed to do with my time. I’m taking this little moment out from our busy program to let you all know of how to follow our team and where you can see all the photos and stories.
It highly unlikely I will be privileged enough to update this site for the next year. I’m about to go around again, this time albeit a tad bit faster. Definitely a lot less comfortable!
I’m finding it hard to comprehend I was sitting in an architectural office three years ago with a dream. I’m now living it.
It’s impossible to thank all the wonderful people that helped me to be here today and i’ll no doubt leave someone out, so I’ll leave it with thanks, you all know what part you played in it.
A sailor and general all round life coach/guru Paul Adamson said to me as I pulled off the motorway one day, the day I decided to ditch the Architecture and follow a passion and ambition; “Brian like I say, One Life, Live It” Advice I can share and say the same to anyone out there…
Here’s a little bit of the back story;
It was something I really wanted and the opportunity came. I had applied just like the other 2,500 people in February 2012. A job as Onboard Reporter for the Volvo Ocean Race. It doesn’t come bigger and better than this.
I patiently waited for almost 18 months with little to no news on my progress only to say I made it into the top 5% of candidates. It’s not just about being good at your job, (photos, filming, writing) its important that you are motivated to work the toughest job on the planet (as it was described by VOR and I can confirm it’s far from easy). It’ about being good with people too. You need the right attitude.
Pretty much out of the blue it all unfolded. I had a call from Chris Nicholson mid July to see if I was interested in join his late entry team. I think I might have said “Of course” before he finished asking the question. I was one of 4 Onboard reporters he was interviewing.
I had to wait four days for a reply. I got the answer, a thumbs up from the skipper.
The team was being selected. I had to keep it quite, not easy at all. I had little time, in fact I recall having to sort my entire life out in 6 days. I was flying to Southampton to start work with Team Vestas Wind.
We had at least three weeks in Green Marine, Southampton. We put the boat together, started the gym program(I was so far from being fit) and I began to get my head around the fact I was sailing around the world in the most extreme race there is, with the best off-shore sailors you can find on this planet.
I was too busy to stop and process it all. Not an overwhelming feeling my any means. However, I had a lot on and a lot to do.
We did some testing on the Solent and had a photo shoot with the helicopter and TV from Volvo. It was then on the 31st of August we docked out for the last time in UK waters. VOR had set a minimum 2,000 mile qualifier for all teams. We sailed into Alicante on the 8th of September just in time for the cut-off window.
It was a nice change from rain to sun. We didn’t have much time off really, it was a case of getting ourselves and the boat ready for leg zero. Leg Zero is a trail test and a practice for the race start. I had all my comms checks, onboard live feeds etc. The 470 mile round trip from Alicante to Palma, Majorca took us under two days. It was fast and pretty dam hot below decks.
Now I’m sitting in the team base where this morning we took the boat out of the water for a mandatory period of 14 days. This time will be spent doing fleet wide changes and tweaks. All the boats will have new generation camera’s fitted also.
So for now I have a couple days off. I plan on sleeping as much as I can. It will be later this week I start prepping 24 days of food and getting my camera cleaned and serviced. The race is coming around so fast. I wish I had more time.
Still looking for the time to process. I’m about to do the worlds most extreme yacht race. It’s still not sinking in. Maybe it’s a good thing.
You can follow all my online blogs for the duration of the race via the Volvo Ocean Race website.
I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have so far….