Problems, problems

I’ve just picked up my last sail from One Sails; an A5 – it’s perfectly flaked and folded in it’s bag in the hold underneath me and I am flying back to La Rochelle, dying to try it out.

This weekend I spent racing a Sunsail F40, for Cazenove Capital Management, in the Jersey regatta; it has been a fantastic friendly event, with amazing weather, dolphins in the bay and some great racing.

The sail back overnight on Sunday was windy and we made it from Jersey to Port Solent in 14 hours.

Now I am happy to be escaping a wet and windy Britain and on my way back to my reality.

The next few days will be spent with the other sailors from CEM (Centre d’Entrainement Mediterranee) – there is only one sailor from our winter coaching group who will not be competing in the transat – with our coach Guillaume Rottee getting us up to pre race speed.

The programme is to include, exercise, sailing with the boats fully loaded for racing ( including all water, safety kit and food), practice on listening to and interpreting the French weather forecast, check lists for the race, mental preparation.

We are lucky to be part of such a group and to be able to benefit from the support from each other and from a coach. At this stage, one little problem or insecurity could easily escalate and dealing with things sensibly and methodically is essential.

My problem of the week is all about shipping.

In order to get my boat back from Brazil, I need to send out a cradle to ship it back in.

I have a cradle, it was cleverly built as part of my road trailer, a centre piece that is removable and will stand alone as a cradle.

Unfortunately I have discovered that this cradle is too large to fit in the container and ship out to Brazil, therefore I need to magic a collapsible mini cradle out of thin air to La Rochelle by 22nd September.

I have found a possible cradle, at the Artemis Offshore Academy in Cowes, but currently the shipping costs are coming out more than the value of the cradle……….. another solution is required.

Like I said……… keep calm, breathe deeply and don’t let a little problem grow.

CHOSEN FOR THE ARTEMIS OFFSHORE ACADEMY

What an October I am having.

I have been selected to join the Artemis Offshore Academy as an associate sailor, taking my boat along to train with them in the south of France over this winter.

Over 50 up and coming solo sailors applied for this privilege, 32 of us where chosen to attend selection trials in September and out of those a squad of 11 sailors has been chosen to benefit from a tailored, intensive training programme designed to produce a potential winner of the ultimate race – The Vendee Globe (non stop single handed around the world) in 2016.

It is a massive boost to my campaign. Not only will I have access to a training programme, experts, support and advice but I will be sailing alongside some serious talent, giving me a chance to learn from them and getting me one step closer to achieving my own success.

And so now the work starts, I have less than a month to organise delivery of the boat to the Med, accommodation, travel and the hunt goes on for a title sponsor.

My programme of the winter will take up around 50% of my time; during the remainder I will be working to fund my costs in France.

I am unbelievably excited at what the next few months will bring, it is going to be tough to make it all work and I will have to dash between France and the UK balancing my work commitments and my training schedule but this winter is sure to make me a better sailor and improve my chances in the mini transat next year.