There are a huge number of hoops to jump through to take part in the Mini Transat; it is not just a case of rocking up to the start and having a go.
Most of it is about qualification miles, racing, making sure the boat is fit to race with all of the right safety equipment and making sure the competitor is really aware of what it is like to set out alone with thousands of miles of ocean ahead of you.
Last week I jumped another hoop in my preparations which was to get my medical sign off to show I am fit and healthy enough to take part in the race.
This is one part of the whole mini lead up that I was not looking forward to; it bought back bad memories from last year when with only six weeks to go I went for my medical and the doctor who was on duty that day wrongly told me I had a heart murmur. This was pretty serious and potentially might stop me from doing the race, so immediately I sought a second opinion and on the way to that appointment for the first time ever in my life I crashed my van.
Everything turned out in the end, no heart murmur and I was pointed in the direction of Dr Tommo of Medical Support OffShore Ltd, who provides medical support for racing sailors, including Volvo Ocean Race and Vendee skippers, I cannot tell you what a difference it makes to sit down with a doctor who understands who we are and what we do, what we put ourselves through to get there and what we look forward to when we are out there.
So this year, to avoid crashes and extra stress I went straight to MSOS, sat down with Dr Tommo, exchanged pictures of the boats in our lives and I have been declared fit to race; my blood pressure is a little high but that is a pre-race state, the remedy being to go sailing.
So it is 50 days to go and the total to raise has come down again thanks to a donation through my website…..Thank you!!! It’s now £6900 to raise.
And this weekend I will mostly be sailing. Hooray!!