So this is it, after all this waiting the date has been set and we are finally going to start the Mini Transat 2013.
The build up to this race has been so strange; all the waiting has taken away the emotions I felt at the start of the race in 2011. I have felt none of the rushing, the nervousness, the overwhelming reality of putting together a project this big; I have to admit for the last week or so I have not been feeling anything at all and struggling to see a time when the race would become reality.
Now with the start date and time set, I am sitting inside listening to the wind steadily increasing to a howl and the rain pounding against the windows. This thing has become a reality and I can’t help but imagine what it is like out there at the moment.
I am feeling a little sick. It’s not a scared sick but I know this first leg is going to be tough and my body and brain are letting me know that I know.
I have always considered that one of my strengths when offshore racing is my experience; I have sailed a lot of miles and experienced some incredible storms including once getting caught out in the Biscay on a night rather like we are going to see tonight. Although this experience gives you confidence I believe it also can bring on the nerves.
I can imagine the sea at its worst and although I know we will be leaving after tonight’s storm is long gone, the beating at the window is reminding me of what could be out there.
My boat is in great condition, it is a tough little thing and I trust it to keep me safe. I am well fed, rested and ready to sail. The race committee have found us a suitable length weather window to get south and away from the wrath of the Bay of Biscay and I trust their decision. This is my second mini transat, if I finish I will be the first British person ever to complete two.
But you will find no arrogance here; I will have my eyes open looking over my shoulder and never underestimating the power of nature. I love the sea but I respect it more.