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Home » Sailing » Volvo Ocean Race: at 14 days to go Team SCA are working on one day at a time

Volvo Ocean Race: at 14 days to go Team SCA are working on one day at a time


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Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA sailing trials in the English Channel. Credit: Rick Tomlinson; .

I think if I see another count down for the start of the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race I will throw my computer out the window.

Team SCA and the six other Volvo Ocean 65’s only have 14 days, 6 hours, and 29 minutes until the start of the race.

In 14 days, Team SCA will end a two-year training period and begin the main event: a nine-month race, around the world, over 40,000 nautical miles, through five oceans, and reaching eleven countries.

In 14 days, we will depart Alicante, Spain for Cape Town, South Africa and say goodbye to our experienced coaches and shore team with the hope that we have absorbed as much of their experience as possible.

In 14 days, it will be just us, out there, offshore, in the ocean, racing against men who took part in their first race before some of us were even a twinkle in our parents’ eyes!

In 14 days, it will be our fierce determination, our training, and our teamwork that will carry us through the challenging times of boiling heat and no wind or the Southern Ocean with massive waves and hurricane force winds.

Countdowns are created to induce excitement, however for someone like me (a newbee to the Volvo Ocean Race) countdowns can also add stress. They can actually be counter productive towards the final moments of training. If I continue to watch the neon clock count down, I will become stressed. I will lose sleep. I will worry. If I continue to watch the count down, the clock will blind me and I will lose sight of the bigger picture: Team SCA, an all-female team, is racing to excel in the Volvo Ocean Race, and inspire women around the world.

However, if I plan accordingly with making lists and taking notes, and I focus on one day at a time, then my nights are restful, my mind is at ease, and work will get done. Furthermore, I will ultimately be ready for the race.

Dee Caffari has taught me one of the biggest lessons in the last few months: be prepared for today and only today. Yes, be aware of tomorrow, but do not allow tomorrow to stress you out beyond the present. For example, if a large storm is in the forecast, prepare for the weather by perhaps having food bags accessible but do not reef your main until the big weather hits, otherwise you will not go fast.

Over the next 14 days, planning, list making, charging batteries, packing, and training per usual is essential but we also must enjoy the final 14 days before the race begins. We must enjoy the sleep. Therefore, it is a balance.

So, we have 14 days to go until the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race begins and our lives change forever. We have 14 days left to absorb information and we have 14 days left to enjoy Alicante. 14 days left to enjoy normal meals and we have 14 days left to pack food bags. We 14 days left to plan and 14 days left to relax.

We also have 14 more days to remain focused and try to stay as mentally clear and balanced as possible. After all, once the race begins, it will be this time—these 14 days—that will set the stage for the epic adventure before us.

By Corinna Halloran, Team SCA


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