Think about all of the excitement and anticipation that you feel on Christmas Eve. Now, times that feeling by a hundred and you will understand what it felt like just before we sailed into Newport, Rhode Island.
There's a real sense of pride to have finally sailed round the world (during leg six we completed a year-long circumnavigation). We've reached an amazing milestone and will quickly be looking towards another one - the home straight.
We always knew that Newport would be a special place to sail into, however, with all of the boats on the water and the sun shining on the hundreds of fans on the dock cheering us on, it was extremely overwhelming.
Over the following days the crowds mellowed but the buzz and excitement has remained. This is because the Newport stopover has become a very unique stopover-- one unlike any of the others we've experienced as a team. Every day we've met the men, women and children who really are empowered by the SCA story.
What many people forget is that we are just normal, everyday women. We go to the beach, we go shopping and we go out to dinner with friends. However, recently, a transformation has begun to occur. In conjunction with our sponsor, SCA we have shown that normal people can do amazing, extraordinary things. From the planning of indigenous trees in Brazil to menstrual hygiene workshops in China, we are helping communities to have healthier, more sustainable lives. Making this sort of positive difference stretches much further than sailing alone and that's more amazing than any of us could have originally anticipated.
From the moment these stories and the support becomes tangible, when the names become faces and when the fans' stories become real - that is when our race begins to change. Instead of being about a trophy and bragging rights, it becomes about real people and real stories. Every day we are able to shake the hands of the mothers and daughters, the young boys and girls and the fathers who are inspired by us. The support is palpable and has had a profound effect on us as a team.
Perhaps it is because Newport is the seventh stopover in the nine month journey, perhaps it is because we're back in the Northern hemisphere and we've completed our circumnavigation, or perhaps it is because the journey is nearly over. Whatever the reason, we've grown, we've transformed and have also seen the power of the Volvo Ocean Race in an entirely new light.
For those who might be interested in learning a little bit more about our story and how we came together as a team, our documentary series, No Ordinary Women, is now available to watch online. Episodes are released every Sunday and Thursday, with the first three episodes available now!
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