Our nine month adventure covering more than 38,739 nautical miles and 11 ports is almost drawing to a close. In just a month from now we shall be reaching our final destination and crossing the finish line in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Though we are so close, the race is still far from over. In fact, a third of the points available in the Volvo Ocean Race are still up for grabs and there is a lot left to prove for all of the teams, including us. It's certainly going to be a tense couple of weeks.
After an intense start we were leading the fleet out of Newport towards the ice exclusion zone in the North Atlantic. Our game plan was to be the first boat to catch the next bout of low pressure that will send us all the way to Europe and the next port in Lisbon, Portugal. However, our competitors were not far away. The conditions were tricky and unpredictable, so while skill is key, we also need a bit of luck to perform well in the next couple of legs.
One thing that constantly fascinates me with this race is the fact that the Team SCA boat is pushed to its limits, every day, every hour, day and night. Whatever I do I can be sure of one thing, there is a group of girls up on deck working hard, trying to sail as fast as they can. Cold or warm, dry or wet, light wind or gale, it doesn't matter, when you're on watch you step out on deck and go for it. You race around the clock.
When you are part of a constant race it is important to take one day at a time and make the most out of every leg. Yes, we only have a little way left to go, but there is a lot at stake. We are currently third in the in-port series, so there is a lot of pressure to hold our spot or climb up if we can, while there is a lot we can show in the overall standings.
At the same time, you have to contend with what feels like a never-ending mode of racing, which is even harder when you have the home straight in your sights. In these high-pressured moments the only thing you can do is flick the switch, as you would with a computer, into passive mode.
Once you take your foot off that accelerator, it seems strange how quickly you can slow down. You have extra room to breathe, extra room to think and extra room to plan and evaluate before you put that foot back on the accelerator to execute. It is during these times that you are finally able to slip into sleep mode, recharging your batteries, before needing to reboot to do it all again.
After a while you get used to this pattern of behaviour and you quickly learn to sleep in small chunks at a time. It's phsically and mentally challenging but vital in these final few weeks as the clock prepares to strike - marking the end of our amazing journey.
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