The day we finished was long - extremely long.
The day began with a beautiful sunrise as we travelled through the Hormuz Straits. The day ended with hugs from loved ones when we [finally] arrived in Abu Dhabi after 25 days at sea. The day was a bittersweet day filled with relief, excitement, curiosity, determination, anticipation, and a twinge of sadness. It was the end of leg two.
I know the rest of the girls will agree when I say that It's a bit frustrating to do all this preparation to just follow the other boats and feel like you've not really had the chance to race them - we're all hopeful leg three will be different.
We are here to race not to watch. We are here to lead not to follow. Yes, we are paving a road for the future of everyday women who dare to dream big, but we are also competitive athletes and coming in last, regardless, is always tough. Even though a lot of weather luck played into this leg, we're still blaming ourselves for mistakes we believe cost us the race. That's the nature of being an athlete and the nature of living in a 65ft bubble.
We are determined to grow from our mistakes and take the time in the next two and a half weeks to really fix them. Since our arrival, we have unpacked and started the meeting process. We have met with the coaching staff as individuals and as a group--talking about performance and tactics, what works and what doesn't work. These meetings, our debriefs, are essential for the future of the team.
Debriefs are not necessarily a walk in the park as you have to not only be honest with yourself but also with the team. You have to have the courage to really analyse yourself as a team player. How did you perform? How did you constructively add to the team? Did you constructively add to the team's performance? And, fortunately, we are doing just that. We are all being honest.
As we all know, self-honesty is an incredibly challenging feat-- except it turns you into a better professional as you can only grow from your mistakes if you are aware of them. When you need to grow as a professional, it is not the time to be stubborn. This stands true in work places across the professional world.
In many regards, professional offshore sailing is not too different from other work environments. Ok, so you might not have buckets of water crashing over your work desk, but when you strip down the fundamentals of your job, and our job, it's not much different.
In both job environments, you want to do your best all the time. In both job environments, if you don't perform to your best, you become disappointed. In both job environments, you want to professionally grow. In both job environments, you seek the help and advice from co-workers, senior executives, and mentors in order to grow professionally.
It's a very interesting time here in Abu Dhabi as we break down the leg. The important thing to remember is that this is all a time for the benefit of the team and the race as a whole. So, watch out, Team SCA is coming back on 3 January with a fighting vengeance as we navigate our way through tricky seas to Sanya, China!