Avid followers it has been a while since my last blog post. In all honesty it is because I really haven’t been doing that much sailing. As much as I wish it could be as simple as finishing my first La Solitaire Du Figaro and jump straight back into my next sailing adventure the reality is it isn’t. To try to persuade a business that you are worth giving their hard earned money to, is harder than hard. Learning the business feels like I am doing a degree in Sports Marketing and at times I really have questioned, is it possible for me to make a career out of my passion?  But watching the 29 sailors who made it to the Vendee Globe startline a little over a week ago made me realise this is exactly where I want to be in 4 years time. If anyone knows anyone who would be interested in sponsoring me please get in contact!

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My first sponsorship presentation at Grant Thornton.

Having said that I have done some bits of sailing here and there, notably when the  ‘Vendee2020Vision’ project  leant me their Artemis Imoca 60 in September.  I spent three days at sea with Dee Caffari (record breaking round the world solo sailor) and Mikey Ferguson as coaches as I got to grips with sailing this 60 foot racing machine solo. My training course along the English coastline gave Mikey and Dee plenty of chances to test me with changing sails and generally making me work hard. It is unbelievably tiresome to do something as simple as changing a sail on these boats. It took me over an hour on my first sail change but as I practised more I became slicker around the boat.

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Looking (and feeling!) pretty tired after my first night of solo sailing on the Imoca 60.

It felt like Mikey and Dee were trying to push me until breaking point and 48 hours later after over 30 tacks, 20 gybes and countless sail changes we made our way back in to Southampton water. I was exhausted but it was great fun learning the ropes….

24 Hours later I made my way to Portsmouth and the BAR Americas Cup team HQ.  Still pretty tired from three days of Imoca 60 sailing I went straight in to the Youth Americas Cup Team ‘trials’ day which of course meant a fitness test. I was completely broken by the end of it as I hobbled back to my car to drive home.  But it was also an opportunity to look around BAR HQ at some of the work they do to make boats sail at over 50 Mph, all of which is too top secret to take photos of. It was an amazing experience and really cool to see the work that goes on for next years Americas Cup.

I am now back in Cowes for the week and back in the Figaro doing some two-handed training to get back into the swing of things. Everything was feeling pretty rusty today and getting used to the boat again felt strange. A few more days of this and I’ll be right back into it.