Christmas Day marked the start of the 6 month count down for me racing across the North Atlantic Ocean, on leg 8 of the Clipper Race.
Clipper Race Leg 8 Quick Stats: 3,350 Miles. 22 Days at Sea. 2 Races (NY to Derry/Derry to UK).
So I decided that the 6 month mark, should be the start of really ramping up my fitness and focusing on my health and strength. I made my mind up a few weeks ago, that Christmas day would be a day of traditional indulgence, but that from the 26th December there would be no more!
“If you’re not fit enough, the boat will find you out”
Many people that have been on the race before, have said to me “if you’re not fit enough, the boat will find you out”. I have really let my fitness slide over the last 12 months, with so much going on in my life, and various stresses, I’ve not put my health first, and have been eating terribly, to say the least! So now it is time to focus and change that.
Having recently passed my Yachtmaster theory exams, my next step is to take my practical exam. I’m aiming for the offshore yachtmaster exam, for which candidates need to have logged 2,500 miles and a minimum of 5 x 60nm passages (skippering for at least 2 of these). As such I am trying to ‘build miles’. I need approximately 1,000 miles to reach my goal.
A couple of weeks ago, I went back to the classroom. With a daunting 6 days of theory, and 3 written exams ahead of me I was apprehensive for several reasons. Firstly, I haven’t sat in a classroom for a solid week in nearly 15 years – how would I cope?! Secondly, this was for my Yatchmaster theory. The standard of which is incredibly high – would I be up to the right standard? How tough is tough? Am I actually capable of this?
I did my theory course with Elite Sailing, a fantastic RYA training centre based in Chatham. I’ve done other courses with them in the past, including my VHF, Radar and Diesel Engine courses. But the Yachtmaster is in a very different league to any of those!