May 29, 2016 - Diversity works

What makes a crack amateur ocean racing team?...

Diversity works. On this Leg 7 team of 17 we have about equal men and women of all ages from 20 to 69. Our skipper is 29, the third youngest on board, with 4 crew over age 60. We have 9 from all around the UK, 3 from Canada, 2 from the U.S., 1 from Korea, 1 from Spain/Indonesia, 1 from South Africa. We are from all walks of life, including surfer dude and top level executives. We have every personality type, from gregarious to serious, extrovert to introvert, and everything in between. One has a hearing impairment.  One speaks English as a second language.  We are each at different ages and stages of life, and quite outside our comfort zones in many cases. Yet we have gelled into a team and achieved a fantastic outcome to race 10.

Having earlier debriefed on our performance in race 10, today we reminded ourselves of what lead to our success in the last race. What behaviors helped us sail with the top boats and achieve a podium position? We kept an optimistic outlook, catching up and overtaking boat after boat after a delayed start of almost 8 hours due to an urgent mast track repair. We rose to the challenge of having other boats around us to measure our performance against. We sought continual improvement, teaching and learning from one another, trying different roles, and debriefing often. We have learned how to communicate effectively when working on deck and intend to consolidate these skills in the next race. We each support the team and demonstrate our commitment to the team in our non-sailing roles, keeping bilges emptied, heads clean, etc., always to a high standard. We each contribute our knowledge and skills to the best of our abilities. Everyone is pulling their weight. No one is a "passenger". We affirmed the value of tolerance.

We are keen to tackle race 11 to see what we can achieve!