Updated: Jan 9, 2021
A new year is always a good moment to stop, reflect and plan. With the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020 fleet having spent 20 days at sea already, we are witnessing the closest race we’ve seen to date, with crews battling it out for the win. From the ocean they have sent incredible photos, videos, and stories of visits by dolphins, whales and sharks! Following their journey fills every ounce of the team with excitement and motivation to keep pushing on to get us to that start line in La Gomera, 12th December 2021.
We have made great progress with our campaign this year, despite the many challenges that the pandemic has brought for us. Already 2 years in the making for our preparations, this year has seen a race entry deferral, crew turnover and losing sponsors. This year has also been tragic for many with many more experiencing significant losses. Despite the crew challenges and our own personal challenges, we recognise that we are lucky and grateful to not only have our health and fitness, but also to be in a position to still make our dreams a reality.
Resilience is a term I hear thrown about a lot. Yet this year, so many of us have had to be resilient. I can say with absolute certainty that the One Ocean Crew girls have displayed resilience in bucket loads. Meeting virtually and forging both a team and friendships in a pandemic is no easy task, yet Emily, JP and Erin made it seem easy. They have run with this campaign to carve a way through the set backs and disappointments and to enter 2021 having secured our eco ocean rowing boat, ‘Vaquita’, for our race, which puts us in a position where rowing across the Atlantic Ocean is no longer a dream. It is our reality.
Virtual crew meetings
For me, resilience is not about simply being strong enough to get through anything. It is about being in tune, recognising the set backs, allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come with those, and then pressing on with positivity and clear focus. It is also about celebrating the wins and remembering what gives you energy so you can face things head on. We hear time and time again that the hardest part of rowing an ocean is getting to the start line. Now we may not agree when we are mid-Atlantic, but I can confidently say that it is a really hard, relentless task to make it happen. And for that reason, we must remember to enjoy the journey – not just the journey across the Atlantic, but the one we’ve had to date and the journey over the next year while we continue our preparations.
The best part of that is being able to share it as a team. Both with the immediate crew and also with all of you who are coming on this journey with us. 2020 has graced us with heart warming amounts of support and motivation from friends and family and has brought on board some fantastic sponsors, to all of whom we are so grateful. Without all of you we wouldn’t be heading into 2021 with such positivity.
2021 is a promising year for everyone. And it is a huge year for us. The year of the race. The year of ramping up training, getting out on the ocean in Vaquita and becoming ocean rowers. We have the longest ‘to-do’ list I’ve ever seen, more courses to complete, hundreds of hours of training rows to complete, events to run, sponsorship to secure, on board skills and drills to learn, navigation to master, and logistics like nothing I’ve seen before. And we plan to get after it with positivity, passion, determination and hard work. Most importantly, we are going head on into 2021 together, as team, laughing along the way. And that team includes all of you. Thank you for believing in us, for backing us, and for getting onboard. Let’s have a great year!