It’s just gone five in the morning and for one of the first times in the last week I am sitting in near silence, just the sound of a laptop whirring beside me, trying to crunch through the latest weather data and inform me what we can expect for the days ahead. I haven’t got long to write this update. Soon the house, jammed full of my incredible friends will wake up and it’s show time. I will dress in my mid layer and foulies, which have been laid out by the side of my bed now for a couple of days. I’ll do a final pack up of ‘normal clothes’ to be sent back to the UK, check for my passport then off to the boat. The last week has been as crazy as ever. I arrived in Le Havre with a team of three volunteers which has grown now to over twenty. There have been so many hands helping me and voices encouraging me it would have been impossible not to be in good shape as I approach the start line today.
Ysbrand arrive on Thursday and we have worked side by side making the final preparations. The race starts at 1315 local time today and it will be an utter pleasure to get sailing. One of the things that is really hard about race starts is the growing background noise that builds during the week both physically and metaphorically and stops your brain from easily finding focus. Yesterday the race village was buzzing, there were thousands of people walking round and looking at the boats, we had briefings, official photos, interviews to do. The race village commentator never missed a breath, booming over the loud speakers information about our competitors, punditry, interesting facts about the course. You couldn’t turn him down and couldn’t talk over him. There was still a job list to finish and Ys and I needed somehow to find the head space to talk about the weather, our expectations for the first couple of days as well as a final check of provisions, spares, tools and boat prep. Somehow we got it done. This part of the race is now finished. If there is some part of the preparation I have missed, something unforeseen that will cause a problem then it will. I have checked every inch of my boat, I have gone through my experience from every other trans Atlantic race I have made. It’s now time to go racing.
I need to express an enormous amount of thanks and love to every one of my mega team that has come over here to support me. We have had an incredible week, the work has been solid and ongoing, the hugs and support equally so. It’s been an absolute joy and privilege to spend time with such an incredible group of friends and my team is now one of the biggest in the race village and everyone of them came because they believe in what I am doing. How could you ask for more than that. Ys and I will be sharing this race with you as much as we possibly can, via video, photos and blogs. Watch out for content on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube as well as the regular newsletter updates. The race tracker can be found here. Thank you all for supporting me in my Vendee Globe campaign. This has grown into something I never imagined. It is epic and I love sharing it with you all. Thank you