14 May A race recap and thank you from skipper Scott
A race recap and thank you from skipper Scott
I am ecstatic to have just completed my first IMOCA Series race after just one short year since beginning this adventure! It was absolutely amazing experience to be racing against the legends of shorthanded offshore sailing on the fastest ocean going monohulls in the world!
The start was a thrill with thirteen IMOCAs lining up, teams and fans on boats chasing, taking photos and cheering support while a media helicopter buzzed in the air. As we set off it was pretty cool to be ahead, with many top boats fighting to catch up and get past us. Seeing Charal and Maitre CoQ cross within 50 feet behind us was pretty intense as we made our way out of Brest.
As the race progressed, we focused on the race within the race and our competitors in similar boats. Of the boats in the fleet, eight were in cutting edge foiling boats and five of us have older daggerboard boats. It was really hard work physically and I was pretty seasick for much of the race. I have to admit on night three I was cold, wet, exhausted, seasick and not eating, bouncing around like crazy, and absolutely hating it all. Then having not one, not two, but three of our four competitors drop off the back took away a lot of the competitive pressure that was keeping me going.
As the sun came up, the clouds opened, the air warmed and I could see the beauty around us. I was instantly grateful to just be there, on the ocean playing with Mother Nature. Not to mention on one bad-ass boat, racing against the worlds best in a freaking IMOCA Globe Series race! Suck it up buttercup, you are lucky to be here and this is amazing!
For the rest of the race, Ryan and I focussed every effort on sailing fast and keeping as close as we could to the boats ahead, especially the only other remaining daggerboard boat. We had ups and downs, good moments and bad, but pushed hard right to the end. It was amazing to finally cross the line with cameras upon us, showing our national pride in our lumberjack shirts and waving a Canadian flag. We received a warm welcome on the dock and a congratulatory beer and handshake from the winning daggerboard boat team.
Although last on the finisher list doesn’t look so hot, we are really happy with how we did. We were firstly out there to finish and finish safely. Secondly, we were really competing against the other four daggerboard boats and had aimed to come mid-pack. With three dropping off the back we finished second, and keeping as close as we did to the guys ahead of us was a huge success. They are very experienced skippers and their boat, which previously won Vendée Globe, is an absolute rocket.
It feels very rewarding to have achieved this milestone and receive so much support from everyone. It has been an amazing start for Canada Ocean Racing and I’m ecstatic with how far we have come in only one year. That all said, I can’t wait to get home to see my wife and kids and sleep in my warm and stationary bed tonight!
I want to say a huge thank you to my ever supporting wife Stacey, my fearless co-skipper Ryan, our skilled OBR Paddy, the entire talented Canada Ocean Racing team, my legendary mentor Alex Thomson and his amazing team, and everyone who is following our journey and showing their support! I appreciate all of you and look forward to sharing more of this adventure with you!