It has taken a long time to get to the beginning; three years ago I attended one of the Artemis Offshore Academy’s extremely demanding three day trials. This is where it really started for me and this is where I realised what it takes to simply get to the beginning. But now I have got this far, why not go a bit further? The Artemis Academy has been creating successful solo offshore sailors for a few years now so it wasn’t a surprise to have an information-packed first few weeks, dubbed “Rookie Month”. Week one is down and it’s gone in a blur, every day I have been going to bed with a notepad full of ideas and waking up with aching muscles.
If I was to pick out the interesting pieces from each day, I would be well on the way to writing a novel or my autobiography, which seems a bit soon. The purpose of this month is to learn everything there is to become a successful professional sailor, and there is a lot to learn. Most interesting of these for me was the sponsorship day and medical training. Nick Mason was our expert on sponsorship with experience in working with huge firms in areas such as the J class boats, America’s Cup campaigns and most recently helping to set up Ben Ainslie Racing. Sponsorship quickly becomes the most important part of a sailing campaign as, unless I win the lottery, I won’t have the funding to compete. So I was hanging on Nick’s every word and frantically noting down his golden nuggets of wisdom that could make or break a potential sponsor partnership.
The more sessions that are arranged, the more my enthusiasm for this sport increases, and we haven’t been sailing yet. Because of how eventful even the first week has been, I have had to split things up, particularly our medical training that occurred at the end of the week. So more to come.