Extreme sports

“Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford.”   ~George Matthew Adams

I’ve had the privilege to work with some interesting people over the years, involved with some pretty extreme sports. I’ve helped make suits for Everest expeditions, all kinds of apparel for ski patrols and more recently the company I work for has made gear for the Volvo Ocean Race. While the first 2 examples are well-known in North America, around the world sail racing is not. In fact, most people have never heard of it.

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the beginning of the VOR in Alicante, Spain. All I can say is amazing. It was one of the most thrilling events I have ever been a part of. And it was only the beginning. Over the better part of 9 months, seven teams will race around the world. All kinds of water conditions, weather and challenges will be faced.

The team we were cheering for is the all female group under the primary sponsor of SCA. We met them back in the Spring when they were training in Newport, Rhode Island. They were replicating that stopover which will occur in 2015. Fascinating women who are undertaking an extreme challenge of physical and mental capabilities.

Team SCA leaving Alicante October 11, 2014

Team SCA leaving Alicante October 11, 2014

I lugged my big Nikon camera with a long lens over to Spain, hoping at every heave-ho over my shoulder the extra weight would be worth it. Then, in the last moment I got a spot on one of the VIP boats. Lucky day! Perfect weather for photos, high cloud cover made the colours pop. Nice and warm to spend the time watching and waiting, out on the water. I loved it.

Now I am hooked. I check the VOR app constantly to see how the girls are doing. And with only 7 teams and such an extreme sport, I really am cheering for them all.

As Knut Frostad, CEO of VOR says, sailing hooks you. It gets into your blood. I’m not sure if I am there yet, but I sure feel the pull.

“If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn’t worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it’s life or death.”    ~Morgan Freeman

 

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