Today we started to really sense mission as a race team. We had difficulties with some things that have been second nature and we worked really hard. It is starting to set in that we are going to start racing with some of the finest sailors in the World the day after tomorrow and we are going to have to be up to it.
I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and even a little lonely with ten people sharing the experience; it is part of getting into a competitive mode that knows no compromise. Whether it is an achievable goal or not I am turning to a purpose of winning and accepting no less. Obviously there are other skippers that are entering the same mode, only one will leave with the desired result. When it is over we will proudly accept the result whatever it is because we will know we did everything we could. But for now, winning is the only acceptable result.
Though these musings are about my thoughts, I cannot say enough about our crew. We are a team and it is a privilege to sail with each and every one. The Lightning Rod effort is now about 6 months old. We have moulded a team that will put every ounce of their ability and heart into making one old PHRF boat sail the best she ever has. I am grateful to Bill, Craig, Daniel, Deborah, Gina, Glenn, Hunter, Jerry, Scott and Stu for their dedication to this effort. I can't say enough about how hard they've worked and how much they've sacrificed to share this experience. Grady also earns special mention. He has been a real team player. nobody could ask more from a support person. He has often remembered or just know details that would have been dropped balls. Grady is a real professional when it comes to supporting a crew.
All this aside, I am having a lot of fun. I went to the race committee party tonight, the only skipper there because of my donation of Thunder to the cause. I met some not so old friends (Last year was my first year) and some new ones. There is a special camaraderie for the race committee. The people who make this race happen are very committed and it is a joy to see people enjoying their roles in making this such an awesome event.