“The Green Dragon Racing Team arrived in Alicante this morning after our 1500-mile delivery trip. Compared to the 2000 mile qualifier, which was rough, wet and all in all a pretty brutal trip, this was a slightly different experience. Somehow you can never relax on these boats not least as much of the sailing is done in the pitch black with no idea of what dangers lay ahead. Last night we spent five hours dodging commercial shipping as we tacked our way through the Straits of Gibraltar into a 35-knot headwind. The day before we had to slow right down to clear a sunfish off the port rudder.
Life onboard is tough; the trimming, hoisting, lowering and moving sails drains every ounce of energy that you have. We sail in watches with four people on deck plus two of us on standby, while four people get to rest. It is four hours on, two on standby and two hours off in every eight, if you are lucky. Everybody gets up for any tacks, gybes and heavy air sail changes. All of the food is freeze dried, and there is little respite from the constant motion and intensity of the boat. So why on earth would anybody choose to do this? The answer is simple – it is a chance in a lifetime to be part of an incredible sporting event and to pitch ourselves against some of the best sailors in the world – we all want to win. We have a fantastic team both ashore and afloat, and we will share life-changing experiences over the next 10 months. Yes it will be unbearably hot, yes it will be unbearably cold, and at times it will be dangerous. And yes, this will certainly be the biggest test of our lives. It will also be an incredible journey for everyone involved.