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Blog #5 - January 16, 2023
We hope you and your family had a great New Year celebration and your 2023 is kicking off well!
This is an exciting time for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge as the first team, OceanCats, crossed the finish line 3 days ago! Another 7 teams have since finished. Demonstrating the fast but rough conditions teams have experienced this year, OceanCats finished in 31 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes – 4 days faster than when Swiss Raw won the race last year.
One question that the Atlantic Campaigns safety team asks all rowers is: Are you racing the event? Or just looking to finish? Knowing the answer helps them when talking to rowers especially when one may be feeling emotionally a little down or the row isn’t going according to plan.
It is also important for the rowers to be honest with themselves about their goals. This can be especially true for solo rowers. Consider this year’s race, OceanCats and the 7 other teams have already finished but the last place boat is still 2,000 nautical miles from the finish. As such, it could be easy to get dejected hearing about teams finishing when you have so many miles left to row.
As part of my preparation for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, I worked with sports psychologist, Dean Hinitz. Since I knew my goals for the race were to safely finish and raise money for Okizu, I was realistic that I wasn’t “racing” it. As such, I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t emotionally suffer when the first boats finished. What I was less sure about was how would I feel when the first solo rower would finish or how I would really feel if I came in last place. Knowing “the why” I was doing the row was a critical element of maintaining my emotional state when Lasse, the Ocean Warrior, finished. When he finished, I was nothing but happy for him. Of course, the fact that not only is he a beast of a dude but he is also one of the nicest people you’ll meet, made it even easier to be happy for him.
Jayme and I are on the same page, that our primary goals are to safely finish and raise money for Okizu and Eating Disorder Awareness. But given there are only two pairs teams in the Pacific Challenge, one trio and 11 four & five person teams, I personally will be working on ensuring that I remain true to myself even if we come in last place. It’s a realistic possibility and I want to ensure I remember “the why”.
Jayme and Owen
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