At last, the wind has now picked up and we are off again. The sun is burning bright and we are pointing straight at Muckle Fugger doing seven knots. The good news is that we will have wind all the way there now and should be arriving at the turning point by lunch time tomorrow. The bad news is that I am sure we have lost a lot of the hard fought ground to the boats ahead!
When you are out on the water for days on end there can be time to reflect on what has been, what could have been and what might be. It is a surreal world out here and one which fills us with so many emotions, it triggers many thought processes and certainly makes us evaluate and prioritise the true values of life.
Every so often something happens out of your control and you have no idea why or for what reason. For example, Visit Malta Puma was the best prepared for an offshore race she has ever been. Attention was paid to every small detail and no stone was left unturned. When we left the dock on Monday she was in great shape and I was so proud of all the hard work everyone had put into getting her ready.
I have always proclaimed that the best prepared boats and teams are generally at the front of the fleet. Visit Malta Puma is always meticulously prepared for every race she enters and her results over the past five years back up my belief. We only have a small budget for Puma but that budget is spent wisely and many people give up their time for free to help keep her in tip top condition.
Therefore, one of the hardest things about the prospect of having to retire on Tuesday night was the feeling that I had let so many people down. Everyone who sails on Puma and all those that support her ashore dedicate so much time and energy to enable us to realise a dream, to keep Puma going at such a high level of competition and to enable many people to gain huge amounts of pleasure and satisfaction from a very special and unique racing campaign.
Getting all the amazing messages of support from our friends and supporters at home has really made an impact on me and I am sure on everyone aboard. They have made me realise how many hearts have been touched by Sailing Logic and Visit Malta Puma over the years, how much respect and admiration we have from people all over the world and how much everyone believes in us. That alone makes it worthwhile continuing with the race.
This race has clearly taken on a new dimension for all of us, I have often wondered what keeps people going when failure is glaring them in the face and there seems little hope of success. I have had a revelation over the past day and a sudden realisation that success and failure is measured in so many different ways. Failure is often just a self imposed perception of reality. In my mind if Visit Malta Puma did not win the RORC IRC1 Championships this year I deemed it as a failure and felt I had let everyone down.
However, as I said in my last blog, just getting around in this race now will make everyone on board a winner. That is a success in its own right not a failure! Wow, I seem to have learnt something about life! I have also realised that if Visit Malta Puma and her team had not been so well prepared then we would almost certainly have retired by now and at best would not be pressing ahead at 100% efficiency. Everything that has broken has been fixed with the minimum of fuss in quick time. Nothing is going to stop us finish this race and if the opportunity presents itself we are ready to take that opportunity and win the RORC Championships in style.
It appears from the messages that we have been getting from all our supporters that Visit Malta Puma has inspired many people over the years. For me the acknowledgment of that inspiration means more than any race win or result. That is a true success in life and one which I am so grateful to have been involved with.
Skipper Philippe Falle