Clive Cosby, exhausted, but very proud skipper of Team Stelmar chats about his Global Challenge Leg 6 win earlier today
Crossing the line just five hours ago marked the end of Leg 6 one in which
we [team aboard Team Stelmar] were victorious. We were sailing in a new, more confident way, bearing the pressure of the chasing pack in the last few days, and emerging with a solid team performance to be proud of.
The words ‘psychological warfare’ just about sum it up because this sort of racing is a massive mind game. A battle of wits, skill and tactics from the crew day in, day out, and tactically we played a very smart race. It’s a test of mental stamina, belief, confidence and courage.
Six months ago we would have crumpled under the pressure. We did approaching Sydney. This time was different we went in front and stayed there and, troubled by the persuading pack, we did not buckle, we had belief, focus and commitment, we knew what to do, nothing new, different or revolutionary but just kept plugging away day in day out. ‘Scratching’ away, as I tell the crew, keep doing what we do, do it well and the result will come, and it did.
For me as a skipper I bear the greater pressure and the bigger mind game, and have to impart that strength to the crew. I have been helped in this area hugely since the beginning of the campaign by a sports psychologist who has helped me discover the mental toughness to grind out a result such as this. Dr Wil James has helped me achieve what I probably possessed but had never realised before. Along with the huge support of my wife and proud sponsor in OSG, we have achieved the dream result. The crew are one to be
proud of, quietly going about the business of sailing the boat relentlessly
around the clock, a team bonded throughout the race and now showing
their potential to the full.
In Sydney, our lowest point, we agreed overall we were in bad shape, but we could still be the second half winners, and now tied with BG on 36 points here in La Rochelle at the top we are realising that and carrying the momentum forward to improve our mid table position.
Thank-you Team Stelmar, and thank-you supporters, Dr Wil, Valeria and OSG. As a team we have achieved a safe leg, our safest yet, faster than the rest, in more ways than one and now, we are happy, happier than ever.