Global Challenge skipper Loz Marriott, chats about the low period of the race which nearly forced him to quit
Someone once said to me that being a skipper on the world’s toughest yacht race, the Global Challenge, would be the loneliest job I would ever have; they weren’t far wrong.
The reason for doing this race is all about the challenge – taking a group of people of which 80 per cent had never set foot on a boat before and developing a racing team that could communicate, trust and respect each other through thick and thin. Also overcoming the problems that living aboard a 72ft, 45-ton steel boat with 17 people from all walks of life, while experiencing some of the most harsh conditions in the world, with the ultimate aim of fulfilling dreams and goals.
Team Pindar have had some very tough times and decisions to make, but the important thing is that we got through them together. I believe that the leader needs to be part of the team as well as the head of it – there wasn’t a job I asked my crew to do that I was not be prepared to do myself. I believe a good leader is a good listener and communicator who understands his/her team’s individual goals and values.
Despite my intensions, I have to admit that the first two legs of this race almost got me. I was so close to throwing in the towel – closer than any of the crew ever know and hopefully will ever know. I was emotionally and physically wrecked. The fear of losing someone overboard or a major injury to a crewmember kept me awake for the short amount of time that I was in my bunk (I averaged four hours sleep or down time each day).
On leg 2 when Dee Cafari on Imagine It.Done had a crew member seriously ill and very close to death it made me physically sick to think about what she must have been going through. My hat goes off to her, she is an amazing lady.
Even now, well into leg 4 in the depths of the Southern Ocean I still find it hard to go to sleep, but after all the thousands of miles sailed with this amazing group of people there is a trust built between us that allows me to sleep with only one leg out of my bunk instead of two and I can even take my boots off!
I have great respect for this crew and some will be friends for life. They never give in and always striving to improve.