Former Go Ape employee, and current Offshore Racer, Nikki Curwen has been working towards competing in the Mini Transat for the past three years.
Now in the second leg of the race, Nikki tells us what it takes to stay mentally prepared…
“When solo, particularly in a race like the Mini Transat where you’re at sea by yourself for days at a time. The race is more about mental preparation and mental strength. There is no-one else there to keep you motivated, no-one there to judge you so it can be quite easy to become lazy and demotivated. The boat is very technical, with a lot of preparation, and on going work required to keep her running 100%.
It’s raining, freezing cold, the boat seems to be going well…what’s going to convince you to get on deck and take the helm, to push and get that extra 0.5kt of boat speed?
Sailing for days, looking at the same horizon, heading in the same direction. The sun goes up and down, days go by with nothing very different happening, as the boat rolls down the waves, taking me with her.
For some this might sound like torture, but for me, there’s something quite nice about it. The feeling of being completely alone and doing something I love. Sailing has always been my freedom, where I have complete control and I can just be myself.
If ever I feel down or de motivated I just have to remind myself where I am, what I’m doing, then maybe blast my music out full volume and have a sing along. It doesn’t take much….!
I’ve got a collection of notes, drawings and photos on board from friends and family, which is always a good motivation booster. While I’m solo on the boat, I couldn’t have made it to the start without all the help from my ever-growing team around me. When I first started campaigning for the Transat it was my own personal goal and dream. That’s now changed I really feel like I’m out here for everyone following me as well. The support is truly overwhelming and definitely keeps me motivated.”
In the coming weeks we’ll be posting more insight direct from Nikki about the first leg of the Mini Transat, including the build up and start day.