It's been some time since my last update where much has happened! I know I should have written about things much earlier than this but to be honest I've done this crazy thing... Put technology down for the Christmas period! It goes completely against what all the "This is what you need to do to get followers" instructions but heck, it was family time! Seeing as I could easily bore you with all the details of what I've been doing I've decided to start at the top, last October...
October signalled the end of the sailing season for me as A2 was put to bed for the winter and it was far too bloody cold to go dinghy sailing 😛 it was also the end of the Vendee2020Vision '16 chapter where all the training in the year was put together and ranked all 10 of us against each other, as a surprise to some I performed better than expected! Still, this also made decisions about what I was going to do in 2017 much easier! It was an absolute honour to be invited to join the Vendee2020Vision project and be one of the top 10 British solo sailors. I certainly learned a great deal both on an off the water about how to handle myself in a more safe and professional manner. Hopefully in a year or two I can put those lessons learned on the 60 to good use on my own boat!
Almost as soon as I got off the water I got into the office... This time actually using that thing between my ears! I don't mind admitting that it was bloody tough to begin with, so much of the stuff I learned at Uni had been blown out by the wind.... Quite an issue when working as a yacht designer at Ker Yacht design! As much as I've said recently though that the real life is completely different to degree, I do (now) believe that there'd be no way I could have even begun working here if I had not! It's also rather eye opening seeing the other side of the design spiral and how much thought goes into designing boats.Who knows, I might even learn some of Jason's design secrets to help make my next boat that little bit quicker... Heck I'm already learning the various methods that can be used to produce a boat and the whole myriad of compromises that are slowly being overcome! Oh and not to mention the estimates to get acceptably accurate answers to keep the process rolling forward 😛 Oh and I should probably also mention that I've been invited to be an ambassador for Southampton Sailing Week!!
It's not all dry land and computers though, as you may have seen. I met Hannah through a chance Twitter conversation in the summer and we both shared a desire to reach the Vendee (yes I know, I'm wittering on about sailing around the world again!) so after many discussions we've decided to pair up! Together we are now known as Chimera Racing and it's our goal to have the two of us make the start line of the 2020 Vendee Globe. So far from what I can tell there's never been a two boat project for the Vendee posed to sponsors, that added to Hannah's Paralympic history and I hope to recreate Gabart's result, must surely be enticing enough to attract a sponsor? Still, it's an interesting project and one that is slowly gathering traction seeing as we can split the work... Makes a difference when you have to earn money on top of searching for funding!
The future... Well that's always an interesting one and still depends on whether we can get a signature on a bit of paper but if the stars aligned I hope to be getting out on a Class 40 this season working towards the TJV (transatlantic race from France to Brazil) alongside improving my design skills behind a desk.
ZAPA... Well it's proving to be quite a tough challenge juggling everything in my life even without trying to find investment for another project but I'm still slowly keeping the ball rolling for that moment it can spring to life! I think what is really making it struggle is the shear amount of time that everything takes... Even for the best project manager it still would be a stretch! That doesn't mean I'm giving up, I'm certainly not, as it is teaching me so much more about the business side of life, something that eventually I will have to know and understand... So if anyone knows someone who would like to take on the primary responsibility of the next big business do let me know 😉
Arthur Conan Doyle column
Here's my Arthur Conan Doyle little column about how I’m finding sponsorship…
Sponsorship sponsorship... It's a little like business pitching:
- Say hello and introduce yourselves as at the end of the day everyone there is only human. Note, each country and culture has a different way to say hello!
- Introduce what you're intending on doing as well that's what you're there for at the end of the day... And if the sponsors have no idea what you want to do then how on earth are they going to see the benefit?
- Why is it of value to them? A simple (what you want) --> (what you're going to do) --> (what they get) is pretty much the structure of this as they need to see that it is actually worth their time to invest!
That's pretty much the barebones that I'm finding from this the 4th/5th iteration of the same pitch!
Things are really cool in this sector, learning from the mistakes made on the Vendee2020Vision training session with Dee, I have brought in the expert advice of a Masters Student at Leeds University (do correct me if I'm mistaken which part though) to help improve my understanding. Due to this much more indepth program I'm already seeing trends appearing and learning about my own body. Added to this nutrition plan I'm being bullied into going to the gym (who on earth wants to go to the gym :P) and am really feeling the pain of this!