Crew Allocation

“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.”
~ Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

With just one week to go until the big day. I have read and re read the skipper profiles. Some of them talk about how great it will be to build a winning team, the spirit of the people who take part in the Clipper adventure. And then there are glaring gaps in mention of teamwork, but lots of mention of what “I” want to achieve as Skipper from circumnavigating as a personal challenge to a particular ocean, with no mention of the people they’re going to need to help them do that.

Now, quite how much is about some of them saying teamy type stuff because they feel they should, or that the editing process has missed out the teamy bit in the others, I don’t know. A friend asked me which Skipper I’d prefer to be with. Given I actually don’t know any of them, and a part of this adventure is about getting the best out of what I’m given, I feel that I owe it to myself to lay back, look at the stars and wait and see.

However, what I want out of the race is actually quite important, and what I would like is to be on a boat with people who want to win. If I was talking to an ex colleague about this, he’d say, so you want to come first. Well, for me is about (yes, if I’m honest, a podium place would be good) but winning for me is doing better each time. We have 15 races over 8 legs. We have a core team of around 10 of us and then those who’ll be joining us throughout the race. Winning to me, is having a skipper and a crew that integrates fast, integrates well. Is honest with each other and that I’m with people who’ll put themselves out for the team. I would like to be with a team of people who recognise each other’s strengths and who will also push themselves to be better, to learn new things about themselves and each other.

I don’t think that I want to be on the boat that is aching for victory at all cost. I’ve heard that on those boats you can have people marginalised into just one role. I’d like to learn all the roles on the boat and no doubt that there’ll be some I’m good at and other’s that in a howling gale, I’d rather someone more capable took the lead.

I’d like a skipper who will recognise that I can and want to learn new things, who’ll push me when I think I’ve nothing left and who’ll recognise when it’s best just to feed me and let me be. I want to learn about navigation and weather, about how to really sail the boat and get the best out of her. I would like crew members who have a sense of humour as well as the ability to focus when needed, with an eye on the long game. I would like to be on a boat with a crew and a leader with a desire to at the very least be in the top half of the field and in the top three if we can achieve that. However, I don’t want to be with a group of people for whom there is nothing in life except to win.

I’d like a skipper who is level headed, who has a good sense of humour and knows when to use it, who when tired or worried and in massive seas or dangerous situations remains calm and focussed on  what matters, namely keeping us alive.  Someone who recognises how to get the best of individuals, and someone I can learn from, who communicates effectively, who builds a team of capable sailors and who’s quick to understand the potential in who they have on their team.

So actually I have some pretty strong views about what I do want to get out of the race. It’s also important to me that if we have someone in the crew who is less confident, that by the end of a leg, that person has developed confidence and feels like a valued member of the team. I would like to be part of a crew who will realise all of the above J

Not much to aim for then. Roll on May 11th 2013, the start of things to come.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. ~ Saint Francis of Assisi


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