Greg Miller: Fear has made the team stronger

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The latest blog from Gosport sailor Greg Miller, the skipper of the Mission Performance team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Twelve ocean-racing yachts left Gosport in August for the 40,000 nautical mile race.

It was a hard fight, we raised one of the spinnakers five times during our 20 hour nine minute battle against the clock.

This is the hardest we have worked and the most competitive we have been for an Ocean Sprint period.

The Mission Performance Warriors have worked extremely hard and my hat has been doffed in admiration and appreciation. Well done guys you are an inspiration.

So far out of six boats that have finished the Ocean Sprint we have come an admirable fourth.

Since finishing, the wind has come round to the south-west as predicted. In fact we had to gybe just before the end of the Ocean Sprint to stay on the same course!

We got the kite up again for a while, but it wasn’t working for our course. Ahead of us we have a series of high pressure systems being pushed across the Southern Indian Ocean which we will have to negotiate as we make our way up to Albany, it could be a slow slog!

Mission Performance has 1,100 nautical miles to go before reaching Albany and we are all looking forward to getting to Australia! Leg three has been rough both mentally and physically for all on board.

The rigours of just staying upright down below have used more muscles then most knew they had to start with, then bringing into play the deck work, sail changes, helming and staying alert in the cold and wet conditions have taken their toll on the Warriors.

Fear has been another factor on this leg, but let me explain because this has served us well. Not many Warriors knew what they were letting themselves in for when signing up for the Southern Ocean ‘Sleigh Ride’.

As we came out of Cape Town straight into a 60-knot storm and all hands were called to deck to sort out the sails, fear did have an effect.

But this fear has built the team and I believe it has made them stronger, pulled them together.

Anyone that sails the world’s oceans and doesn’t have some fear, is kidding themselves or living in denial.

Fear is a healthy thing and allows the body to cope with things that usually you wouldn’t be able to deal with.

Here in the Southern Ocean it has been our friend!