Things are moving quickly on on two fronts now with the latest adventure – Team Daft’s attempt to sail off-shore for up to 6 days non-stop in the Round Ireland Yacht Race.
On the sailing side, we’re making progress.
Time on the water has given us an understanding of what navigation information I’ll need to sail the boat blind when Mick is down below sleeping. This has and remains a serious challenge as there are no standard solutions for blind sailors racing off-shore. But it looks like we might have found a solution via a software engineer in Dublin who is also an expert in marine technology. I need all of the boat’s navigation equipment to speak the information out loud so I can sail the boat alone. We don’t have it sorted yet but we’re a hell of a lot closer than we were last week!
And then there’s the small matter of a boat! Mick has been in complete control of this part of the project and we’re closing in on a boat that fits his safety, performance and availability criteria. This is an area which I have no expertise in and, through Mick, I’ve been learning about the yacht charter industry.
We need a Class 40 as it is ideal for double handed crews (i.e. boats with only 2 people aboard as opposed to the normal 6 to 10 of a crew) and it isn’t as easy as renting a car for the weekend. The boats are worth in the region of €250k and they are not always available due to being in different parts of the world or already booked for alternative races. But it looks like we’ve secured one…fingers crossed.
But now to the business of sport…
Mick and I are only in a position to take on this challenge after having secured a sponsor – the property website Daft.com. It simply would not have happened without them and this is where business and sport collide. For Mick and I with our co-skipper hats on we are completely focused on safety and performance in the race. From Daft’s point of view they are a business and must be focused on building their brand, engaging with clients and securing new business. But it is where these two worlds collide where I operate my business.
For me, this is not just about the race and it is not just a one off transaction. I earn my living from taking on challenges and making them happen. If I don’t deliver for the people who support me then I lose credibility and my personal brand is useless. This is not just a sponsorship deal, it is my career and name that I’m gambling with.
And so, at the interface between business and sport there is an explosion of activity to make it happen. Team Daft isn’t just myself and Mick – Team Daft is the adventurers, the sponsors, the marketiers, the technical experts, the supporters, the other competitors, the race organisers, the journalists, the social media communities, the families, friends and the others who live it day to day. This is about a collision of passionate people to produce results and momentum is starting to build…
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