North Sails NEWS


Leave the dock at 100% with these tips on how to prepare for racing offshore, thanks to North Sails expert and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Charlie Enright

© Amory Ross/ Volvo Ocean Race

North Sails expert and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Charlie Enright, has logged thousands of miles on the world’s oceans. As Charlie looks toward his next adventure onboard Team Vestas / 11th Hour Racing in the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race, he shares a few rules of thumb with us. Following are the “top three” areas in need of your attention.

Sustenance is important because it keeps the team going. Without proper food and water consumption, the crew will get tired and have a hard time reacting to what happens unexpectedly on deck. For instance, as I look ahead to the Chicago-Mac, we’ve planned for two freeze-dried meals a day, plus a breakfast. That will be supplemented with protein bars, snacks, and tons of fluid – the little things make a difference in the long run. In case you didn’t know, ‘Starbucks Via’ has the ability to split a watch in half!

© Matt Knighton/Volvo Ocean Race

Team Supplies and Equipment
What should your crew have on their person? What should they have in their gear bag? These are the essentials:

On Each Crew Member:
AIS Unit

In Your Crew Bag:
Base layers
Lip protectant
Floppy hat/head protection

© Amory Ross/ Volvo Ocean Race

Daily Routine
To maintain consistency ondeck, we run a 4 hours on, 4 hours off schedule with the team split into groups. Switching every two hours will maintain sufficient overlap so the crew has time to communicate about conditions, configurations, and trends to look out for.

It’s important to be up and awake at the same time before each of your scheduled watches. Being properly dressed, well fed, and ready to go before your shift has started is important and allows the group that is finishing their shift to come down and rest.

Off watch time is just as, if not more important. Focus on managing your sleep by establishing a routine you can follow – know when to eat, and when to take care of your hygienic needs so they do not interfere with your time to rest. Believe it or not, it’s little things like this that can have a great affect on performance. The more predictable and routine oriented you are, the more it helps your team do the same, making it easier for everyone to adjust to life onboard for distance racing.

© Brian Carlin / Team Vestas Wind