Upcoming talk and slide show this Saturday evening at the Lake Champlain YC (see http://www.lcyc-vt.org/)!
So ok, I’m crazy. You can say it, I really don’t mind.
To start with, I must be crazy for wanting to want to race the Vendee Globe (solo, nonstop around the world). So with a group of other crazies, we designed and built a boat completely different than all the others currently racing. We started to build her well before we raised anywhere near the money to do it. Fortunately, hundreds of more crazy people sent us checks, large and small, to keep it going…
With a mad myriad combination of donations, loans, matching grants, and relentless credit card use, we got the boat to the Atlantic and I gingerly completed my qualification sail to the Azores. Even though we were barely tested and broke some equipment, we started and finished (now, there’s a long story in itself) the 28,000+ mile Around Alone race.
Along the way, I discovered that there was a seemingly never-ending supply of even more crazy people to help get me out of Newport (Rhode Island), Brixham (England), Cape Town (South Africa), Tauranga (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), and Salvador (Brazil).
Now that we’re back in the US and I have confirmed my devotion to this crazy scheme, some people continue to defy their common sense and keep coming to my aid to help prevent the dream from dying (which it’s been close to doing so, trust me).
So we make our winter home in Portland, Maine, the coldest town on the water that I could find (one day last week the HIGH was 0 degrees). A local family gives me a room in their house and lets me raid their fridge (not a smart thing to do at all). I tear into the boat to rip out 500 lbs. or so of weight. Tom Wylie, (our designer), has suggestions to remove even more.
A local schoolteacher loans out her spare room and even her couch to visiting helpers to crash on at a moment’s notice. Volunteers drive up from various locations or wander in on their days off, to join in and get filthy dirty and itchy. For example, today we had a local nurse practitioner, a software database developer from New York, and an unemployed contractor (Boston), all sanding, grinding, cutting, and dreaming along with me. Most of our suppliers have lined up to help out again, along with several new ones. Many friends are trying to land us the sponsorship we need to pay for vast amounts of expensive hardware and supplies, without which we can’t enter the race.
You’d think they’d lock us all up.
So you can call me crazy.
I’m not alone.
Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet