Over the years and decades, we each have met individuals who have fostered our talents, hard work, and determination in order for us to become ‘the best.’ These individuals we call our teachers, our mentors, and they have guided us to become who we are: competitive offshore sailors. Our mentors recognize something within us when we, ourselves, may be unsure. Our mentors lead us through their understandings of situations we may encounter, perhaps in the Southern Ocean. Our mentors give us the confidence to make our own choices, and (eventually) surpass their knowledge.
“I’m sailing against my mentor, and we’re about to pass them,” Sam Davies said with a cheeky smile.
Some of us on have known our mentors for decades, others have just met theirs; some of us are racing with our mentors, and others are racing against them. Some have many mentors, and others just one.
On top of sharing their wealth of knowledge—which can often feel like a talking encyclopedia on your favorite subject—mentors often pass along characteristics and mentalities that are almost far more valuable than facts about a subject.
And this is exactly the case for Team SCA. We are lucky, on board Team SCA we all share a mentor—a man who continues to inspire and encourage us even after his death in April 2013.
“One of my personal goals for this leg was to be like Magnus [Olsson], even when times are down, which is hard, because he was always so positive. Just in case, I have him in my notebook,” Annie said with a smile. “When I’m not so sure I just look at this. They conquered something that no one thought was possible—they went from being really behind to winning the leg. He did it by just believing in his crew and forcing everyone forwards. So, that’s what we have to do.”
So, just like we came to this team as strong individuals, holding the wealth of a dozen or more mentors and teachers who have given us each confidence within our own career, together we have one mentor who leads us through even the toughest of times.
“I was thinking the other night, Magnus would be pretty proud of us because that [stay positive] spirit really comes from him, and I think everyone in the group thinks about that and thinks about his never give up and keep on fighting attitude. And that is going on board Team SCA at the moment,” Sam said.
We are a team of determined women; we are positive; we are on the hunt; we are coming back and there’s nothing stopping us. (www.teamsca.com)