A group of 23 relative strangers came together in a field at Blandford Forum, Dorset setup their tents wondering what was going to happen. We all had met each other at crew allocation, maybe had a chat over coffee or a pint in the bar that evening. This was an opportunity to really get to know each other and to start to gel together as a team.
Some of us, like me, were able to arrive on the Friday evening and we took to opportunity to grab something to eat and drink at a local pub, which was very welcome after a 10 hours drive from Scotland.
Saturday started leisurely with a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and coffee, you can’t beat that! A watch leader from the last year’s winning boat Henry Lloyd joined us for the weekend to answer questions and to give advise on a wide range of topics. It is amazing how little, seemly unimportant details can make such a big difference in personal performance and comfort. This is someone to listen to and take note!!
A fun element of the weekend were the team exercises to learn to communicate better and work together achieving one common objective, although it was not always very clear what our common objective should be.
A highlight of the weekend was the visit of the representatives of Unicef to explain more about the organisation and to play an awareness game in which we had to plan for an immunisation camp for children in a remote country. Again the detail was so important.
We agreed our boat values as:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
Although these are our boat values I think that these would equally apply to our daily life and work.
Another highlight of the weekend was to selection of our “crew song”. It’s a traditional thing for each team to have an uplifting crew song which will be played at official events such as the race start and finish in London. Our crew song is “The impression that I get” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Next will be the final race training “Level 4” in July. After that I will be ready for the race, I hope…