Simon Walker Quotes
They turned east and, soon after, lost the bet. The wind dropped, they missed the most favorable position to cross the Doldrums, and they slipped to eleventh place. Fed up with the conditions, members of the crew began to lose faith in their strategy. One crew member complained that he had wasted three years of his life training for the race. The solution was to reset the goal. I called the crew up on deck, and we discussed what had happened, ... 'We're in the eleventh position,' I told them. 'We can't think about winning. We're going to set ourselves new targets to beat as many boats as we can, one boat at a time.'
At 8 AM one day, Walker and his crew lined up on the boat's foredeck and prepared to take in the 100-pound anchor. There was one particular guy who probably drank a few too many beers the night before. Suddenly, he says he's got a bad back -- right in front of the entire crew, ... Everyone knows his back is fine. So all eyes turn to me to see what I'm going to do. Do I confront him Do I let him get away with it I had a split second to decide.
There's a watch change at two in the morning, ... So seven people who have been on deck for four hours in immense waves and windchill get to go down below. They're covered in sleet. They're bruised. They're exhausted. And they've got four hours before they're due back on deck. They clamber out of their dry suits. They lay out their moldy sleeping bags on the bunks on the high side of the boat, and they get in. They've already used up 30 minutes. After another half hour, the wind shifts, and the guys on deck need to tack the boat. That means the guys down below have to wake up, grab their sleeping bags, walk across the boat, and lay out on the other side. Now they've lost even more sleep.
Watch in, watch out, for 30,000 miles, the Wave Warriors hot bunked. If I had come up with this idea in the middle of the race, I could have been the most charismatic leader in the world, and I never would have gotten them to agree to it, ... It all goes back nine months, to when we sat in that house in Wales. After that, we didn't talk about it -- we did it. That was our life.
We were out there in the Southern Ocean, feeling very insignificant in a big part of the planet, ... At any minute, another storm would sweep in. We hatched a plan Spike and I would climb up and jury-rig the fitting. As we started the climb, I told the crew that they must helm the yacht very carefully on the opposite tack, as the rigging was only holding up one side of the mast. If the helmsman made a mistake while we were up on the mast, we'd crash down over the side with the entire rig on top of us.
The first goal Pass the tenth-place boat, which was five miles ahead of the Toshiba Wave Warrior, within the next 12 hours. The crew members did it. Then, they overtook the next boat and the one after that. Some 1,000 miles later, the Wave Warrior stormed into Boston in third place. The race was all about learning The team that learned the fastest would win, ... My ambition was for the crew to learn so well that they wouldn't need me. I really feel that a leader's goal should be to make himself redundant.
In the last race, we discovered that each boat's performance had very little to do with sailing, ... It had much more to do with the leadership that we as skippers were exhibiting, and with our ability to develop the full potential of our teams. All of the skippers were extremely good yachtsmen. All of them excelled at managing the boat. But ultimately, the race is all about managing people.