And so it begins. Packing.
Each boat is in theory identical so the difference comes with what you put in it. The mission Performance crew have a liberal 25kg weight limit. You’re a brave man if you pack 25kg though given all other crews have a 20kg limit. I suspect it’s been very well considered by Greg, our skipper. He doesn’t want to dictate, he wants to lead. He knows that we’re all going to give more thought to what we pack if we’re already outliers. I know for one that I’ll do my best to get below 20kg.
The first step in packing happened a few weeks ago when Sam (good friend from level 1, Team GB) and I sat in the sun in her garden. I was about to say with a glass of rosé but given we’ve been bitten by the competitive bug it was sparkling water with a squeeze of lime!! Most unlike us!
We had independently written draft kit lists based on our experiences through the various training levels. Clipper/Skippers have also provided an indication. You’d think they’d all be the same but there are some, potentially significant differences. Shoes and boots or just boots? Balaclava? Clear lens ski goggles? 4 socks or 12?
The second step in the process started yesterday, refinement. All potential kit laid out in one room to admire before pairing it back and then packing into dry bags.
A mix of the compulsory items:
– Mission Performance Uniform (gilet, jacket, tshirt, cap) – must not be worn to work, only for race start/finish.
-Clipper kit (another 2 jackets (the famous, geeky red anorak and a more practical soft shell), your foul weather gear aka”foulies”, flammable t-shirt),
With the essentials:
– ocean boots
– dry suit
– waterproof sleeping bag
– thermal mid layers (think walking duvet)
– thermal base layers
– knickers/sports bras
– sunglasses x2
– wash kit (inc mouthwash as you’re apparently too tired to brush your teeth?)
Nice to haves:
– iPhone in a mega case
Luxury suddenly takes a whole different meaning. For me that’s the potential to pack an extra pair of baggy, woollen knickers. Right now that may seem a ridiculous thing to say but after three weeks without a proper wash, imagine how nice fresh pants will be!!