CLIPPER RACE BLOG 8: ‘Risk’ by Simon Du Bois

LEG 3, DAY 21

In Simon’s latest blog he pays tribute to Simon Speirs, crew member on board CV30 (Great Britain) who lost his life at sea on the 18th November and the impact this has on him and his fellow crew.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Simon’s family and all the Clipper Race crew members at this time.

“As the sun started shining again on us today, the weather has improved and the sun is back. This change in weather is greatly appreciated after such a dark weekend. A weekend that reminded us of the risks we are taking in order to realize a dream and achieve something remarkable. Yesterday we held a memorial service in honor of Simon’s memory. It was a very emotional moment where even the toughest guys onboard couldn’t hold it together. Iain led the ceremony like a real trooper sharing prayers and thoughts for Simon. He was so good, I think he could make a career out of it. Jerome then followed up by reading a poem that was brought onboard on Leg 1 by Ollie, one of our leggers. The poem is called: “IF” by Rudyard Kipling I think you should all google it and read it as its meaning is deep. Skipper Nikki followed up with one of her personal poem which it my opinion sums it all up and she has agreed for me to share it with you.

RISK

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

To reach out for another is to risk involvement

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self

To place your ideas, your dreams before crow is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return

To hope is to risk despair

But risks must be taken because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing

The person who risk nothing does nothing, sees nothing, has nothing and is nothing

He simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live

Chained by his certitude, he is a slave

He has forfeited his freedom

Only a person who risks … is free

 

With the history of the race and of ocean racing, all Clipper Race crews understand the risk they are taking by joining this journey. But what we might not realize is the impact it has on other people. Personally, it took me a bit of time to react but it’s after talking to my wife Erica at home that it came to me like a slap in the face. All I could think of was the headline: Simon + Clipper Race + Fatality!! It was right there. My name, my dream and the wrong ending. I suddenly started feeling guilty. What if my dream and my desire to inspire people did more harm than good. What if my people at home were constantly living in fear of receiving that phone call or reading that headline? How stressful is it for our relatives? Is it all worth it? Is the accomplishment worth the pain? I ended up calling back my wife to discuss the matter and as always, she stood up strong and told me: “it will be fine, you’ll be fine, we’ll be fine”. She said, this is my dream and it has become a nation’s dream as thousands of people all over Quebec are now following me throughout this endeavor. She said I needed to be strong and keep fighting while remaining safe and taking care of my teammates and this is exactly what I will do. During the ceremony I took the opportunity to speak and tell everyone that this tragic incident must remind us to be safe, and also to keep dreaming and to dare to go after those dreams. It never is and never will be easy but we must never give up but has Nikki’s poem says: the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.

The unfortunate event will cast a shadow over the incredible work the team has done over the past week and especially during the sprint. We pulled one of our best sailing since the start of the race and the results should prove us right. Conditions were as rough as it gets and we had to limit helming to our best helms to keep us safe and fast. These guys have gave it all trust me. Everyone had their input in one way or the other and I could not be more proud of us as a team. We are holding on to our 3rd place and hopes of a podium finish but we know it will not be easy to keep Qingdao and Dare To Lead away. These guys are coming in strong and will not give an inch until the race is over. The forecasts aren’t exactly what we could hope for as we will have to face another wind hole in a couple of days before the final stretch.

FRENCH VERSION: 

Le soleil est de retour aujourd’hui et les conditions meteos se sont grandement ameliorees. Un vent de changement qui fait du bien apres une fin de semaine plutot sombre. Une fin de semaine qui nous rappelle les risques qu’on prend dans le but de realiser notre reve et d’accomplir quelque chose d’extraordinaire. Hier, nous avons tenu une ceremonie en memoire de Simon que plusieurs avaient cotoye. Ce fut un moment tres emouvant ou meme les plus tough avaient de la misere a retenir leurs larmes. Iain, un autre RTW (round the worlder) a pris en charge la ceremonie tel un pretre profesionnel en partageant prieres et message pour Simon. Il etait si bon, je crois qu’il pourrait en faire carriere. Jerome, l’autre jeune RTW (nous sommes les deux plus jeunes avec Nikki) a ensuite lu un poem qui avait d’abord ete amene a bord par Ollie, un legger de la premiere etape. Le peom se nomme “IF” par Rudyard Kipling et je vous invite a le chercher sur google car son message est incroyable de sens. Nikki a ensuite partager un peome qui je crois, donne un certains sens a tout ca et elle a accepte que je vous le partage.

RISK

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental

To reach out for another is to risk involvement

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self

To place your ideas, your dreams before crow is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return

To hope is to risk despair

But risks must be taken because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing

The person who risk nothing does nothing, sees nothing, has nothing and is nothing

He simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live

Chained by his certitude, he is a slave

He has forfeited his freedom

Only a person who risks … is free

 

Avec l’histoire de la Clipper et de la course oceanique, tous les membres de la Clipper comprennent les risques lies a leur participation. Ce qu’on peut avoir oublie par contre, c’est l’impact sur nos proches. Personnellement, ca m’a pris un petit moment avant de reagir, mes emotions arrivent generalement une fois l’adrenaline descendue et une fois ou je me suis assure que tout le monde etait OK. C’est apres avoir parle avec mon epouse Erica que ca m’a frappe comme une claque en plein visage. Simon + Clipper Race + RAPPORT DE DECES!! C’etait la, ecrit noir sur blanc. Mon nom, mon reve, and la mauvaise fin. Je me suis soudainement senti coupable. Coupable envers mes proches. Et si mon reve et mon desir d’inspirer les gens causaient plus de tord qu’autre chose. Et si mes proches vivaient dans une peur constante de recevoir le fameux coup de telephone ou lire une telle nouvelle. A quel point est-ce que mon aventure leur cause du stres. Est-ce que ca en vaut la peine? L’accomplissement en vaut telle la souffrance… pendant un an? J’ai finalement rappele Erica pour en discuter et comme toujours elle est rester forte et m’a ramener a l’esprit : “Ca va aller, tu vas etre OK, on sera OK”, m’a-t-elle dit. Elle m’a rappeler que se reve etait devenu plus gros que juste un reve de ti-cul mais que ce reve etait maintenant le reve de milliers de Quebecois qui me suivent et me supportent dans cette aventure incroyable. J’en profite pour vous remerciers pour vos messages et votre support. Elle m’a rappele que je devais rester fort et faire preuve de leadership pour bien soutenir Nikki et l’equipe a travers ce moment difficile et que cet incident ne pouvait nous arreter dans notre quete. Elle m’a bien sur rappeler d’etre doublement prudent. Lors de la ceremonie que nous avons tenu, j’en ai profiter pour reprendre les paroles d’Erica et les transmettre a mes coequipiers. Je leur ai dit que cet incident tragique devait nous rappeler d’etre prudent mais egalement de continuer de rever. De rever et d’oser. Oser l’echec dans le but d’accomplir quelques choses d’extraordinaire car, c’est ca la vie et c’est pour ca qu’on est la. Ce n’est jamais et ne sera jamais facile mais il faut perseverer et ne jamais baisser les bras. Comme le dit bien le poeme de Nikki : le plus grand risque dans la vie est justement de ne prendre aucune chance et de ne rien risquer,

Le malheureux incident portera ombrage a l’effort incroyable de l’equipe pendant la derniere semaine et surtout pendant le sprint. Nous avons pousser la machine et l’homme a leurs limites dans des conditions extremement difficiles et le resultat le demontrera sans doute. Vu les conditons, nous avons du restreindre la barre a nos meilleurs barreurs pour assurer la securiter et la performance. On a  tout donner, vous pouvez me croire. J’ai moi meme du mettre les bouchers doubles a la barre et faire du temps supplementaire. Ajouter a la vague d’emotion je peux vous dire que la journee d’hier a ete plutot difficile. J’etais completement claque. Tous ont mis l’epaule a la roue d’une facon ou d’une autre. Que ce soit dans la cuisine, sur les winch ou sur le nettoyage, tout le monde a participe et nous pouvons etre tres fier de ce que nous avons accomplis. Nous sommes presentement en 3e position et gardons un oeil sur Qingdao et Dare to Lead qui ne nous laisseront pas un pouce d’ici la fin de la course. Les previsions meteos ne sont pas superbes et nous devrons affronter un autre trou de vent dans les prochains jours ce qui pourrait changer les cartes… a suivre.

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