Bianca's final VOR report: The End of Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018,
WHERE IN THE WORLD: Gothenburg to The Hague
If you had told me this time last year that I would have just completed the Volvo Ocean Race I think I would have fallen over in disbelief. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the race and to have the opportunity to have sailed alongside some of the world's greatest sailors has been an absolute honour.
It’s been one hell of a ride and I am so proud of what our team accomplished. We fought a hard battle right up to the very last in port race and proved not only to ourselves but to everyone that we were more than capable as we kept the racing close walking away with a 6th place overall.
I’ve gone through some of the highest highs and the lowest lows but it’s been the greatest challenge of my life. I pushed myself more than I ever thought possible physically and mentally and it turns out I’m tougher than I thought.
The last leg was a tough one in that sleep was but a distant memory and so were dry feet. It may have been the shortest leg of the race but it was by far the most intense leg, feeling more like a really long in port. My boots and wet weather pants didn’t come off from the moment I left the dock in Gothenburg to the moment we docked into The Hague.
Sailing into The Hague was an incredible feeling. My heart was beating so fast as we knew we needed to give it everything to stay in front of Skallywag. As we crossed the finish line there were, of course, cheers throughout the boat and ashore as we realized we had just accomplished something that many don’t ever have the opportunity to do. We had sailed around the world as a crew and no one could ever take that away from us.
But, as most of you know, even though Dongfeng had taken the crown and won the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean race our story was far from over. We had a battle on our hands in the last in port and needed to have two boats finish between us and Skallywag in order to take 6th place overall. It was a great way to finish the race and crossing that finish line knowing we had achieved that was one of the greatest moments. Smiles from ear to ear on everyone’s face.
I’ll miss the sailing and the adrenaline that runs through you when you’re departing or arriving at the next stop or blasting along at high speeds in big seas, but most of all I’ll miss the people. The sailors, the shore crews, the boat yard, the media crew, the entire Volvo family as each and every single one of you have made my race and without you it wouldn’t have been the experience of a life time so thank you.
This race has changed me without a doubt and they say it gets into your blood and that’s the absolute truth in my case. But I wouldn’t have gotten here if it wasn’t for the incredible support I’ve had along the way especially from my family who have helped me through the hard times and been there for the good times.
Given the opportunity to do it again I would absolutely jump at it, but shhhhhh don’t tell mum.