You are a strong sailor with lots of experience – but what do you see as your greatest weakness?
I’m a very emotional person, I wear my heart on my sleeve. And during a race my emotional state is very dependent on how the race is going. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, how hungry or anything else: the only thing that matters are the intermediate race standings. The problem is, we are sent the intermediate standings several times a day, and if I see I’m in a poor position, that incites me to become less disciplined and work even harder. I change my familiar routines and, as a result, I get more tired. If things are going really well, the effect can be even worse, because then I see myself as virtually invincible. And when that happens, you can quickly lose concentration and end up making a mistake that costs you the race.
What role do tactics play in a long regatta?
A huge role. It’s like a game of chess. Participants’ boats all race at about the same speed, although my new boat will hopefully be faster (laughs). We all experience similar weather and use computers equipped with the same software. In a race that lasts 80 days or more, you have an advantage if you get ahead at the start. It’s much harder throughout the duration of the race for anyone who falls behind. That’s why from day one, everyone is focused on avoiding any errors.