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Meeting Old and New in Red

Old and new meet at the Volvo Ocean Race in Scheveningen. Sailing the traditional way and sailing anno 2015.

The Volvo Ocean Race is over. Abu Dhabi won, Brunel second and Dongfeng third.

The past eight months it was the website that I visited most. Just to have a quick look how my favorites were doing. Last weekend I went with friends to the start of the ‘Pitstop’ in The Hague and saw the boats for real.

Many years back I decided that it was nice to be world champion in sailing (1998) but that it was time to become World Champion in my Work. Sailing didn’t add much value to the world.

That is still true. But it doesn’t do much harm to the world either. And reading the blogs and watching the videos of Dongfeng Race Team, the Chinese-French boat, you can learn a lot about life. How to deal with setbacks, how to formulate objectives and purpose, how to build multicultural teams, how to use feedback, how to take advantage of diversity, what Presence is about, how to communicate your accomplishments, how to conduct psychological warfare and what happens when you lose faith, are tired and fall out of the zone.

The past years I’ve told my ‘audience’ that I learned more about myself from sailing than from my work. Dongfeng brought that to the next level.

Not the video that you expect from a high performance team:

Near Cape Horn they lost the upper part of their mast and had to retire from the leg to Brazil, while jointly leading the race. They were just in time to continue racing from Brazil to the USA and won the leg.


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