It has been extremely exciting to be apart the Chinese Volvo Ocean Race team Dongfeng Racing. After flying to Alicante with literally 24 hour-notice, I’ve since traveled to Vannes, France; Lisbon, Portugal; Cape Town, South Africa; and I even got to make a stop at my home in California for Thanksgiving.
So far I think I’m impressing guests and the team because my responsibilities have doubled; I started out doing just hospitality but now I’m helping with the onboard food and nutrition program too. I think what makes me such a valuable addition to the team is my ability to communicate and the exposure to higher-level racing I got at Oakcliff. I think what makes me such a valuable addition to the team is my ability to communicate and the exposure to higher-level racing I got at Oakcliff. Whether I’m explaining the M32’s to the media, describing the VO65 racing machine to the highest profile corporate guests, or even planning the meals for the sailors, I’m always able to draw from my experiences at Oakcliff. I also get to sail on the M32’s and the VO65’s occasionally so my training at Oakcliff obviously comes in handy there!
But I’ve got to say, one serious downside is uniform shorts. They’re much longer than what I am used to and are messing up my tan-lines!
It’s funny how many people are surprised to find out that I’m only 19. Maybe it’s the tan, or just the general age of the people here but most think I’m older. And I think because of my smaller stature it is easy for people to dismiss me, yet I still manage to impress them, or at least that’s what I tell myself haha.
Working with the team means that I will have to ideally start my own circumnavigation for my sister’s charity in July, once the race ends. I am still trying to secure a boat and the rest of the funding for my project. Since I only have half the free time it just means I have to work twice as hard now. Please check out my website https://www.themenssanaproject.com/mens-sana/ with my story, and why I am doing this.
I still can’t believe that just two years ago when I first reached out to Oakcliff I was just a stupidly motivated kid with nothing more than high school 420 and Laser experience, and now I am here!