Tools Down, Tools Up
A somber roar too loud for comfort burst through the adjustable slats in the side of our media container. The team’s head of communications, Hamish Hooper, and I were strategizing how best to tell the story we had just captured. It was midday, and the entire team had already rallied to swap wings after the race wing sustained pre-race damage, delivering the boat back to the course in less than an hour and just in time for the first race of the day (which they won). We hadn’t yet moved to the TV outside our container to watch the race alongside the rest of the shore team, but instantly upon hearing the roar, Hooper wheeled to the wall to investigate. Opening a slat, he peered through, closed it, wheeled back and said, “We just pitchpoled.”
And that was it. We both went head down and straight to work. It’s the Kiwi way; they simply strive in adversity.
When the boat was finally back in the tent, a “tools down” all- team meeting was called, and we listened to team Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge outline what had to be done. With two races scheduled for the next day and a questionable forecast, the entire campaign was on the line. Right there, outside the team kitchen, everybody came together, well-aware of the significance of their roles, no matter how big or small. For a small group that had endured plenty of obstacles already, there was a sense of calm and a can-do attitude.