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How do you like to re­lax and de-stress? If you were asked this it’s un­likely you’d say that what you re­ally love is a bit of hobby project man­age­ment or a lo­gis­tics ex­er­cise on the side.

But if you own or run a boat, then the chances are you do, and that’s ex­actly what you’re do­ing in some of your free time.

A two-week hol­i­day, a Bis­cay cross­ing or an ocean pas­sage all re­quire large amounts of plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion. Big races such as the Rolex Fast­net Race, which sold out this year in min­utes, in­volve a sea­son-long com­mit­ment and months of de­tailed ad­vanced plan­ning; many ral­lies like­wise.

Th­ese events’ de­mands for safety equip­ment and sea sur­vival train­ing don’t de­ter peo­ple

– far from it, this un­der­scores the scale of the achieve­ment. The plan­ning and an­tic­i­pa­tion is part of a team ef­fort, un­der­taken in pur­suit of a com­mon goal.

Does this pro­vide us with a telling les­son in stress man­age­ment? I think so. You may con­sider your dream of sail­ing a free-spir­ited vi­sion of the open ocean, wind in the hair, a quiet an­chor­age, no cares in the world. But ad­mit it: you also en­joy the process of choos­ing a boat, buy­ing it, up­grad­ing it, plan­ning a voy­age…

Most sailors I know love a goal, a place to aim for. The un­spo­ken se­cret elixir of sail­ing is the The Jobs List.

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