How to REALLY prepare for solo sailing

Published on February 23rd, 2022

Thirteen solo sailors had set sail from New York in the 2002-03 Around Alone Race, a five-leg course around the world which was to finish in Newport, RI. Among the fleet was Tim Kent’s Open 50, Everest Horizontal, which Kent would eventually skipper to second place in Class II for 40 to 50 footers.

With the renewed interest today in shorthanded sailing, here is the “training schedule” Kent shared prior to the start of the race:

1. Sleep on the shelf in your closet.
2. Replace the closet door with a curtain.
3. Six hours after you go to sleep, have your wife/girlfriend open the curtain, shine a million candlepower flashlight in your eyes, activate an air horn, and yell “Roger Blough to the sailboat approaching my starboard bow!”
4. Run into the kitchen and sweep all the pots and pans onto the floor after having previously covered the floor with BBs. Maneuver as fast as possible between the cupboards trying to put it all away. Must also be done at night, with clenched flashlight in teeth.
5. Tether yourself to a 4-wheeler, jump into a swimming pool, and have your wife/girlfriend drive laps around it until it runs out of fuel (the 4-wheeler, that is.) Should be done at night, in at least third gear, while wearing strobe and blowing whistle.
6. Every time there’s a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you’re nauseous. For full effect, wear the dog’s hidden fence electric collar, and go out to the mailbox and back
7. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to high.
8. Leave a lawnmower running in your living room for several hours per day to simulate recharging.
9. Have the paperboy give you a haircut.
10. Store up garbage in the other side of your bathtub.
11. Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. Cold soup or canned ravioli are optional.
12. Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed, get dressed as fast as you can, run out into the yard, and adjust the tension on your clothesline.
13. Once a month take every major appliance completely apart and then put them back together. Do this in the dark with a flashlight clenched in your teeth, and your wife/girlfriend occasionally dropping a plate onto the floor behind you.
14. Use 24 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 or 6 hours before drinking.
15. Install a fluorescent light on the bottom of your coffee table and lie under it to read books.
16. Raise the threshold and lower the sills on your doorways so that you either trip of hit your head every time you pass through one of them.
17. Lockwire the lugnuts on your car.
18. Tether yourself to the hood of your car, and use your hacksaw to cut off the luggage rack, while your wife/girlfriend drives down a two track, at night, in the rain.

Editor’s note: Thanks to Tom Anderson for retaining this list for 20 years and sharing it with Scuttlebutt.

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