Four objectives for a great enterprise: Sydney Gavignet’s approach to Alberto Bona’s Route du Rhum
In the words of Sydney Gavignet, ocean sailor, mental coach and, since last December, Alberto Bona’s trainer: “A regatta is two sports in one: it’s pure sailing, but it’s also a marathon; it requires physical stamina, psychological endurance and out-of-the-ordinary determination”.
The two met in Italy in 2021, during the Mixed Offshore European Championship, which Alberto took part in last summer.
“In this great adventure we are experiencing”, explained Sydney Gavignet, “there are four objectives: build the team, build the boat, be on the starting line, reach the finish line”. Dividing a big goal into four small ones is the starting point of Sydney’s strategy: “We started working first on the man, on the profound motivations that lead Alberto to such a demanding ocean challenge, which does not last a single regatta, but has three years of development. From here, we moved on to work on stamina, on the micro-goals related to the preparation and construction of the boat, which is part of the project IBSA Sailing into the Future. Together, to then plan in detail everything that we expect to face and achieve”.
Sydney uses an old saying of English navigators to draw attention to what is the state of the art: “Sailing solo across the Atlantic remains a huge venture and, as the Anglo-Saxons say: In order to finish first, first you must finish! Alberto will be in a good position if all the factors we have analysed – and are still analysing and managing in small stages – combine together. He is an excellent navigator, and he will have an excellent boat at his disposal”.
The important thing is to concentrate, sustain and work on the pressure of these weeks and the next few ones: “Today we are focused on optimising the time left before the Route du Rhum. We have to complete the boat and make sure that it is ready in time, but also in the best possible shape. In this phase of acceleration, of final sprint towards the regatta, we must remain calm and lucid, and take the time necessary to make good choices”, clarified coach Sydney, specifying: “Pleasure and joy are two important features to define the operativeness of our team. We have the opportunity to be part of this enterprise in a very competitive context, but the performance depends on human adventure”.
But that’s not enough, because Sydney is the guru you don’t expect, the man who observes and smiles, the one who gives you confidence and strength, thanks to a leadership built on miles and miles of navigation, and the last word is up to him: “Performance is, first of all, the result of a human journey”.