The key to coping under the pressure of demanding situations comes down to the top two inches. This refers to the ability for an individual to carry on, defying the odds despite a seemingly impossible challenge. Mentally they rise above it, remain optimistic, are able to change their game plan and see opportunities in any given situation.
It doesn’t mean they don’t feel the pressure and, on occasion, question themselves (refer Day 41: Messages from the Quincey’s). That’s called ‘being human’. However, the pressure can lead to an all over mental and physical shut down, possibly even to the point of assuming the foetal position (as happened to British rower Andrew Veal in the 2001 Atlantic Rowing Race).
The crew of Team Gallagher have had their top two inches put to the test over the course of their trans-Tasman adventure. And it ain’t over yet! Broken equipment, multiple days on sea anchor, running low on supplies (including toilet paper!), being shut in a small cabin during stormy seas and still being 250 nautical miles from New Zealand after spending 42 days at sea has been a challenge and, at times, demoralising. The boys have struggled but have carried on regardless. They are hanging in there swinging on the oars as I write and, weather permitting, will continue to do so. Seeing New Zealand rising out of the horizon will be a huge boost for their top two inches.
NB: List of broken equipment: rudder attachments, self steering unit, all three rowing seats, two broken oars, mast torn off cabin, solar panel ripped off cabin, cooker, vhf charging station, mast light, Seame transponder and a bunch of incidentals.