Sam Davies' Diary - Part II

Sam is trying to play down her billing as the next Ellen MacArthur
As I write, it is about 36 hours until the start of my first-ever solo race. I am feeling understandably nervous. Although I have sailed 1000 miles solo (for my qualification for the Mini Transat entry) this was not racing. Most of all, there were not 69 other boats on the start line, which is the main reason for my apprehension. There have been some Chinese whispers coming back from the dock gossip that Sam is the next Ellen McArthur and other talk that Simon (Curwen) and I are the "Glaoush" to beat. This is because we have both had good results in the last two races, but both races were in the Mediterranean and were double-handed. Now we are in Brittany, facing the best of the Mini racers in their own territory. I am feeling slightly intimidated already by the Froggies and I would much rather be an anonymous Mini that no one has any expectations of. However, I know that the French are out to beat me, and on Saturday, when my competitive instinct comes alive, I know for sure that this will be a help to my performance on the race course. I hope that I can sail Aberdeen Asset Management to as near 100 per cent as possible and let her perform to her massive potential as much as possible during this race. This race, the Select 6.5, is the final milestone in my route to qualifying for the Mini Transat race. When I have finished this race, I will have completed 2000 miles of qualifying sailing. Hence, it is vitally important that I complete the course - more important than getting a good result. This means that I will have to sail with a conservative strategy, especially at the start, where there will be 69 other boats,