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Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

Global Solo Challenge: How does fatigue and lack of sleep affect you in solo offshore sailing?

by Global Solo Challenge 29 Jun 03:21 PDT
Hugo Ramon catching some sleep in rough seas on a Class40 © Global Solo Challenge

There is a fundamentally different element in solo offshore sailboat racing compared to 'just' sailing alone across the ocean; fatigue management.

In order to cope with the exceptional strain that 24-hours-a-day readiness to perform imposes during single-handed sailing over many days, competitive sailors adopt polyphasic sleep patterns - or naps, lasting even just a few minutes at a time. A polyphasic sleep regime only partially counterbalances the loss of sleep. You can read more about this topic in a previous article by Marco Nannini.

In this article, our focus is the cognitive and emotional strains that several physical and psychological stressors - such as sleep loss, circadian misalignment, and workload - will have on single-handed round the world competitive sailors and what this means in relation to fatigue management and performance.

Speed and pace are the only words a solo racer hears in her mind. Extended consecutive work periods, insufficient recovery time, night work during circadian low, inconsistent work schedules and time-zone changes are now part of life onboard. Fatigue will invariably hit before they know it.

Continue reading the full article here...

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