It is a well known fact that daylight is a vital necessity for all human beings. For the four skippers of VELUX 5 OCEANS, this is particularly true and massively affects performance.
While the VELUX Group works to encourage daylight in architecture and supports research into the importance of daylight in our everyday lives, the skippers know at first hand how daylight affects their mood and energy levels.
The skippers of VELUX 5 OCEANS are exposed to massive amounts of daylight out on the open seas, which has a hugely positive impact on their energy levels and attitude. They recognise that daylight is an essential part of their everyday environment, work and well-being. During their more than 100 days alone at sea, they all feel the recharging and re-freshment the sunlight brings them.
Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield clearly senses how changes in daylight can lead to mood changes: “On my boat I have skylights in the cabin, so when the sun comes up the cabin becomes nice and bright. And my mood changes totally – I feel much more attached to the racing and much more energised,” he says.
Returning to land after an ocean race can be a difficult transition for a professional skipper. The fast-paced modern world does not always provide the daylight these skippers are used to. US skipper Brad Van Liew says, “I don’t know if it rejuvenates you. But what it does to me is to make me acutely aware of where we are and what we are doing.”
“There will come a time when everybody in the fleet will go through the realisation that we feel detached from living outdoors and being so much influenced by the weather we live in – and the light and the circles of the sun and the moon,” he adds.
Many of us tend to be moody and even depressed when we do not get enough daylight. Research indicates that patients at hospitals recover faster when they are placed right next to a window instead of in a room with artificial light sources. It has also been shown that students at schools learn faster in classrooms with plenty of daylight.
“There are great similarities between what the VELUX Group does in bringing light into the home and the conditions we have onboard the boats. I think that because of the connection we have had with the VELUX Group through the race, and reflecting on their philosophy, I have become more aware of this,” says British solo racer Chris Stanmore-Major.
Polish skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski adds, "Without light we would need infrared vision in our eyes, so we just need light for life. It’s life, it’s energy – and it’s free. We need to make full use of it.”
The VELUX 5 OCEANS round-the-world yacht race started in October 2010 from the city of La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast. The final sprint back to the starting point will be gunned off in Charleston, South Carolina, on 14 May 2011.
About the VELUX Group
The VELUX Group holds the title sponsorship of VELUX 5 OCEANS for the second time. The spirit, values and nature of the race and its skippers are similar to those of the VELUX Group. As a manufacturer of roof windows, the VELUX Group employs creativity and an in-novative approach to the development of new products and business strategies. In its mis-sion to create better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof the Group has earned the reputation of being one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector. The VELUX Group has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, it has about 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family. For more details, visit www.velux.com.
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