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“For all those who sail alone, sleep management is a very important element in regatta strategy. Learning to dominate sleep and wakefulness is possible but you need training, self-knowledge and a little technique”.
Just 10 days before the beginning of Roma X1.X2,XTutti (April 10th), we intercept Matteo Miceli on Suasade, the Hanse 370 of Alessandro Fiordiponti, the sailor who died last December during an immersion at Giglio Island. Alessandro was a passionate sailor, very popular and loved not only by his friends of Riva di Traiano; he had participated to the first edition of RomaX1. ” Putting Sausade to the sea – Matteo says – is maybe the best way to remember Alessandro, his enthusiasm, his sailing and life point of view”.
Matteo Miceli will face the 530 miles between Riva di Traiano and Lipari (and return) alone. As usual. He is used to sail alone, especially after that world tour failed when all the difficult seemed achieved, after being passed unharmed under brutal storms and the three southern capes of the Earth.
He knows one of the worst enemies of this regatta very well: sleepiness.
“RomaX1 takes place in a very bustling zone – he says – where you must pay a lot of attention. From this point of view, it’s more demanding than an ocean regatta”.
Of course, even if it’s only 3-4 days, there’s just no way that a sailor doesn’t never sleep. Sound alarms apart, you have developed a precise technique for your navigations.
” Yes, I travelled a lot with Claudio Stampi, I think the best expert in sleep management who will teach a class at the Riva di Traiano Club on April 1th”.
What’s the technique you developed with Stampi?
” First of all, he taught to me to understand what kind of person I am, if a nocturnal or a diurnal man, in order to identify the moment of my physiological loss. Each of us has it in different moments. If you like staying late at night, so if you are a nocturnal person, you’ll have your physiological decrease between 02:00 and 04:00 in the morning; on the contrary, if you’re a diurnal person, it will arrive before, at about midnight. This is the general rule. In my case, Stampi used a bracelet to reveal my physiological decreases in a scientific way”.
When the precise moment is found, what must we do?
” We mustn’t skip it, we have to sleep. If you loose this moment, it’s like when you loose a train and you’re aware that you must struggle for the rest of the day. It may occur, of course, because of a storm or any other difficult moment. In that case, oh well, you can’t do otherwise. Even more so you mustn’t skip your sleep moment when there is no emergencies”.
Once you find your loss moment, the problem is to sleep.
” Also in this case, Claudio Stampi taught to me, rather I’d say he trained me, to sleep on command. It’s a technique which allows to repeat routine gestures which lead you to sleep. All of us have them. For example, I always pass my left arm under my pillow in the same way and I fall asleep in very few seconds for about one hour and fifteen”.
Do these 75 minutes satisfy your sleep need?
” They’re essential but they must be combined with other naps of 10-20 minutes during the 24 hours. This, too, is not left to chance. For example, if I sleep for 10 minutes more, I enter in a stunning sleep phase. Still today, after so many months of alone navigation, I sail with an alarm clock on my neck in order to respect the precise times I identified with Stampi”
Sleep apart, what will be the most difficult technical passages of Roma X1?
” I think two: the passage at the Aeolian Islands,tactically connected to weather, and the final part of the return, when we’l be really tired and we’ll sail in very congested zones, where we’ll meet even some fishing vessels provided with trawls.
Let’s talk about Matteo’s plans. What will you do after Roma X1?
” First of all, I’ll continue with my sailing school. I’ll organise some offshore courses by adopting some particular techniques of ocean navigation and by sailing in any condition. Then, I want to live a new adventure, the North-West passage. I’ll leave with a Swiss family I met at Sidney-Hobart in 2008. At that time, they had two children. Meanwhile, they have finished their world tour and now they’ve got 5 children, one of whom is only 5 months. We’ll leave together with the usual approach: total respect for the environment, zero impact, we’ll use only bikes on land and we’ll meet the students of the most isolated schools. Finally, I’m thinking about something that is maybe more than a simple dream.
A new world tour?
“Yes, a world tour alone but on a Class 40 boat. Many sailors are considering it seriously and I think that it can become true by 2019. I call it “the Vendée Globe of the poor” and it will be another wonderful adventure.