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A man, his boat, and the best-laid plans.

When we think of sailing, we think of sun, sea and – for most of us – sailing is seen as a leisure activity. For Ari Huusela, solo sailor and Finnair pilot, sailing is no picnic. It means setting seemingly unattainable goals and dedicating years of meticulous planning to reach them.

And even then, disaster can strike.

Huusela has spent years preparing to be the first Scandinavian to enter an IMOCA Ocean Masters competition and the first ever New York – Vendée solo transatlantic race.

Not a single detail has been overlooked, and every possible outcome has been prepared for. Ninety percent of the work is done before the day the race begins. The sound of the starting gun is an emotional high for solo sailors, after putting in years of hard work.

When Huusela learned of the devastating news of that his boat had been lost on its way to New York, he experienced a moment of shock and disbelief. Of course, it hadn’t been in his plans and even worse, it was something he had absolutely no control over.

“When you commit yourself so totally to fulfilling a dream, it’s hard to let go. You get so close, and then the goal disappears right before your eyes.”

What’s next? Huusela is determined to go on.

“NY-Vendée is only organized every four years. However, I have prepared to join the class of IMOCA boats, and am determined to do so – perhaps in the next NY-Vendée in four years, and maybe in another race before that. I’m picking up the pieces, setting new goals, and starting to prepare.”

Amcham shares the same mindset: the focus is on where we’re going, not where we’re coming from.