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jack trigger type one diabetic sailor

The T1Dialogues – Ep.15: Jack Trigger – Solo Offshore Sailing with T1D

Our latest podcast guest is Jack Trigger who has a very impressive background. But probably the most exciting part is his love for sailing. He started sailing when he was 6. He’s a solo offshore sailor learning to pursue his passion while managing his diabetes as well.
Jack has a very impressive and inspiring mindset. Listen to the episode to find out more about the story of how he got diagnosed, the first things that scared him but also about his unbeatable, push forward attitude.
Hi Jack,  It’s nice to meet you man. 

Hey, pete. Thanks for having me on, excited to chat with you and people all around the world. 

Please introduce yourself and share with us about your background for our listeners today. As far as I know  you’ve got a pretty interesting story for a young lad. 

Yeah, thanks. I mean, it’s actually relatively simple, you know, the whole of my life revolves around sailing. I started sailing when I was six, I’m not a family thing. Usually sent in the UK, it comes from this kind of a family support and I was introduced to it through my parents  but I just, kind of stumbled across it, it was second to a local open day and I absolutely fell in love with the sport. So it’s always been my thing and my passion, and it went from starting out, and it became an adventure, this jump in a boat when you’re six years old and you’re on your own and you totally responsible, you’re totally accountable, and that’s pretty cool when you’re six, I don’t know what else you can do when you have that kind of responsibility. So fell in love with that. And then, you know, super quickly. It was about racing and going faster. So yeah, my whole life has been about trying to do that and to be as good as I can be like in racing, saving boats and then trying to make a career out of it. 

A big part of that is the technical side. So I went to study engineering and I left my degree because I was offered a position in a professional sailing team. So that was kind of an obvious choice. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was so great. Then obviously I was diagnosed with type one diabetes and so that became a big part of the picture, but they all kind of slot together. We’re type one. It’s kind of what defines me, so yeah, that’s me and my three simple things.  

Yeah, it’s actually fascinating I think, because of the analysis that is required right for us, the Type one diabetics,  to figure out what it is we need to do next right to keep in range. And I think that one of the fascinating things for me being immersed and engaged in the community is kind of getting to know how people manage it- Like for me I’m pretty, maybe too laid back right when it comes to it. I tend to not get stressed about being high, I do get a bit stressed about being low, but like it’s not something that weighs me down and I probably could be a lot more analytical with it. Do you wanna give us a bit of insight into if you are that kind of analytical type of person? how that plays out from it in a type one context, and we’ve jumped massively forward here because yeah, there’s a whole heap of stuff that I want to cover, but let’s go down that path. 

I kind of like the way you phrased that because that’s what actually made me think on the spot because I think I’m kind of laid back about it, you know, I don’t get stressed about it. I think that’s important for me because the stresses cause a negative thing and it spirals and so I’m not super analytical about it. I’m good at maths. I like solving problems, but I’m not like writing them down, and  recording every bit of data and going away and analyzing it in the evening and figuring out what I should have done better. It’s more intuitive than that. For me, it feels like my approach and everyone’s approach is unique, right? And different things work for different people who will all know that in the community, but my approach is like a continuous science experiment, but it’s a pretty relaxed one. 

I’m gonna I’m gonna jump sideways again into the kind of, you know, some of the technology stuff that has been involved with and they’ve been doing some work in developing systems for my boat in the AI space and they understood that the human brain is the best, the best AI we have and it’s very good at taking huge amounts of data and making quicker informed decisions. So I kind of kind of rely on that a lot. You know, I use my gut, I use my intuition to tell me what’s going on with my body. My levels are running a bit high and I’ve been doing things that are the kind of standard responses and what I expected to and then I’ll make a quick adjustment not based on writing down all the numbers and analyzing how much  my carb ratio has changed to this because of a specific factor. And then it’s an informed guess always within the safe bounds. I don’t do anything stupid. Don’t change any kind of dosing too quickly or too aggressively because I wouldn’t be very smart. 

Yeah, my wife has actually got into this thing, like my wife cooks dinner maybe five nights a week. She loves cooking and I love her cooking as well even though I’m a good cook. But going to this thing where like she’ll cook and I’ll be like we’re getting ready to eat and I was like, what’s the gi such? And she picked up the packet of vermicelli and she read out the carbs and I was like, that means nothing to me, and she’s like, well, that should be something to you. And I’m like, I know I probably should count my carbs because I think there is a cohort of people out there who are big carb counters and very precise in the way that they will do that. And I’ve never done it. I’ll try to remember the impact of foods and I think it’s because I don’t want to get weighed down by the need to have that level of consciousness and that weight on my shoulders to be thinking like that. I’d rather take it as it comes a little bit and you know, fly by the seat of my parents i’m so to speak, definitely. 

I also think that a big function is how your life looks and even carb counting is great. Don’t get me wrong. It’s an epic tool to have and it can be pretty effective. The reason I don’t use it and I don’t know if this is the same view, but the reason I don’t use it is because I don’t have enough routine in my life. So I’m always doing different stuff. I’m always putting different physical demands on my body, mental demands, emotional demands. The number of different contributing factors to instant sensitivity, decarceration mean that it’s actually not that useful for me to do the carb count because something’s changed. And so the more intuitive approach I found, and I feel pretty lucky that I kind of have always been able to manage my diabetes quite well and my HBA1C  has always been really good.  It’s a lot like conscious work in terms of not forgetting about it and thinking about what the different factors could be. You know, we’re always scanning and always adjusting. it’s just not super calculated. 

Yeah. I think there is sensitivity, not that I want to paint a bleak picture or anything. I’m actually speaking from experience because it’s been like 15 years for me and actually I’m just finding my sensitivity is decreasing at the moment and, I’m working out and training enough, and I’m actually surprised by, you know, the lack of sensitivity.  

When you were talking about the six year old, were there many other six year olds sailing with you at the time? 

Yeah it was a thing and it’s not a massive support in this country for sure. But you know, when you go down the sailing club and you’re six years old and you’re in your boat, you’re not in the club  that you kind of borrow and you’re not the only one. And there are nice groups of kids doing it and then go on summer camps to the sailing club and kind of spend a week there and it was a really nice little sense of community that progressed certainly in the UK. We’re good at sailing in the Olympics, which means that we have funding. So there are awesome youth junior pathways into this dinghy sailing through  structured training and structured camps and that kind of stuff. So I got involved with all that from quite a young age, coming from 13, and then yeah, you make friends and you’re going through the pathways at the same time, it’s really cool because you have this kind of shared interest and it’s outside of school or whatever else you’re doing and you’re kind of passionate about it. There are a few that are pushed by their parents, you know. So, yeah, definitely. 

So you’re pretty immersed in the sport and it was already a massive part of your life when the diagnosis came along. 

Yeah, I think that’s ]\important. I always remember that because I think it’s really important in my diagnosis story. So I’d already left my university to pursue a career in prosailing, join the team and to go racing. And the diagnosis was a pretty big shot because I didn’t know much about diabetes. There’s no family history. I do hear that quite often when I talk to people who have been diagnosed. I do not have any  family history so didn’t know much about it, and I was actually surprised in terms of what it meant to me when I was diagnosed. You know, the big question was, can I do this as a career? There isn’t anyone else doing it. And actually there are rules in place to say that there’s certain races that I can’t do with a condition like Taiwan. But then on the flip side, this has been such a passion for me for so long, and I was so I described it as being the rabbit hole of what I want to do. 

Again, I feel lucky that I had this, this is just the mindset that there’s no way it’s going to stop me because this is happening, I’m doing this and it’s just another thing to deal with. So that is the kind of positivity that came out of that, and the drive to just get through it into that it’s not just possible. And to figure out how the solution was a big factor in and coming out the other side, that diagnosis in kind of good shape talks us through the circumstances.

So, you are out of university and have already got full time into professional sailing?

Yeah,  so it happened when I was racing, doing a race in the Middle East, and the gulf of going to Arabia. It’s like a three week long kind of multistage offshore race. So pretty physically demanding, mentally demanding. And it was hot, You know, 40° ambient temperature in the day. So, all the normal symptoms, excessive thirst, passing a lot of fluid, fatigue. And it was really difficult to identify those things. It’s difficult, I think, at the best of times because when you look back on them, they can be pretty rapid onset. But when you’re living through them, I think they’re relatively gradual. And then combine that with the fact that I was doing this race where I’m like, of course I’m drinking a lot of water. It’s 40° in the day and I’m pushing my body as I’m fatigued. Of course I’m tired. Nutrition is hard and probably burns six thousand calories a day. And it was only when I got back home after the race, amazingly, I was okay and realized I lost 20 kg and that is probably something that’s wrong. 

It’s probably the weight loss that was the main trigger? 

Yeah.that was like the identifying factor. Because you can be fatigued and you can be thirsty but you can’t justify that much weight loss in that little time really, I think consider yourself to be healthy. 

And so you were over there for three weeks and came back, did you do the test? So that you’re high? What happened there?

 Oh man, it wasn’t that simple. This is an example of how not to do it, right? So, naturally I got back and I started googling my symptoms . It’s pretty clear with a pretty distinctive diagnosis of diabetes, you know, the first, the weight loss, the fatigue. Usually when you do a kind of google search for a medical condition, it  gives bad news. But it came up with diabetes pretty quick and I was quite convinced that’s what it was, but I just knew nothing about it. And so I went through that and then found all of these rules that said that I might not be able to compete if I had diabetes because naturally that was the next thing I looked up. I wasn’t super keen to do it, it wasn’t denial. I mean it probably sounds a bit like denial, but it wasn’t. it was thatI just didn’t want to, I wanted to be sure that that’s what it was kind of on my own which was a terrible idea. 

I didn’t know if maybe I read stories about people being diagnosed with Type two diabetes when they’re relatively young. And I was like, hey, it could be that it could be reversible. So I kind of left another couple of weeks and it kept getting worse. And then I decided that I basically went home to my mom’s place and got into bedford for like 16 hours and she decided to go to the doctor. 

Were you talking to anyone at the time about the symptoms? 

Yeah, it was definitely keeping my mom updated. I wasn’t with her, but I sort of let her know what was going on. I think at that point my friends have sort of started to notice that, you know, when you lose that much weight, you look so different but no one kind of pointed out which kind of pushed me to go and see someone about it. 

Yeah, that’s some independence, man.  I’m thinking, what else you’d call that, But I think independence is one thing anyway. Yeah, independence. 

Then it just got to a point where you couldn’t avoid it anymore. I kind of rationalized it in my head. I was like, well this is this and that’s probably what it is and I definitely need some help. At this point I was going to get dangerous. And so yeah, I went to my GP and he did the glucose test and it was like 20, 24 or 25 and very clear. And I wasn’t surprised. I knew what it was gonna be. I think my mom was quite surprised. She didn’t believe me when I said, I think it’s not beating. And then I went to the hospital overnight and went on a drip and it was the most amazing thing. I don’t know what your experience was like, but just going on, to the saline drip overnight, just rehydrating it and I felt amazing. I think I put on six kg of fluid overnight. and it was kind of a relief, like, you know what it is, and you know that it’s suddenly you’re solving the problem. Then immediately you look back and you’re like, actually, how long has this been affecting me? And not 100% for a relatively long period of time, and suddenly actually I can see a way out of this. 

So that was cool,  I was peeing a lot, remained  thirsty, craving sugar, I’d lost weight, but I was training for the London Marathon at the time but I didn’t have any fatigue and I felt completely 100% fine, and I was talking to a mate back in Australia and I’ve been paying a lot and my eyesight went blurry. Actually, I always had perfect eyesight. My eyesight went blurry and they wanted to give me a glass of what’s going on, like all these symptoms. He’s like, well he’s got diabetes or rabies. He was joking about the rabies, but so when I got a prick test it was like, I couldn’t even read it. It was so high. I went to the GP, she said I can’t believe you’re even awake, you should not be awake with these readings that we’ve got and I felt so fine. And so I said to her, she’s like you’ve got to go to the hospital right now, I was like look I’ve got a really busy day, I feel fine, I’ll go after work and she’s like either you’re getting in a taxi or I’m going to call an ambulance. So I went, they did the arterial tests and gave me some insulin, I just didn’t notice it really. So I can imagine that it is  pretty scary to think about, like, the potential impact of this thing that you’ve got now on your career and on  your passion. Like what was going through your mind around that? 

Yeah, I actually love these conversations because they are so called to hear everyone’s different experiences with it and you know, that just highlights how different they can be. It really is never the same thing. That’s also what’s kind of intimidating about it. What’s going through my head? I mean being a professional sports person, you kind of practice resilience every day anyway and we were talking a little bit before we started recording about being self employed and you get good at being thrown curveballs and get good at trying to be objective about what the next steps are and a big fan of having a plan and being able to change it and all that stuff, and it’s just like the ultimate lesson in that.  

It could be detrimental to your dreams in your career and or it’s just an obstacle and you just figure out how to dodge the obstacles. I’m not even dodging it, but how to climb over it to deal with it. And so again, this is what I think I was lucky because you know, so far down this rabbit hole and the stubbornness and the independence or whatever you wanna call it of, I didn’t get bogged down by all those negatives and just blindly believe that I could figure out how to work with this big obstacle, but I think for me it is the definition of resilience and there’s a lot of conversation in the world about things like resilience, especially at the moment after the pandemic and resilience and mental toughness and all that stuff. Really you build those skills to build these qualities by practicing them and do it in small ways every day. So yeah, for me that’s come from sport, has come from a few things that happened earlier in my life and and now it’s come from being diagnosed with type one and learning how to manage that and still kind of chase after my dreams. 

I think it was lucky that I kind of just landed on my feet with that approach, but it’s taught me a lot. 

Did it affect the direction that you’re playing to go in? Like you talked about being in races that you couldn’t compete in? Was there anything you wanted to do that you can’t do now? 

Yes and no. It really made me question it and I explored a couple of different routes in the sport and you know, the sport is divided into lots of different disciplines that  are all quite different and the ones that I already dreamed of doing is this the round the world stuff, the long distance stuff and probably the solo stuff at that point as well. It was like the pinnacle of the sport. It’s the ultimate challenge. The big boats are fast boats and technologically advanced and that was where the clear challenges were. You know, being on your own thousands of miles from help in an extreme environment is probably going to be difficult with Taiwan. But, I love sailing. So you know, I could go back to doing more kinds of coastal racing, inshore racing or racing with teams. 

I explored that in my head I guess through the process of trying to work with, I found there were two parts of working through those challenges. One was to believe in myself that I could do it because It would be naive to just sit there and say I’ve just been diagnosed with type one. I don’t really know much about it. And I’m quite early in my career of long distance solo sailing. I haven’t even done it yet, but it was in small teams, but I’ve done it. So I’d be naive to say, oh, I can definitely do it. I just need to convince them that I can do it. So I was committed to myself that I could down the boat, go out into the storm and be okay.  

Then the next big part was working with the organizations and working with doctors and convincing them that I’d be safe to do it. And so through that process, it wasn’t clear because these are the barriers that I just need to break down. It was just a big question that I was working through for a couple of years. And in that time I explored what  other kinds of sailings I could do and in the end I just ended up driving me even more towards the long distance stuff, the solo stuff because I realized how much that challenge means to me. 

So your interest in solo around the world stuff was there pre diagnosis? 

Yeah, I’ve always kind of sucked into the “Around the world racing” and the adventure of it. It’s a romantic notion. 

I imagine it’s very different in reality. 

Exactly!  That’s a very good point. Actually a lot of people get sucked into this romantic idea of sailing around the world and there are very few people who go and do it and enjoy it. It’s not enjoyable, but you know, enjoy the challenges of the whole thing. It’s an endurance sport.  There’s nothing really fun about it but the uniqueness of it, so few people get to do it. So I always thought that it was super cool. 

Initially I didn’t know about the solo stuff and that was kind of a bit of a transition and there was a big race called the Volvo Ocean Race which is screwed around the world with the team and that was actually what I love following when I was younger and that was the pinnacle of support in terms of technology. So they were designed with the fastest boats and then there was a bit of a shift in the sport and those boats that changed the rules ended up all being the same. So they kind of stunted the design and technology evolution of those boats and shifted over to the solo stuff who ended up building the fastest boats. And so I kind of moved a bit with that and then that opened my eyes to the solo challenge when it became the peak because the technology stuff is so important to me and I love the design process. I love the innovation process. So that kind of opened my eyes. 

Then I realized when I did my first solo race, I realized how much I love that challenge. 

Any precedence in type ones or do you want to call it a disease? Maybe I don’t usually use the word disease much. But is there any precedent with others around the world? 

No! I mean I guess there are some precedents in terms of endurance, right? I don’t know if there’s any explorers or I’m sure there’s. I’m sure I probably should have researched this. I’m sure someone’s climbed Mount Everest with type one.

Did you tap into any of those resources such as Steve Redgrave? But I guess that’s very different. What did you tap into to get inspiration or support? or you know inside you’re totally right in there and there are so many Inspiration of people living with type one doing amazing things and whether that’s physical challenges and adventures. 

Yeah, there are none in the sailing world. I don’t think that there are so many people that get to go and it’s quite a small group of people that do that kind of racing, so it’s probably not surprising that no one’s done it before. A side note to that is the reason I can do it is because of the technology that we have now and we haven’t had that before. But yeah, you can definitely find it elsewhere. I kind of  wish you’d see more of it earlier on and I didn’t have access to it, I just wasn’t out there looking for it and you know there’s so much stuff now like instagram, within the community and social media and it’s really cool because I think it is quite successful, it’s easy to find other people that are doing really cool stuff with Type one and to learn from them alone for their experiences. 

it was when I started doing things like this and started chatting to other people with type one and that kind of brought me into doing what I do and start talking about my experiences with it that opened my eyes to the rest of the community, which kind of sounds a bit selfish but it never crossed my mind that I could find it and I think that’s interesting when I look back on it and I don’t know if it would surely have helped. I didn’t even think about it.  I guess you look for it when you need it right.

Were people advising against it? 

Yes. I came up against a few cameras which were hard but had a nice balance of people that were supportive from authority. And I’m also kind of used to doing things that not everyone agrees with. You know, even after leaving university at Oxford to  be a sailor, i got quite a lot of Disapproving expressions. I’m quite comfortable with that always happening, but I’m happy to do my own thing and I feel like I do it for the right reasons and that’s fine. 

Very quickly I managed to have a conversation about the diagnosis, but it turns out that the doctors that I was working with were the ones that had made the ruling for the big race to say that No one can compete with type one. So I mentioned, speak to them very early on that actually, they were very open. They said we made that ruling on an individual basis. We will always make it on an individual basis if you manage it well. And especially with the technology that we’re starting to have more and more access to that, we see no reason that you can’t compete. So that was really cool and there’s some hope here. But then yeah, I came up against him the first time I went to sail across the atlantic. Getting very lucky, I had the opportunity to surpass the Atlantic on a big fast time around. Pretty big deal with the team and I very nearly wasn’t allowed to go because one of the guys on the crew had expressed concern about me being on the boat and this is someone who had studied medicine and I’m certainly not a diabetes specialist but had some knowledge in the area. So that was a really difficult position for them, the skipper of the boat. And I totally would have understood if he just turned around and said, I can’t take you. But it just started a dialogue and it was far enough in advance. 

We started a dialogue and I said, let me go and prepare some more information for you so you can make a more informed decision and put together a risk analysis of what could go wrong like the systems that I have in place to manage those risks. Usually, you know like  what if  my insulin goes off, we’ll have another batch and what if it gets too hot? We’ll have it insulated somewhere. And what if I go hypo then have fast acting sugar in the worst case to have a little injection and just try to cover all bases for him so he can make an informed choice. And then I left it with him. We didn’t feel like I was in a position to push my own agenda on that because I know what it’s like to be responsible for a team for a career,  so you take the full brunt of that. So that’s one of the challenges of saving the crew is that I’m not just out there looking after me, I’m playing whatever additional risk I bring onto the other people around me, so I have to be confident that I can manage those risks and then I have to get them to buy into that. 

It’s interesting actually like I had stigma on the list and that’s not really an example of stigma but it’s like within the realms of the potential stigma. I mean that’s a decision being made mostly on what’s best for everyone. Whereas I think you do hear stories about, you know,  a young girl who was wearing a CGM and one of the netball referees wouldn’t let her wear it while she was playing with a pump. Eventually, she had to go off and she was upset. I actually participated in a podcast last week about stigma and it’s interesting to know where the boundaries are. I said that’s not really an example of stigma but in another situation that could have been right? if someone else speaks up and says we don’t want this person around because they have this condition. It sounds like you handled it well though. 

Yeah I think being rational about it and trying to empathize with their perspective on this thing which they don’t know much about is important . I think the stigma thing is really interesting and I’m gonna feel lucky that I haven’t come across it, I don’t even really come across at all unless I don’t know about it, but there’s a flip side which I find interesting, that I’ve thought about a lot is that  I have not struggled with it, but I’ve been aware of it, which is how you present yourself. And so I’m constantly fighting this battle and it’s getting a bit easier now because I got more of a track record behind me and now I am more confident in the fact that I can’t do this and it’s okay, but you know, trying to do something like what I’m trying to do and sail around the world and do these big races with type one that’s never been done before. 

There’s a big part of me that wants to manage that risk in other people’s heads and so I need people to think that it’s not a problem. I need people to think that I’m all over it and we all know that it doesn’t work like it can’t be all over the whole time. There’s no such thing for someone that’s not living with type one. You know, you put something in the environment and you have challenges, you’re not perfect the whole time, sea sickness or just you know, over doing it and emptying the fuel tank and then being useless for 25 or whatever it is. But yeah, I’ve definitely in the past portrayed that and then come up against it when everyone forgets that I have this extra thing that I’m dealing with and that’s fine. It’s good that they forget it sometimes, but you need them to not forget it. That’s totally on me if I’m convincing everyone that it’s not a thing. So I found it a really tricky balance. 

You don’t want to be like, hey guys, I got type one diabetes, right? But you also don’t want him to come to a point where you’re passed out somewhere and they’re finding out that way, Right? So yeah, I can see how that is a challenge, right? How do you deal with it?

 I think ultimately it’s that  you do it individually. I do it individually and it’s great in everyday life to rely on this. This is the challenge, right? So on the boat it’s kind of easy because I just take it on myself and I have to do that and I’m fine with that. And the additional cost of just taking it all in myself is my thing to deal with as long as I’m confident about it. So I’m on top of it. But if I need some time out or if I need to not be involved in doing the sail change because I’m hypo, then I tell the guys that’s what’s going on and I’m very clear about it and they’re fine with it. But then the transition to real life is actually not a very healthy way to live with type one in everyday life and  it is just you need a support network around, you need people to get it and you need people who will be there with when you are having hypo or when you’re having that moment rather than just take it all in yourself and be like, look, I’m good, I sort it out. And so I’ve definitely been prone to doing that and then felt the burden of that as well. I’ll just look after myself and no one kind of needs to worry about it. But It is not particularly healthy all the time. 

I get you. So have you had any hairy moments? I mean have you done a solo around the world yet? 

No. So I’ve done solo across the Atlantic and that’s kind of the second biggest solo race. That’s kind of the second biggest solo race in the solo offshore world. And then you go around the world race in 2024. 

Okay, so how was your management in that particular race? The atlantic? 

 It was good. These races are never simple. You talk about  hairy moments every day. There’s different scales of hairy moments. But you think about the sport, we’re taking design with designing to the limit. We’re using new technologies that we are pushing to the limit and then we’re building them within the limit of what we can do and then we take them and we push them to the limit in an unpredictable environment. A long way From help, you know, big waves, big winds, big storms for a long period of time. So that transatlantic for me was 18 days. In the first week, we had actually typically very bad weather leaving northern France in november. We had three consecutive categories of depression. So big storms, 50 knot winds, eight plus meter waves. So stuff goes wrong every day. It’s never what you expect. 

There’s always a hairy moment to contend with. So you kind of throw through type one management into the mix and actually it’s not like there’s this whole other challenge, like for me, it’s just a part of the challenge and there will be hairy moments and in that race it was actually pretty smooth. I had some hypos and I dealt with them. They just kind of live and race with this philosophy of thinking about, it’s a holistic approach to the whole system. So I’m not just thinking about how hard I’m pushing the boat and how hard I’m pushing myself and pulling it all into one thing because we’re kind of connected and I could be the limiting factor on the boat and it becomes a management exercise. These boats normally would be settled with like 10 people. So there’s always too many tasks to complete in a given period of time. So it’s about managing what those tasks are, which ones a priority, whether it’s getting 20 minutes of sleep or changing sails. Not sleeping is good for going fast, but not if you’re making bad decisions. So sometimes you need to sleep. So that becomes the top of the priority list and I just throw the management of my condition into that structure. So if I’m having a hypo then it becomes top of the priority. That’s nothing else that matters. Unless there’s something that is critical and then I find a way to manage both. 

What are the moments where you’re literally sitting down just dealing with the hypo waiting for it to pass before you take on the next task? Did any of those moments in those 18 days happen? 

Yeah, they’re pretty rare but they can catch you out like they can occur every day. And so those are probably the hairiest moments, right? But in hindsight it seems pretty simple because this is what’s happened, I know how to deal with it. I’ve never been scared. I’ve had a couple of hypos where you never had a serious issue where it’s caused unconsciousness incapacitated but had a couple in the last five years away. You sort of worry about that a little bit.  And that’s again just being strict. 

You know, having sensors is amazing. You wouldn’t know what it was like to not have a sensor. I imagine you would have had one since the beginning. 

No, I did finger bricks for a couple of years. In fact that race was one of the first times I really used the CGM because I knew that I had to, for the race but I was self funding and I couldn’t really afford to do it. I knew I needed it for the race. So I kind of tried them beforehand to get used to how it was going to work and tested it to check it would do what I needed to do on the boat.  I am a freestyle ambassador by the way. 

So why not the dexcom? Though I also prefer libre, I mean I used both. I imagine you’ve considered it as well. 

I’ve considered it and I can actually talk for quite a long time on this. But I mean there’s so many things to consider. And again, when you put yourself in that environment, they all become apparent very quickly. Like changing the sensor. You know, when you’re bouncing off, you don’t bounce off the waves. The top speeds of these boats are like 40 plus miles an hour. So when you go in a big way, if you fly off it and then you hit the next one and you’re putting like +23 Gs and deceleration and you hit the next wave, it’s not a comfortable place to be. So the thing is basically if you’re managing to hide and we’ve got a lot more protection and the modern votes now. But then it’s humid and you’re working hard. And so just doing something as simple as a sense of change can be really difficult. 

So only having to do that every two weeks with the libre is awesome. And it’s so simple with the applicator. So that kind of thing is worth considering. And then for me, I actually like having to make an effort to collect the data to scan because I think it’s too easy to have too much data and then it just blends into the background. You have to make a conscious action to scan it to collect the data. You’ve initiated an action already. And so you’re ready to take another action if it’s not where it needs to be  so I like that. The alarms are really important, but Libre;s  alarms are great. 

So you need to take that action then with the scanning? 

Yeah I would leave it to you to scan it. It’s exactly the same apart from the fact that it will pin you to an alarm if you go out of range, your preset limits to your phone or to the reader. So it’s like a hybrid that I guess it’s pretty smart. What they’ve done in terms of battery use is that you still have to scan to collect but I think it will actively actually ping over Bluetooth if it’s picked you up out of range. The next generation will be fully Bluetooth. Yeah so it’s nice actually. I like it.

Cool. How far away is the next race? In 2024 I guess?

 Yeah so the race is called the vendee globe, which is the solo nonstop unassisted tour around the world.  It’s every four years and It will be there in 2024. It’s a massive project to put together. You know, it’s an extension of what I’ve been doing previously, but it’s a bit of a step up because I have to step up to a bigger boat because the budget is bigger. You know, you need bigger sponsors and all that stuff. So at the moment we’re kind of in the building phase of that campaign. So we’re looking at raising investment and have raised some investment already and then it’s signing partners and sponsors and all of the work that it takes to basically run a startup. So that’s yeah, taking up most of my time at the moment. And then of course I’ve got to get on the water and do some training as well and do some racing, but hopefully next year we’re kind of on the circuit and then it’s like three years of build up on the circuit and qualifying and, you know, racing for the circuit. The globe is like the pinnacle event at the end of the series. So yeah, super exciting time. 

it’s not like you’re just preparing for one thing, you’re doing lots of races and there’s lots of little steps along the way to guess what are  the conditioning that you gain from that end, and preparedness that you gain from that.

 It’s easy to think because of the narrative of the story, because around the world is such an incredible challenge. It’s easy to think that it’s just about that, but it’s it’s professional sport and it’s a circuit, it’s just that there’s that event at the end which kind of sits a little bit above all the rest, and so, you know, there’s a championship of all of the races that we do every year, traditionally, there’s two major races each year so time spent between obviously running the campaign, training for those races, doing those races and the boat spends a lot of time out of the water, getting rebuilt between each major race and that kind of stuff. So yeah, this is  a story to follow every year, there’s a race to do every year, and then the kind of overarching narrative is that we’re preparing to peak for 2024 and for the one they go,

It’s exciting, man  and it’s a massive challenge, I can’t even really fathom, I guess, what you’re taking on, and it’s inspiring.  It really is inspiring that you’re doing something that, you know, has never been done before? I think that you’re sort of pushing some boundaries, which I think is great for people to hear about this stuff in the community to kind of know what’s possible. it is inspiring, man, appreciate you for sharing your story. 

Yeah, thank you so much. Well, it’s been a pleasure to share it and to chat to you. And hear  some of your thoughts as well. It’s kind of interesting because what I do is a professional sport. Professional sport is like it’s inherently selfish. You know,there’s no illusions I’m out here to do this because I want to do it and I want to race around the world and I want to be the best. But there’s this whole other thing that’s come from being diagnosed with Type one and suddenly find this whole additional level of motivation and you know it’s not up to me to decide whether I inspire people or not, but what I feel like I can do is share my story and share the things that I’ve learned on the way and hope that in the same way I learn stuff from hearing about other people, living with Type one. That just gives me this like an additional drive to succeed or at least just to try and I don’t think I would have found that anywhere else.

I think that’s pretty cool. It is going to call thinking about having this condition and, you know, like before I started working in this space with this business,  I wasn’t that engaged with the community. It’s a two way street. I definitely get a lot from the community. I feel like I do contribute back to the community as well and there’s just something really positive about it, which comes out of this disease. I totally  get where you’re coming from.  Where can people follow your progress like any shout outs that you have advocacy wise or you know, anyone that you want to finish off? 

Yeah, for sure. You know, the usual channels instagram facebook trigger sailing and trigger racing. My online website is I try to keep everyone up to date on the story and kind of what’s going on, share all the relevant stuff, advocating such a big part of the story is technology that I use and so stuff like the libre, it’s a huge part of the story. I think for me, it’s all about being authentic so people can use this stuff. And I genuinely rely on it as we do living with type one every day, but even more so rely on it literally for my life at times. So I like to keep that kind of as organic as possible and just you know if I’m promoting that stuff is just through what I’m doing and through my story, so all that stuff is simple and it’s of course critical to kind of bringing the whole project together as well. 

I’m kind of almost looking forward to 2024 a little bit. 

Thanks. Yeah, I hope you follow along and you know, we’re going to do some pretty cool stuff I think over the next few years and put out some pretty cool content and try our best to have an impact in space. And hopefully by the time we get to that race then people are primed to follow the story of the race and the highs and lows of it.

Totally appreciate your time Jack. 

Yeah, thanks very much and great to chat. 

Take care mate