Original title: Entrepreneurs set sail from Quebec city to Halifax
IT’S A KNOWN FACT THAT BUSINESS PEOPLE AND ENTREPRENEURS WISH TO MAINTAIN MAXIMUM CONTROL OVER THEIR DESTINIES. IN ESSENCE, THEIR GOAL IS TO MASTER THEIR ENVIRONMENTS. SO WHAT ON EARTH COULD HAVE CONVINCED 14 SUCH INDIVIDUALS TO STEP OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONES TO SAIL, TOGETHER, FOR FOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS, WITH LITTLE SLEEP AND NO PRIVACY, IN CLOSE QUARTERS, ENDURING SEASICKNESS, RAIN AND WICKED OCTOBER WINDS?
You might assume a certain affinity or prowess for sailing, but this was not the case as the vast majority were in fact total rookies. Their route, which followed the often rough and rocky St. Lawrence from Quebec City to Halifax, took them across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and into the Atlantic Ocean. Entrepreneurs should, of course, have an appetite for risk and the ability to adapt to change and the unknown. In this sense, the thirteen men and one woman in question were well suited to this extraordinary adventure aboard a magnificent 60-foot racing yacht.
The trip was organized for members of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Quebec (Raymond Nadeau is in charge of the province of Quebec and Ottawa arm), and other business owners from a variety of sectors. The Atlas sailing team and its main sponsor, Esprit de Corps, took care of the logistics, and supplied the two crewmembers, including experienced captain, Maxime Grimard.
“We left Quebec City in the middle of the night,” explains Daniel Paquette, owner of Centre de Pierres Mirabel, “and at the end of our first shift, after the other team took over and we had gone to bed, we were jarred awake by two hits to the hull. We all went up on deck, fearing there had been an accident. We had run into a buoy, but thankfully there was no damage.”
At another juncture, while in the Gulf, the crew was surprised by a drastic change in weather. The sailboat was suddenly racing alongin 40 know winds, and listing 30 degrees. There was a rush of adrenaline as Grimard ordered the crew to take a reef in the mainsail in what were extreme conditions for this sailing newbies. However, the bad weather proved too unstable, so they quickly changed tack and lowered the sail completely—nothing short of heart racing!
“Although safety is our top priority, some participants had mentioned when they signed up that they hoped this trip would offer some thrills,” explains Maxime Grimard. “They certainly got their wish!”
“When you are in a raging storm in the middle of the ocean, there is nowhere to hide,” maintains Raymond Nadeau, founder of firm, Le concierge. “Challenging situations really expose the importance of teamwork. This incredible learning experience reminded me of the major principles of management. Leaders are also often not used to quickly taking orders from the only captain on board, without discussion or negotiation.” For Paquette, a graduate of the elite program of the École d’entrepreneurship de Beauce, the trip was his second such challenge. He noted that not everyone has the same abilities and, just like in business, one must be able to work with everyone’s individual skills. He will never forget the beauty of the Gaspé Peninsula as seen from the river, the dolphins that came to swim alongside the boat, and the camaraderie that was quickly established, creating an exceptional experience for all involved