The event is divided into 9 legs. It is not uncommon for the competitors to battle against 100 foot waves and winds that reach 60 knots during the event. Which is why the race is renowned for testing each participants level of courage, will, and skill against the worst Mother Nature has to offer.
Each leg takes weeks to get through. During each leg participants on every boat sail 24 hours a day. Each person involved sacrifices sleep, warm showers, fresh food, privacy, and just plain comfort to accomplish this feat. After each leg the exhausted racers are given a breather. This time is used to rest up a bit before the next leg. Sailors indulge in the creature comforts that most of us take for granted such as, devouring all the fresh food they can, taking a hot shower, and catching up on sleep.
Time between each leg can last up to two and a half weeks. This gives the participants enough time to be away from the boat, and rest up before they have to endure the next leg. This does not mean they don’t keep working out. They train on land between legs to upkeep their strength and stamina. A week before the next leg begins participants prepare by stocking food, and tracking the most efficient routes.