Stress and coping in single-handed round-the-world ocean sailing

Neil Weston, Richard Thelwell, S. Bond, N. Hutchings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study sought to examine the various stressors faced, and associated coping strategies employed, by five single-handed sailors entered into the 2006/2007 Velux 5 Oceans round-the-world race. Interviews conducted with the skippers were transcribed and then deductively and inductively content analyzed. Skippers revealed organizational (e.g., environmental conditions, isolation, sleep deprivation), competitive (e.g., lack of progress, yacht-related problems), and personal (e.g., family-related issues) stressors. Strategies used to deal with these demands included problem- (e.g., prioritized sequential thinking), appraisal- (e.g., rationalizing situations), emotion- (e.g., using available communications), and approach-focused coping (e.g., “what if” scenario planning). The present study proposes that future research should examine more closely the stressor-coping strategy relationship to guide the development of successful coping interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-474
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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