Not picking on Sander) but comments like this always make me wonder where people get their "facts." I was a bit obsessive about this trip mostly because it seemed like the first "real" sailing Riley had done and sometimes I worry about him (conservative he ain't). So I read all the posts of the participants on multiple social media outlets, followed several threads on various forums and checked the maps twice a day. Nowhere does it state, imply or even hint at Nikki being a lynchpin in the trip's success. Do I believe she was? Yes. But that is just a guess.
I don't think that's accurate, that this is the first "real" sailing Riley has done . I have followed most of their videos during their days sailing their Beneteau, before they got the catamaran. They crossed oceans, and did some pretty serious sailing.
There was one episode in which Elayna flew home to tend to some family matters, and Riley sailed single-handed back to Australia from, I believe some place in Southeast Asia, possibly Indonesia, through a storm. Riley posted a video afterward in which he apologized for not having any video of the actual sailing time through the storm. He explained that he was much too busy sailing through the storm to have time to set up any cameras or worry about filming. He cautioned their viewers not to conclude that sailing is always like they had depicted in their videos, because they often did not have time to make videos of the most extreme periods of sailing. In his processing of the single handed storm passage, Riley said that it was a challenging passage, and he wouldn't care to do one like that again, single handed.
Some people on here, who apparently have not watched many of their videos, seem to have the impression that Elayna has just sat around in her swimsuit, cooked, and played with babies. Before they got the catamaran, and before they had Lenny, Elayna took her share of watches, during which she sailed through some pretty extreme weather, while Riley took his sleep shift. She did sometimes mention on the video, waking him up early from his sleep shift, to consult with him about changing wind conditions and possible need for sail changes.
From watching the videos, I have been pretty impressed with what a brave and capable sailor Elayna is. She's a pretty tough woman, for her size.
I think the reason that Elayna put in less time at the helm, on this trip, has nothing to do with a lack of ability to handle it. In the past videos of their mono-hull sailing adventures, I've been impressed with Alayna's commitment to being an equal sailing partner to Riley, one who has certainly put in her time on watch. I think it probably has more to do with the luxury that they had Nikki there to split watches with Riley, leaving Alayna free to fill her much more important role as "Mum".