Always thought that this race is about seamanship.... No matter which third you are in, this is an enormous challenge and all who made it to the start are pros. How many so called 'pros' were out before the race ended before???
For Mich Desj and quite a few others out there it's clearly a profession as much as it is a passion, which on a level is absolutely understandable. They're working hard around the year to be able to go out onto the water... and sure have fun. But in the back of their heads, it's clear that they make commitments to their sponsors as much as to their families, so I do see the point of it. That he had to make the point about "hippies" is typical, though, and it doesn't surprise me at all reading that from him. From his point of view these "hippies" must look like they're coming to a business meeting in sandals and shorts, not because they don't work hard as well, but mostly because they're not playing "by the rules" of his profession.
That this still means being a dick about sailing and the hard work and dedication that the "hippies" put into making their dreams work out is true nonetheless.