Oman Air sails in Fusion Bay, Qingdao, in this April 15, 2011 file photo.
Some spent the winter running their businesses; some spent it sailing around the world.
Some are trying for another title; one wasn't sure he was coming as recently as a week ago.
The skippers on the Extreme Sailing circuit might have only one thing in common - they don't mind getting wet.
As the crash-happy tour entered the second day of its opening act of the 2012 season on Tuesday, even the leaderboard reflected the series' schizophrenia.
Favored crew Groupe Edmond De Rothschild of France shared first place with Oman Air, led by first-year skipper Morgan Larson of the United States.
"It's new to me," Larson said at a press conference. "I'm a little bit nervous today with more wind. The training wheels are off."
The French crew, on the other hand, is led by Pierre Pennec, who specializes in multihull sailing and represented the country at the Sydney Olympics. The team won in Muscat last year, but finished as the circuit's runner-up for the second consecutive season.
Pennec said his team isn't fazed after coming so close the past two seasons.
"I don't really feel the pressure - I have a good crew," he said through an interpreter. "We're going to put less pressure on ourselves. We're also going to try to keep the boat in one piece and try not to break it."
France's Loick Peyron, who is skippering the fledgling ZouLou crew, was on a much bigger boat over the winter. He won the Jules Verne Trophy, awarded for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht.
He piloted the Banque Populaire V trimaran around the world in 45 days, 13 hr, 42 min, 53 sec earlier this year.
"If you never did that before, you really have to," the 52-year-old Peyron said.
"It's quite bizarre to be back on small boats a few weeks after that, but I like to be on opposite sides (of sailing)."
Also new to the series is Team Trifork, which is trying to get acclimated as quickly as possible.
"Like a week ago, we were not sure we were even going to make it," said co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen, whose crew is looking to be competitive next year. "It's interesting ... but it's fun. We should have done this years ago."
Alinghi skipper Ernesto Bertarelli of Switzerland has two America's Cup titles under his belt. Still, he's new to the series, and spends most of his time as CEO of pharmaceutical company Serono.
"I'm not a professional," Bertarelli said. "This is not the only thing I do with my life. I've got a business and I have other interests. These guys are at it all the time, and it's a good challenge to try to match them."
The Muscat leg runs through to Friday.