Few studies describe the nutritional status of people in stressful situations and with limited access to food. We assessed the dietary intake and serum indices of nutritional status in a sailing crew (n= 14) during a transatlantic race and in a control group (n= 11 males). The crew's mean energy intake was 13.3 MJ/d. In both groups, the intake of retinol, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium and iron was sufficient but the intake of vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc rather low. In sailors, serum HDL cholesterol was higher before the race (1.61 mmol/l; 95% confidence interval: 1.44–1.69) than after it (1.34 mmol/l; 1.26–1.43). Serum calcium, potassium, magnesium, ferritin, zinc, and selenium concentrations did not indicate nutritional deficiency in either group.