“Some guys said they would never do it again. Silly me – I said I was sold on it right there and then,” commented Chris Nicholson, the newly appointed skipper for Team Vestas Wind, the first-ever Danish Volvo Ocean Race team.
With support from Shore Manager Neil Cox, the four-time race veteran will lead the 7th and final boat in the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race which kicks off on 4 October with the first in-port race in Alicante, Spain.
Vestas CEO Anders Runevad is confident the Volvo Ocean Race will be a success for his company.
“In terms of wind energy and where we have our market focus, the Volvo Ocean Race is a perfect match for us to engage with our customers, showcase our technology and strengthen our brand in some of our most important markets. This supports our new corporate strategy ‘Profitable Growth for Vestas,” says Runevad in a statement on his company’s website.
For Nicholson however, his team is pretty far behind the power curve already. “We’ll get two weeks of sailing before the start,” says Chris bluntly. “It’s unheard of. Most teams will have done at least six times the amount of miles we’ve done at the start.”
As soon as the boat hits the water, Team Vestas will prep for an immediate 2,000 nautical mile voyage to qualify for the Volvo Ocean Race in mid-August.
“If we said “we want to win Leg 1”, that would probably be the surest way to have a shocker,” says Nicholson. “We need to have a consistent result in the first leg. If we can manage a mid-fleet position in the first leg, that would be good.”
Two Danes, Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe, will feature in the eight-man crew. The rest of the crew remains to be announced. Sehested, 24, is among the youngest from his country to have competed in the race.
“We are going to have good guys who know the story, who know how hard it is,” adds the skipper, who has twice represented Australia in the Olympics. “We will get there – it will just take us a little bit longer.”
“He is one of those guys who does this race because he really loves being out there, fighting in the ocean, going long, and fast, and hard,” adds Knut Frostad, the race CEO.