Just on 70 days before the start of the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race and rumours abound that a major Danish company is set to sponsor a last minute entry in the round the world race, grabbing the available one design boat seven.
Shipping giant Maersk, satcomm company Thane & Thane have been mentioned and now most recently Vestas Wind Systems, the largest manufacturer of wind turbines systems in the world, based in Aarhus Denmark, who were the sponsor of Paul Larsen's Sailrocket has firmed as favourite.
Chris Nicholson, a four times VOR veteran, dual Olympian, with three 49er and three 505 World championship has been suggested as the most likely skipper, with other crew members including a number Danish sailors to be announced shortly.
Nicholson along with shore manager Neil Cox worked closely together to help get Puma's il mostro on the water for the 2008-09 edition and as skipper and shore crew manager they oversaw the Camper project from the team side in 2011-2012. In this cycle they have been intimately involved in the design designs on the VOR65 working as consultants for the event liaising with designers and builders on the new 65 footer, so you can imagine that it will take them very little time to get up to speed.
This rumour has been doing the rounds since Emirates Team NZ made the surprise announcement they would not compete in the 2014/15 event. Nicholson was always tagged to the rumour as skipper, however little other evidence/confirmation could be obtained as to who the sponsor's were from two independent sources (Sail-World's normal standard for publication of unannounced developments in a story).
This morning in Denmark, when approached by Sail-World Europe, from Vestas came 'we don`t comment on rumours'
Late this afternoon, Monday NZT, sources spoken to by Sail-World confirmed that Nicholson would be skippering a Volvo entry. It was believed that it would be more of an international crew, than just the Emirates Team NZ/ Camper crew from 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race. The America's Cup team did have a full crew on standby for the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, however stood them down when the delay in announcement of the 2017 America's Cup venue impacted on the team's ability to fund two major projects.
Another leading NZ Round the World sailor is also said to be linked to the Nicholson crew.