Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Volvo Team Vestas Wind skipper Nico says- 'We can win' - Part II

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 13 Aug 2014
July 30, 2014. Vestas Wind Team skipper Chris Nicholson - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Sail-World talks to four times Volvo Ocean race veteran, Chris Nicholson, the just announced skipper of Team Vestas Wind ahead of today's announcement. Here is Part II of that interview.

‘We believe we can give this race a good shake. We will be a young team, a good mix of proven experience and new energy and enthusiasm.

‘With the Spanish entry and ourselves the bar has been raised. If we can get competitive, you know it is going to be a massive race.

‘If we can’t get our act together and get competitive it is going to take a hit. Everyone just thinks it’s a given that we will be competitive. I can tell you, we know we are so pushed it's ridiculous.

‘We will literally get two weeks of sailing on the way down from the UK. Sailing in the Med during that last couple of weeks before the start is not going to do anything for us and we have got three new guys that have never done the race before.

‘Having said that I also see those three guys as our key to actually doing well, but we have got to train and develop them in a two-week period. They have got a steep learning curve coming up.

‘We need ocean time. We have also got to get down into assembly start in time. My chief responsibility is to make sure that we have a boat and crew that is safe. I am not going to let anything pressure me away from that.

‘We can only hope that a weather front or two might come through the Bay of Biscay. Every time I go through there it is like a near death experience. Probably it will be nice and calm, and I will have to motor across this time.

‘Once we get to Alicante, sailing is on the back-burner. The normal assembly period is just frantic in terms of the diesel courses, medical courses, and resuscitation. Skippers have meeting after meeting. It is quite often a very small focus on the sailing at that stage.

‘There are a thousand distractions all away from really what your main goal is but that’s all it will be.

‘Checking over the boat. We won’t have done enough miles on the boat obviously to discover too much. What we are relying on is that all the teams in front of us to have discovered all the problems that we are going to see and we have to try and fix though issues beforehand.

‘There is a combined question and answer forum for any changes to the boat. All those things are public knowledge to the teams, and we are already going to do some of those before we roll out the schedule. In that regard, I think the boat will be all fine. This is just all about how we operate the boat really. I am not concerned about the boat. Coxy will take care of that. We have got to do our job and learn how to sail the thing fast.

‘We have got a really good youngsters, but also guys who understand how the race has evolved. We are going to have the smallest shore team of any team in the race.

‘As sailors we are going to have to do more work on the boat on the stopovers. It was the only way we could make it all work. We have got guys that understand what we are about and potentially that can be good for us. I have just got to make sure that also we get enough race.

‘I imagine we have a smaller budget than most. We are late, and we are responsible in terms of budget so having said that we will have the key ingredients of an equal boat and good sailors. Those key ingredients we haven’t neglected at all.

‘Looking at the other teams. The crew that the Spanish team is putting together, I think they have learned some valuable lessons from the last race. It looks like a very powerful team they are putting there. They are late to the game but are obviously nowhere need as late as us.

‘The other guys, obviously they have had the benefit of time and probably more funding, and obviously they believe they are in a comfortable place.

‘I think it is going to boil down to what their level of intensity has been for these last six to 18 months and if it has been high then we are in trouble. If it hasn’t been as high as what we are going to do for our whole two weeks of testing, which is all we will get before the start, believe me we will be doing an extremely intensive two weeks.

‘It’s just a question of just how much we can bridge the gap.

‘Just how hard have they gone for that period of time? They have had all the opportunity in the world.

‘We could be lucky and have the right mix of guys, the perfect mix of guys on board to get our head around it really fast in two weeks. But I just keep thinking if it was a 49er and everyone is giving it the same level of intensity then the person that does the most hours is usually going to win.

‘We can’t do that. We don’t have the ability to get those hours back. We certainly have to be realistic about the situation.

‘To be perfectly honest, if we can get mid fleet on the first leg, we will be happy..

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
‘I hope that’s what we are going to find form quickly again so we can then be up there as we get stronger in the last legs. Right now off the start line, we need to catch our breath.

‘I have got this feeling that it is not going to be until Abu Dhabi, possibly Auckland until we are able to match it. But then it will be game on.’
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Mackay BoatsNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
Caleb Paine on winning a US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award
I talked with Caleb Paine about his recent US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his Olympic plans. On August 16, Caleb Paine broke the longest-running medal ceremony dry spell for American-flagged Olympic sailors since the 1930s when he captured a bronze medal in the Finn class at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I recently caught up with Paine on the phone to talk about his proud US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his future sailing plans.
Posted on 10 Mar
A Q&A with Lloyd Thornburg about his love of fast boats and racing
I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore. Not too many world-class sailors hail from the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but Lloyd Thornburg isn’t your average sailor. The 37-year old investor flies the New York Yacht Club’s burgee from his fleet of raceboats that have included a Gunboat 66, a MOD70, and a Farr 280. I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore.
Posted on 8 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb