Emirates Team New Zealand has appointed Olympic and round-the-world yachtsman Chris Nicholson (Australia) to skipper Camper’s entry in the 20 11-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Also at the announcement at Emirates Team New Zealand's Auckland base was World Match Racing Champion, Adam Minoprio, who was named as part of the crew.
Nicholson is a veteran of three VORs, his first as a watch captain in 2001-02 on Amer Sports 1 which was skippered by Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton.
In 2005-06 he was a watch captain on board Spanish entry movistar and in 200-09 he was co-skipper of Puma, which finished second. Nicholson, aged 40, represented Australia at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004. He was 49er world champion in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and world champion in the 505 class in 1992, 1994 and 2002.
Minoprio told Sail-World after the media conference that BlackMatch racing would continue at full pace on the 2010 World Match Racing Tour and would be keenly defending their title and meeting on their sponsor commitments.
It was revealed that the whole BlackMatch crew have applied for the three positions (now two) in the crew required to be filled by sailors under 30 years of age. The rest of the crew is expected to be announced within two weeks with a large number of applications being received, following the announcement of the Volvo Ocean race entry two weeks ago.
Emirates Team New Zealand operations manager Kevin Shoebridge, who will manage the Camper project, said the appointment of Nicholson and Minoprio brought together veteran ocean racing experience and up-and-coming talent.
'Chris Nicholson is well-known to the team and brings the experience from a long and successful racing career to Camper.'
'Adam Minoprio is a young yachtsman with drive, determination and skill who will be an asset to Camper. His BlackMatch racing team already has a close association with Emirates Team Zealand and we have supported him on the match racing circuit.'
The Emirates Team New Zealand design team, headed by principal designer Marcelino Botin, is well advanced on the yacht’s design. Building will start in Auckland in August. It will be launched early next year and undergo sea trials before being shipped to Spain.
Camper, the Spanish-based international footwear manufacturer, announced its decision to enter the Volvo Ocean Race on April 12.
Camper is a family-owned company which started making shoes on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1877. Today Camper operates directly 320 stores and 'shop-in-shop' locations in 42 countries and distributes its products through 2800 independent retailers.
The Volvo Ocean Race starts at Alicante, Spain, in October 2011 and will finish at Galway, Ireland, in June 2012.
Stopover ports are Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).
The full audio of the media conference is below.