VOR – Danish entry with Aussie skipper, the backstory continues

From the left: Chris Nicholson, Nicolai Sehested, VOR CEO Knut Frostad, Vestas CMO Morten Albæk and Peter Wibroe. - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
Soren Overup, Sail-World Europe
Dan Ibsen, the editor of Sail-World Europe, as well as being the VP of EUROSAF, is a proud member of the Royal Danish Yacht Club and today Dan continues his report on the first Danish entry in the VOR for decades.

We present an extract from his latest report as our Editorial today.

‘Vestas Wind' became the latest entry ever for the event, and thereby also the VOR project with the shortest planning and preparation period ever. The One Design VO65 makes this possible, and both Knut Frostad, the CEO of the VOR and the Australian skipper Chris Nicholson emphasised at the press conference that the One Design concept will be the key to success in the future, for the teams, sponsors and event.

The very late announcement of the project does not leave very much time for preparation, Frostad admits. The launch is so late that ‘Team Vestas Wind’ have only six weeks from the boat hit the water in Southhampton on August 21st until the race starts in Alicante on October 4th.

Volvo Ocean Race - Vestas press conference
Soren Overup, Sail-World Europe

Earlier at the Team Vestas Wind launch in Royal Danish Yacht Club in Copenhagen, Denmark Frostad said
‘We have all the time been quite certain that we would get the seventh boat ready, due to the strong interest the last six months. There was another team lined up for the boat, this opportunity with Vestas came very late, but we could not wish for a better sponsor for the seventh boat.’

Team Vestas Wind - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 Pre-launch
The initial talks were between Vestas and Volvo Ocean race, and soon thereafter also Chris Nicholson became involved as skipper. Knut Frostad says: ‘This would not have been possible, if we had not chosen One Design boats. The only thing that is missing, is the final measurements on sails, rig and boat.’

‘I am very happy that Nicholson accepted the offer from Vestas as skipper for the boat. Chris worked for us in Volvo Ocean Race in order to help to finish the VO65 rules, so he already knows a lot about the boat and equipment. He did a fantastic job helping to finalize the One Design rules. He is the best person for such a short and intense campaign.’

‘Nico and Coxy (Neil Cox) are a very strong team, and they know nearly everything about the boat. So it will be easier for them with the short preparation period, and they were probably the only team that could succeed with such a short period for finalizing the boat, day training, security sea course, the 2000 miles as well as the last preparations in Alicante.’

‘Vestas has been very realistic about the project and accept that they probably will be underdogs, when the race starts. But never underestimate an experienced skipper like Nicholson, when he and the crew gets more miles in the book.’

Volvo Ocean 65’s at the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Sail-World is ramping up its coverage of the VOR 2014-2015, which is shaping as the best ever, we will be up in Alicante, (its only 100km from our European base here on the Mar Menor in Spain) in both September interviewing crews and again in October for the inshore race and the offshore race start.

Yesterday, with the dust settling, we talked at length to Knut Frostad and will publish that interview which contains some surprising revelations over the weekend.

Abu Dhabi - 2015 XCAT Gold Coast GP
Karien Jonckheere

There are five VOR65's racing in the SevenStar Round Britain and Ireland Race at the moment and Knut revealed to us, that the telemetry coming off the strongly build 65's indicates the boats are being pushed far harder than the lightweight 70's ever were. Interesting times ahead.