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Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Volvo Ocean Race – Interviews with favorite sailors

by Nic Douglass on 20 Oct 2017
Nic Douglass - Brad Jackson skipper AkzoNobel – Volvo Ocean Race Nic Douglass /
After what seemed like an endless amount of 'leg zeros' the Volvo Ocean Race is now in full wind up to the first leg where points will count on Sunday.

Even though it is a short leg to the race's somewhat quasi home in Lisbon, it is real now, and the sailors are keener than anyone to see the 'real' racing get under way.

Here are a few of my catch ups with just a few of my favourite sailors while in Alicante. I have more lined up for tomorrow, with the remaining teams DongFeng and Brunel, and whoever else I run into.

Luke Parkinson - Scallywag
My first interview from the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race was with Luke Parkinson or Parko when he was about to kick off his first lap with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. At just 27, he has won the Volvo, raced at AC35 as part of Artemis Racing, and now is back for his second lap with the Hong Kong team that happens to have a lot of Aussies on board, Scallywag.

Tom Johnson - Vestas 11th Hour Racing
My first catch up in Alicante as we lead into the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday! Here with Tom Johnson down on the dock to chat about some unfinished business with Vestas 11th Hour Racing. He was onboard with Vestas last edition when they ran aground, went on to race with Oracle Team USA for the AC, and now is back to complete his lap of the planet!

Brad Jackson - AkzoNobel
My next catch up ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 was with Brad Jackson on his new role as skipper for Team AkzoNobel. This will be Brad's seventh round the World race as a sailor, last edition he coached Team SCA. The last time we got to chat was at the end of the Fastnet when the team were starting to gel midway through 'Leg 0'. I spoke to him about the hurdles of the last week with a 'changing of the guard', where the team is at, and the support for him as a skipper, what is ahead on the 'mini' leg to Lisbon, and beyond...

Rob Greenhalgh - Mapfre
My first interview with the current Volvo Ocean Race 'favourite' Desafío MAPFRE was with all-rounder Robert Greenhalgh. We chatted about the Mapfre family, and why he has come back to sail with them again, the new additions to the crew (including Soph and Blair - interviews up shortly) and what we can expect from the next Volvo.

Stacey Jackson - Vestas 11th Hour Racing
My catch up today with the Sailor Girl I have arguably interviewed most over the past few years (and sailed with too)! Last Volvo Ocean Race she was heading off on her first lap of the planet with Team SCA, now Stacey Jackson is back, and ready to take on her second race with Vestas 11th Hour Racing while pushing an important environmental message. Good luck Stace, enjoy getting out on the ocean.
PS - Shout outs to Katie Pellew and Henry, Team Leagues Racing and Richard Allanson I said hi for you.

Dee Caffari - Turn the tide on Plastic
THE female skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race for this edition, Dee Caffari. Was great to catch up on the sailors within the team and their progress, as well as the significant environmental message for Turn the Tide on Plastic, an issue we all need to be aware of, not just as sailors, but as humans. I hope to catch up with a few more from this team tomorrow!

Sophie Ciszek - Mapfre
Catching up with the unstoppable Sophie Ciszek at the Desafío MAPFRE ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race start on Sunday. Soph is ready to go, and hoping that Mapfre keep the early momentum they have right through the race, her teammates meanwhile are happy to have her strength on the bow! Great to catch up with so many Sailor Girl's today!

Blair Tuke - Mapfre
My last chat for today was with Blair Tuke who is set to take on his first Volvo Ocean Race with Desafío MAPFRE. We spoke about how he is fitting in, what he brings to the team, what the first twenty days at sea will be like, the rivalry between himself and Peter Burling and what aspect of sailing he prefers, from skiffs to foiling cats to offshore, given that he seems to be good at all of them??! Good luck Blair.
Plenty more catch ups to come tomorrow before the start on Sunday.

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