Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

Team AkzoNobel sailors Sehested and Nicholson set their sights on 2021 Volvo Ocean Race

by Justin Chisholm 24 Sep 2018 02:06 PDT
Team AkzoNobel sailors Chris Nicholson (AUS) and Nicolai Sehested (DEN) aim to co-skipper a campaign in the 2021-22 Volvo Ocean Race © James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

Two months after completing the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race around the world in fourth place aboard team AkzoNobel, two key members of the squad have set their sights on competing in the next edition of the race in three years' time.

Nicolai Sehested from Denmark and Chris Nicholson from Australia have teamed up together and plan to mount a campaign for the next race which will circumnavigate the planet beginning in the winter of 2021.

If they are successful in raising the funding to mount a competitive campaign this would be the pair's third around the world race together, having first competed in 2014-15 when Nicholson skippered Danish entry Team Vestas Wind.

For the next race 28-year-old Sehested will step up into the co-skipper's role alongside Nicholson – a veteran of six around-the-world races.

Nicholson, 49, has won multiple world and European championships and led two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns (as well as the Vestas campaign he skippered CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand to second place in the 2011-12 edition) and believes Sehested has got everything it takes to co-skipper.

"Right from the very first day I sailed with Nicolai on much smaller boats I could tell he was built for around the world racing," Nicholson said. "I knew then it was just a matter of time before he would be ready to take on a leading role within a campaign.

"He is someone who maintains an even personality when things are going well and in times of adversity. That makes him the exact sort of person you want beside you when you take on as immense a challenge as an ocean race around the world."

Sehested describes himself as "humbled" by the confidence shown in him by Nicholson but equally excited at the prospect of jointly leading an around the world race campaign.

"I'm very aware of the responsibilities that come along with the role of skipper and I've spent my last two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns learning as much as possible from the talented and experienced sailors around me," Sehested said.

"Assembling a team to take on an around-the-world yacht race is a hugely daunting prospect and I know that to bring it to fruition I will need to call on every skill and piece of experience I have learned along the way.

"That said, I am also thrilled by the idea of working alongside Chris to create a campaign that can deliver both on the water and for our commercial partners."

Team AkzoNobel finished the 2017-18 race strongly with a second place in the final leg from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague in the Netherlands at the end of June.

Since then Sehested and Nicholson have been engaged in a post-race tour of European waters with the team AkzoNobel VO65 yacht, giving AkzoNobel staff, customers and partners a once in a lifetime chance to experience the thrills of sailing aboard such a high-performance ocean-going thoroughbred.

As professional ocean racers Sehested and Nicholson regard the round the world race as the pinnacle of their chosen sport and both have their hearts and minds set on mounting a winning campaign in the 2021-22 edition.

Turning that into a reality will require substantial financial support and the two sailors are on the lookout for suitable commercial partners to help them build a race winning squad.

For the right organisation the benefits of backing a participating team can be significant. Global paint and coatings company AkzoNobel received a five-times return on its investment in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race based on the media exposure alone.

Nathalie Quéré – director brand and creative services at AkzoNobel and team AkzoNobel's campaign director in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 – said the company had overachieved on all the goals it set for the campaign.

"Chris and Nicolai did an outstanding job for us in the last race," Quéré said. "We are delighted that they have joined forces for another campaign and we will do whatever we can to support them."

Despite the start of the next edition being three years away the clock is already ticking for anyone with aspirations of putting together a winning campaign and Sehested and Nicholson are already on the hunt for backers.

"The important thing is to identify the right partners who can benefit from being a part of this wonderful race," said Sehested at the Royal Danish Yacht Club, where as well as taking AkzoNobel guests sailing last week, he and Nicholson met with representatives of some of Denmark's largest companies.

"There isn't any other sporting event that comes close to the magnitude of an eight month, 45,000-mile yacht race around the world," Sehested said. "For the right company the opportunities it opens up are truly spectacular.

"We have the experience of eight Volvo Ocean Race campaigns between us and that puts us in a very strong position to be able to engage in meaningful discussions with potential partners."

Nicholson too stressed the importance of forming a true partnership rather than just looking for someone to provide the funding.

"Gone are the days when the sailing team and the sponsor were separate entities with their own agendas," Nicholson said. "To be successful in a yacht race around the world requires all sides to be working for each other to make sure everyone involved gets the most out of the campaign."

Next stop for Nicholson and Sehested with the team AkzoNobel VO65 will be Lorient, France where Nicholson will give the keynote address at the Yacht Racing Forum taking place on October 22 – 23.

Related Articles

Unfinished business
Blair Tuke on trying to win The Ocean Race Kiwi star Blair Tuke on trying to win the Race that 'pushes you like nothing else'. When Blair Tuke looks back on his first crack at The Ocean Race, onboard MAPFRE, he describes it in two words: unfinished business. Posted on 18 May
Sailors ringing the changes in The Ocean Race
The Ocean Race is set to expand with a combined fleet that could see up to double the entries The Ocean Race is set to expand with a combined fleet that could see up to double the number of boats on the start line in Alicante in 2021, compared to the last few editions of the event. Posted on 12 May
Hat-trick award success for the Ocean Race
Hat-trick award success for the Ocean Race The Ocean Race has secured another major prize at a prestigious global sport awards ceremony – making it three big wins in just seven days. Posted on 6 May
Inmarsat helps deliver BT Sport Industry Award
Ground-breaking live coverage and raw storytelling wins prestigious Cutting Edge Sport category Enabled by Inmarsat's flagship satellite communications services, the gripping multimedia content distributed to a global audience throughout the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race has won a prestigious BT Sport Industry Award. Posted on 2 May
The Ocean Race partners with Bluewater
Collaboration builds upon the partnership during the past edition of the race The Ocean Race will partner with pure water provider Bluewater in a bid to reduce global reliance on single-use plastics, it has been announced. Posted on 27 Apr
The Ocean Race wins two sport industry awards
The Ocean Race fights off competition from some of the biggest names in sport to pick up two prizes. The Ocean Race has won two BT Sport Industry Awards, earning recognition amongst some of the world's biggest sporting brands and organisations by scooping the Cutting Edge Sport Award and the Social and Sustainable Development Award. Posted on 26 Apr
The Ocean Race wins Cutting Edge Sports Award
The Ocean Race fights off competition from the biggest names in sport to pick up the prizes The Ocean Race has won two BT Sport Industry Awards, earning recognition amongst some of the world's biggest sporting brands and organisations by scooping the Cutting Edge Sport Award and the Social and Sustainable Development Award. Posted on 26 Apr
Racing with purpose for Ocean Health
A visionary partnership with 11th Hour Racing The Ocean Race is building on its position as the sustainability leader in global sport by announcing a visionary partnership with 11th Hour Racing -- the largest of its kind in sport. Posted on 22 Apr
The Ocean Race: 'This is a special race'
Kiwi Race veteran Tony Rae on working with Bianca Cook's NZ-flagged campaign Kiwi Race veteran Tony Rae on working with Bianca Cook's NZ-flagged campaign – and why The Ocean Race means so much to New Zealand. Posted on 18 Apr
Herrmann looks to take on fully crewed challenge
German sailor plans to be on the start line of the 2021-22 edition German sailor Boris Herrmann has plans to be on the start line of the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race. Posted on 15 Apr
Melges IC37 2019 FooterGul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTERZhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90 BOTTOM