Harken Derm

Volvo Ocean Race gets its final entry

Published on August 12th, 2014

The Volvo Ocean Race has received its seventh and final entry with the inclusion of skipper Chris Nicholson, who will lead Team Vestas Wind, a campaign sponsored by Vestas, the world’s leading wind energy company.

Nicholson, a six-time world champion, will be competing in his fifth race, having skippered Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last edition.

It’s the first Danish boat in the race’s history, and its launch is imminent – work started weeks ago to be ready on time for the first In-Port Race on October 4 in Alicante, Spain.

Two Danes, Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe, will feature in the eight-man crew. The rest of the crew remains to be announced but will be a multi-national team. Sehested, 24, is among the youngest from his country to have competed in the race.

Despite the late start, Nicholson remains committed. “There is no doubt that we want to win,” shared the skipper. “How we are realistic about that is the problem we’ve got to tackle. If we said ‘we want to win Leg 1’, that would probably be the surest way to have a shocker. We need to have a consistent result in the first leg. If we can manage a mid-fleet position in the first leg, that would be good.”

The seventh boat had previously been committed to another team, which later cancelled. “We were quite confident that we’d have a team,” explained Knut Frostad, the race CEO. “There had been strong interest in the past six months.”

The marriage of sponsor and skipper was with the assistance of race organizers. “Our sporting interest is to be able to compete for a podium position by the end of the race,” declared Morten Albæk, Chief Marketing Officer at Vestas. “We hired Chris five weeks ago, who now has full responsibility to select the best team possible. We only required there to be two Danes on the boat.”

“We are going to have good guys who know the story, who know how hard it is,” adds the skipper, who has twice represented Australia in the Olympics. “We will get there – it will just take us a little bit longer.”

The boat will not face its first test on water until mid-August, as the crew prepares to sail the compulsory 2,000 nautical miles qualifying distance.

Team Vestas Wind will join Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team, Team Brunel, Team Alvimedica and a Spanish team whose title sponsor has yet to be announced, on the start line.

Click here for audio press conference.

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race starts October 4 and will take the fleet to 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles over nearly nine months. It will be the first edition using the new one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats. Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html

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