Embracing the scale of the challenge

Published on November 4th, 2018

Chris Nicholson

The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race may have finished in June, but Chris Nicholson, the six-time race veteran who served as watch captain on team AkzoNobel, and his teammate Nicolai Sehested haven’t stopped racing. Their eyes are fully focused on putting together a campaign for the 2021-22 edition.

“We’re trying to build off the momentum of the last event and so far these last few months have been very, very positive,” Nicholson said, who notes the introduction of a new class, the IMOCA 60, adds a completely different element to the race.

“The IMOCA 60 is going to be a showcase, the ultimate of foiling monohulls offshore. That’s for a select group of sailors,” he said. “The VO65 lends itself to a broader range of sailors and provides fantastic racing. I think we’ve never seen as good racing as we had in the last race.

“The IMOCA 60 will definitely be different in many ways. It’s not going to be that same style of one-design racing where you feel like you have to fight at every moment because you can’t lose an inch. But instead you get the technology aspect where you’re pushing the limits of foiling offshore and that’s going to be great.”

For someone who’s competed in each race since 2001-02, Nicholson has seen the event through several changes but he says one thing remains the same – the scale of the challenge.

“What motivates me is that it is hard. It is a massive challenge. If it was easy, I wouldn’t be anywhere near it,” he said. “I enjoy problem solving and this race presents problems day in and day out. It’s just a fantastic part of our sport.

“I didn’t think I’d want to do anything apart from the Olympics until I did my first Volvo and since then I haven’t stopped!”

Source: Volvo Ocean Race

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