The clock is counting down quickly! This week, we catch up with skipper Chris Nicholson as he talks about team dynamics and preparing for Lisbon.
"With the entire sailing team being dismantled over the previous three months, I really thought we would have difficulty to find any sort of momentum but it really seems like it has fallen into place.
The dynamics in a professional race team are interesting. There is always the mixture of seriousness whilst also trying to have a laugh. It's normally a balance that pretty much can run itself, but of course there is no possible way to find laughter from the error of hitting the reef. It’s something that will never fade with the team, but it will eventually strengthen it.
It's quite surreal walking over the deck of our old boat, knowing the story it could tell. Below it is now essentially a new boat. There has been plenty of talk about the purpose of this whole exercise. It was the right thing to do cleaning up the reef, it was the right thing to do diverting a Maersk ship to transport the boat to Italy. It has been an unfortunate accident with big consequences, but Vestas, Volvo Ocean Race and Powerhouse have pulled together to set this as right as possible.
Since Christmas, we have all been working through extraordinarily difficult times to get the boat back in the race in Lisbon. The fact that we can be back in Lisbon speaks volumes for the capability of the race itself. To have the depth in people and skills to rebuild a wreck back into a one design yacht in difficult circumstances is one example of what drives people to do this race. Whatever happens form Lisbon onwards this boat will be the same as all other boats and will have a long racing life ahead of it. For me this has purpose.
We are now just under three weeks away from loading on the truck and there is plenty going on in all directions of the final stages of the build. With the deadline for trucking rapidly approaching we are feeling the pinch a little to be ready, this is all natural but something that we think and act upon constantly. There are no shortcuts in regards to one design, for sure its makes for a more lengthy repair process but I think we all agree it makes for great racing."
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