Dock Talk: Team Vestas Wind bank on mix of experience and youthful energy to get the job done
ALICANTE, Spain, September 1 – Chris Nicholson’s Team Vestas Wind crew will enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with less time to prepare than any of their rivals but brimming with experience combined with youthful energy.
The Australian skipper is banking on the tried and tested including two sailors with seven Volvo Ocean Races under their belts already – New Zealanders Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse – in his crew announced today.
The pair is joined by two other crew members with Race experience, Dutch navigator Wouter Verbraak and the first Argentine to be named for this year’s race, Maciel Cichetti.
Nicholson will also have plenty of new talent on board with 23-year-old Australian Tom Johnson joining Danish Volvo Ocean Race first-timers Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe.
To complete the team, Irish film-maker and photographer Brian Carlin will be responsible for bringing the story of Team Vestas Wind to millions of fans around the world as Onboard Reporter.
Said Nicholson: “We need a crew with plenty of guys on board who know exactly what the Volvo Ocean Race is all about, guys who can hit the ground running and help make us competitive in the shortest time possible. And we also need a team that can gel quickly because this race more than ever before, will be about teamwork and making the right decisions together.”
Nicholson continued: “We’re confident we’ve achieved just that with a mixture of huge experience in Trae (Rae), Salty (Salthouse) and myself and guys who are ready to learn from them like Nicolai (Sehested) and Peter (Wibroe). Vestas’ core business values of accountability, simplicity and collaboration are spot on for what we’re trying to achieve with our crew. If we can show those qualities under the extreme pressure of the Volvo Ocean Race we’ll do just fine.”
The line-up in full with their sailing - and human - credentials:
Chris Nicholson (Australia)
Nico has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race four times. He has represented Australia at the Sydney and Athens Olympics and is a six-time world champion. He’s cool under pressure and one of the sport’s nice guys – but underneath there’s a fierce competitor. He finished second last time in 2011-12 as skipper of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Other Interesting Fact: Fourth time around the world. Was an electrician by trade and was once a miner.
Family: Partner + two sons + one dog + two horses + two chickens
Nicolai Sehested (Danish)
Role: Trimmer and boat captain
Nicolai has a solid background in match racing having recently competed in the SAP Extreme 40 series. One of the shining stars in Danish sailing. He’s got a big job for a young man but he has an old head on those young shoulders.
Other Interesting Fact: Grew up on a farm and is a keen hunter.
Family: Parents + two older sisters
Peter Wibroe (Danish)
Role: Trimmer, data processing and food.
Pete also has a solid background in match racing. He was a crew member of the SAP Extreme 40 and has competed in the Melges 32 and RC 44. Pete has a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences with a master’s degree in nanotechnology.
Other Interesting Fact: Growing up, he always wanted to be a musician, and his biggest talent was his ability to sleep during transportation – let’s hope he can stay awake on the boat! Pete’s bachelor of nanotechnology thesis topic was: “Exploring encapsulation efficiency in single vehicles by passive transport across bilayers around phase transition”. (Amazing!)
Family: Parents + one brother + one sister
Tony Rae (New Zealand)
Role: Hellman’s trimmer, medic, sail maker.
Trae has competed in the Volvo Ocean race four times. He has been a member of Team NZ since 1987 and has been with Team NZ for all seven of their America’s Cup campaigns. He is one of the most respected men in the sport of sailing and if all goes wrong, he boasts a singing voice to cheer up his crewmates. He’s the front man for the Volvo Ocean Race rock band.
Other Interesting Fact: Had two cats but had to sell them because he was doing this race.
Family: Wife + two daughters
Rob Salthouse (New Zealand)
Role: Watch captain, driver, trimmer, sail maker.
Salty has competed in three Volvo Ocean Races, four America Cup regattas with Team New Zealand, eight Sydney-to-Hobart races and five Atmel Cup races. Knows the sport inside out and will be once again Nico’s rock on board after sailing with him in 2011-12 on CAMPER.
Other Interesting Fact: This will be his fourth lap around the world.
Family: Wife + two daughters + one son
Tom Johnson (Australia)
Role: Hellman’s trimmer and bowman and sail maker.
Don is the youngest on board Team Vestas. He has recently competed in the SAP Extreme 40 Sailing series and has a strong background in Moth and 49er sailing. Nico predicts his background on high performance dinghies will help him develop into one of the fastest drivers on board Team Vestas Wind.
Other Interesting Fact: He grew up in Mandurah in Western Australia and when not sailing, he surfs, skates and goes camping.
Family: Parents + one sister
Wouter Verbraak (Dutch)
Wouter has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race twice, the America’s Cup, the 2011 Barcelona World Race and all world major regattas.
Other Interesting Fact: Wouter loves skiing with his family. Unfortunately missing out on this year’s skiing means he will never keep up with his 10-year-old son’s 93kmh skiing!
Family: Wife + one son + one dog
Maciel Cichetti (Argentine)
Role: Watch captain, Driver, Trimmer
Cicho has a wealth of experience across the Volvo Ocean Race and Americas Cup. He is a World Champion in the RC 44 sailing class and a highly sought after trimmer in the TP 52’s. His experience of one-design sailing with the TP 52s, Melges should be invaluable.
Other Interesting Fact: Born in Argentina, married a Swede, has three children who were all born in different cities around the world. Favourite pastime includes watching rugby with his son, enjoying “asados” (Argentinian barbeques) with friends and (if time permits) trekking in the mountains.
Family: Wife + two daughters + one son
Brian Carlin (Irish)
Role: On Board Reporter (OBR).
Brian has a long history in film and photography in the sailing arena in both match racing and America’s Cup. He is responsible for all media content received from onboard the boat and also responsible for food. He’s an Irishman so he’s a born communicator who has already made himself popular with the crew. Let’s hope he can cook well too!
Other Interesting Fact:He is also an Architect. He would live in South East Asia if he had the chance.
Family: Parents + one brother (who is a chef)
You can keep up to date with Team Vestas Wind’s journey via http://teamvestaswind.vestas.com and via our social media channels:
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE REST OF THE FLEET?
Dongfeng Race Team – First there were four and now there are six. Dongfeng have added two more Chinese sailors to their race crew – Kong Chencheng (Kong) and Liu Xue (Black) – after both returned to the fray having originally pulled out. It takes the number of Chinese in the squad to six with skipper Charles Caudrelier planning to rotate them throughout the Race. Both Kong and Xue dropped out of contention for places after finding early training too tough but then the lure of the Race drew them back and team boss Bruno Debois was happy to welcome back two very talented sailors. ‘Black’ summed up why he’s back: “A Volvo Ocean Race sailor should be a team player, determined in mind with a strong body. That’s who I want to become.”
Team Brunel – Skipper Bouwe Bekking was all smiles when he steered his boat into Alicante – the first of the teams to arrive at Race HQ – just before midnight on Friday. After a four-day trip from their training base in Lanzarote, Bekking reported all was well with both the boat and the crew beyond a handful of routine maintenance fixes for the Volvo Ocean 65. He’s also named the final member of the onboard line-up, Onboard Reporter Stefan Coppers, whose ambition to do the job was first fired up eight years ago. “In 2006 the race came to Rotterdam,” recalled Coppers. “On the dock I met the PR manager of Team ABN AMRO, Yvo Janssen. I told him that he could always call me in case he was looking for an Onboard Reporter. At that time it was just a dream.”
Team SCA - The girls swapped rigging for royalty this week, as they welcomed Swedish Crown Princess Victoria to their base in Stockholm. But it wasn’t all curtsy and chit chat – in the hour-long visit they even got the Princess on the grinding machine. “It was great to give her an insight into our world and have the opportunity to meet with her in person,” said Dee Caffari. “And it’s fantastic to have her as our Godmother during the Race.” Meantime, Team SCA have announced that Accenture will be their digital partner for the nine months of the Race. Accenture will provide analytics and interactive marketing expertise to raise the team’s profile with global audiences through multiple digital channels.
Team España - After ranking second in the Round Britain and Ireland race, the Spaniards were back at their base in Sanxenxo before setting forth for Alicante and Race assembly on September 8. Despite not having their final line-up confirmed, Xabi Fernández reckons that his colleagues have reason to be confident. “We make a strong team,” he said after the team were given a civic send-off by the mayor of Vigo. “The idea is to make the crew a bit more extensive than in the last edition, and to rotate in a way we didn’t do last time. It could be beneficial for us.”
Team Alvimedica: The American-led crew are also on their way to Alicante after leaving the UK shores late at night on Tuesday following the Round Britain and Ireland Race. With the October 4 start date looming, their newest and final crew member Matt Noble revealed his excitement for the first leg journey to Africa. “Looking at the course, the two legs that I’m most looking forward to are Alicante to Cape Town and Auckland to Itajaí – not many people get to do the whole Southern Ocean thing!” he said.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: Ian Walker and his crew are enjoying one last breather before the serious business begins but their boat Azzam has already safely been delivered to Alicante by Performance Director Neal McDonald, arriving on Friday in mid-afternoon scorching heat. Like Team Brunel’s Bouwe Bekking, he reported all was well with his Volvo Ocean 65 following their monohull record win in the Round Britain and Ireland Race last month. Meantime, preparations for the Christmas/New Year stopover in Abu Dhabi are really hotting up. On Sunday they announced, that five-times Oscar nominated composer George Fenton would be performing with the highly acclaimed Blue Planet in Concert which opens the stopover on December 12.
World premiere: the all-new Volvo XC90 Video Releases
Volvo has released several videos of the new 2015 XC90 and we are presenting them here for your convenience and viewing pleasure.
All-new XC90 World Premiere - Event B-roll
Contains footage of the Artipelag venue outside Stockholm, of the reveal event of the all-new Volvo XC90 and of the show cars that were on display.
First look inside the all-new Volvo XC90
The all-new Volvo XC90: Volvo Cars’ most luxurious interior ever.
The all-new Volvo XC90 - Running footage
Exterior running footage of the all-new Volvo XC90.
The all-new Volvo XC90 - Crash test footage
Footage of crash tests involving the all-new XC90. All tests were conducted at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The video shows three types of crash tests: a front offset crash test at 64 kmh (40 mph), a side impact crash test at 55 kmh (35 mph) and a roll-over crash test at 48 kmh (30 mph).
World premiere: the all-new Volvo XC90
Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its all-new Volvo XC90, delivering on its promise to introduce a visually striking, seven-seat luxury SUV with world leading safety features, advanced powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish.
Three years in the making and part of an $11 billion investment program, the all-new XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilizing its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.
“This is one of the most important days in our history. We are not just launching a car, but re-launching our brand. This day marks a new era for our company. The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come in the following years,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.
Volvo’s new face
Symbolizing this historic day in Volvo’s 87 year history, the new XC90 will be the first of its cars to carry the company’s new more prominent iron mark logo, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille. Together with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.
The XC90’s larger hood with its new topography, the beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the tattoo-like, new rear lights are other important design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.
To add more visual muscle from the sides, the XC90 comes with a range of wheel sizes up to 22 inches.
“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on wellbeing,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.
First SUV without compromises
The XC90 is firm evidence of the “designed by Volvo for Volvo and its customers” strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the luxury SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002.
“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car. The adrenaline rush that is key to true driving pleasure is delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation. And since the XC90 carries the Volvo badge, world-class safety is standard.”
Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency
The all-new XC90 offers 316 hp, 2 liter turbocharged and supercharged AWD engine, which provides an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency.
The top of the range XC90 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, which combines a two-liter, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation: around 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). This will be the world’s first 7-seat plug-in hybrid.
Most comprehensive standard safety package
The all-new XC90 offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.
In a run-off road scenario, the all-new Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain.
The XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the Volvo driver starts to turn in front of an oncoming car that is going quicker than expected. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher.
City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions, which are standard equipment in the all-new XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.
“The new technologies will take us a significant step closer to our vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020,” said Dr Mertens. “Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was when the company was created almost 90 years ago: real-life situations. We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made.”
Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive.
“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group.
The XC90’s interior is the epitome of Scandinavian luxury. The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.
“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” said Mr Ingenlath.
The new XC90 interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. Craftsmanship has been in sharp focus during the whole development work.
The genuine seven seater features new, innovatively designed seats that also free up interior space for passengers both in the second and third seat rows. The third row seats were designed to accommodate passengers in class-leading comfort up to 5’7” inches tall.
One of the top audio systems in the world
The XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after Volvo Cars audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.
The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1,400 Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer.
The latest sound processing software has been used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers. This brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car.
Two main accessory themes
The all-new XC90 is available with a range of accessories that makes it possible for the owner to create a truly personalized car. There are two major exterior styling themes:
The Urban Luxury package combines a color coordinated body kit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.
The Rugged Luxury kit enhances the ruggedness of the XC90 SUV with tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.
Full details on the pricing will be announced at a later date, but a well-equipped XC90 T6 AWD will have a starting price of $48,900. The XC90 T6 AWD will come standard with such luxurious features as Navigation, 19” wheels, a power laminated panoramic sunroof, state-of-the-art car connectivity and is expected to deliver best-in-class power and fuel efficiency.