Now that the news is out on the Brunel Volvo team, we can now print Bouwe Bekking’s Innerview from a few days ago. As always, a great guy to chat with and a great part of the SA community for over a decade now; here he is with another SA Innerview.
SA: It’s great to see the Netherlands in the game, with you at the helm. As a frequent one-design sailor, how do you think the new design changes the race strategy?
BB: This change will have a major impact. In the previous races you could sail like a world champion, but very you still got beaten by the faster boat. Besides fast sailing, strategy will hugely important.
SA: We hear that the in-port races will no longer count for the overall VOR standings. Does this make the stopovers less or more interesting from your point of view?
BB: This is still not 100% clear, there is an option for this in the Notice of Race. But I hope it will stay part of the scoring, it has become a feature of the race and if you make it part of the scoring you will make sure that all the team are 100% focussed
SA: Will this be a Dutch effort or more of an international crew? Have you selected them yet? Who you got?
BB: The initiative is Dutch and of course we try to get as many as possible cloggies onboard, but since our sponsor is an international company they wouldn’t mind if some foreigners are onboard. Gerd -Jan Poortman is confirmed . For the rest not: you can’t commit to anybody before the money is in the bank, otherwise you make a fool out of yourself when it doesn’t happen. For the other crew we will follow a strict selection procedure.
SA: The lack of design competition means teams have been able to wait far longer to announce their intentions. Meanwhile, the girls of SCA will have a big head start over everyone else in training and sorting their boat out. How do you make up that deficit? As a one-design boat, does it really matter?
BB: Isn’t it great that now all of a sudden teams who come in late, still have chance to do well? Thanks One-Design! The girls have got a very good set-up and gotten all the opportunities, they have a of course headstart. We just have work hard and use the experience we most likely have to transfer our knowledge from big one-design offshore boats into the V65
SA: What do you think of the Farr/VOR 65 compared to the VO70s you’ve sailed? Strengths/weaknesses compared to Movistar/Telefonica?
BB: I think they will be very similar in performance and they will still be soaking wet. Compare to Movistar/ Telefonica they will be structural stronger and I expect easier to drive/steer in big seas.
SA: Who’s your sponsor, and what do they hope to get out of it?
BB: As you now know, it is Brunel. They have have been in the race twice before and actually jumped in last minute to make it possible for teams to race. They sponsored a team in the Tour de France and as well a Mini-Transat sailor. They are in for it as they like sailing and like to win.
SA: Do you plan to do any events with your boat before the VOR starts? Which ones? When do you get delivery?
BB: We want to do some events and like to race against other V65′s, that will be good to see how we go . But we will finalize our schedule in the coming month. We get boat number 3, which actually is ready, but the boat need to painted, we have to order sails do the graphics, and other logistics. Even that it is a one-design, we won’t rush as that might bump us in the bum.
SA: What do you think the budgets really need to be in order to have a good chance of winning? How does this compare number wise to your other campaigns?
BB: As long you can pay the entry and the centralized service, the boat, new sails and have accommodation you should be fine, The number is a fraction of what we spend on previous campaigns. Thank you one-design, again!
SA: With so many changes to the VOR, do you have any big worries about the 14/15 VOR?
BB: No worries right now, sleeping well!
December 5th, 2013