Team ROCKWOOL Racing arrived in France on Monday, as the Denmark SailGP Team athletes’ intense summer of training and activity continues to take shape.
This week will see three of the Denmark SailGP Team athletes – helmsman Nicolai Sehested, flight controller Rasmus Køstner and grinder Hans-Christian Rosendahl – take to the water in Carnac, France to test their foiling skills in their debut Easy To Fly 26 event.
Amongst their rivals will be some familiar faces from the SailGP league – including France SailGP Team athletes Billy Besson, François Morvan and Mathieu Vandame.
It will be the first time that two SailGP helmsmen have gone head to head since Sydney SailGP in February 2020, when rookies Denmark SailGP Team finished sixth in the rankings despite clocking less than 20 hours of sailing onboard the F50.
“Competing in Easy To Fly 26 will provide us with a solid training platform to prepare for when Season 2 restarts in 2021,” explains Nicolai Sehested, helmsman of Denmark SailGP Team.
“The boats are inspired by the F50, but smaller and more suited to a crew of three. Although they don’t reach the same supercharged speeds as the real thing, we’re relishing the opportunity to grow our foiling experience and go head-to-head against other teams in racing conditions.”
He adds: “Many of these teams – including Billy Besson – have a lot of experience in these boats. For us, the event in Carnac will be our first time in this class, and our first racing since Sydney, so will provide a tough challenge.
“First and foremost, it’s a training opportunity for us – but of course, we’re here to race and compete, too. There’s no substitute for going head to head with other teams with the pressure on, and of course we’d love to take bragging rights over Billy and the France SailGP Team athletes in the first showdown since we left Australia!”
The event, which takes place in Carnac, France from 28-30 August, marks the continuation of a busy period for the Team ROCKWOOL Racing as the athletes aim to complete a series of historic record attempts, host a set of youth training camps and deliver corporate sailing experiences around Europe.
“We’re very thankful to ROCKWOOL that we’ve been allowed this opportunity to stay together and keep working as a team through the summer,” says Sehested.
“We’ve designed a mixed programme of team training, unique challenges and fleet racing to best prepare us for what is sure to be a fantastic but extremely tough SailGP season in 2021.”
Sehested also explained that Team ROCKWOOL Racing could undertake the Round Fyn record in Denmark this September, depending on the weather. The team is eyeing a pair of record attempts – the Round Fyn, and the Round Sealand ‘Silver Spinnaker’ – but requires specific conditions to be able to take them on.
“We are waiting for a suitable weather window for both records, and our next potential opportunity to take on the Round Fyn looks like it could be next month. We will continue to watch the weather to see how it develops, and update when we have news,” adds Sehested.
“The challenge of setting records gives us added pressure, and that’s what we need as we approach the restart of SailGP Season 2. You have to push hard, and you can’t afford to make mistakes.”
He continues: “Both records would be very tough to beat – especially in our GC32 training boat which is not designed to be sailed for these kinds of miles – but we’re confident that we can give them a good shot, when the time is right.”
Team ROCKWOOL Racing also plans to visit Kiel Week in Germany, before hosting the next in the series of #ROCKTheBoat Academy training camps in Aarhus, Denmark on 12-13 September.
“Alongside ROCKWOOL, we are building something truly long-lasting, and the #ROCKTheBoat Academy is a central part of that,” continues Sehested.
“We hosted the first camp in Copenhagen a few weeks ago and it was a great success, with some of Denmark’s brightest young sailing talent joining us for an unforgettable weekend on the water. We can’t wait to bring the camp to Aarhus, one of Europe’s best sailing cities, with the state-of-the-art Sailing Centre at its heart.”
In October, Team ROCKWOOL Racing will join the GC32 Racing Tour event in Riva del Garda, Italy, as preparation for SailGP Season 2 continues.
SailGP will return in April 2021, with the opening event of the season taking place in San Francisco on 17-18 April.