Opening a box of Knut Frostad’s Volvo Ocean Race memorabilia is like taking a tour through the event's history. The race CEO walked us through his personal memories as he handed over his own Volvo Ocean Race collection to the Museum in Alicante.
"Would I do it again? No, I like to sleep in a proper bed at night now!" - Knut Frostad
“I had a cupboard full of these things in Norway and decided to give away part of it to the museum,” explains Frostad, now aged 45.
The Norwegian sailor and businessman first sailed the race as Intrum Justitia’s helmsman in 1993-94. He then founded and skippered Innovation Kvaerner in 1997-98 and Djuice Dragons in 2001-02. He was watch leader and technical advisor with Brasil 1 in 2005-06 and joined the race as CEO in 2008.
Frostad grabs the first object and laughs. “That spoon! We needed one to cook on board Intrum Justitia but the guys kept cutting the handle of our spoon to save weight. The problem was, they cut it too short and we couldn’t cook anymore. So I asked the boat builders to think of something and they did that one out of Kevlar fibres. It may be the strongest spoon in the world!”
Then are his old boots, his old gloves – “we looked at the fishermen’s gloves and adapted the design” – and his old weather gear.
“These are the weather trousers I had for my first Whitbread in 1993," he says while looking at his old sailing pants. "These were hand-made in Sweden. It has fleece inside, which made it very warm – you got to remember that at the time, the race route was much colder as it was very south.
“I was 25 years old and much smaller than I am now: I couldn’t fit in it anymore!”
But he can still wear his helmet, which is very similar to the one the sailors are wearing today to protect themselves from the impact of the waves. And his old safety harness, which he tries on his suit’s belt with a smile.
“After my fourth race,” he says, “I felt like I’ve had enough luck at sea. I had a great time and I loved it, but I started to fear for the guys I was responsible for. I felt like it was time to stop.
“The race has changed a lot too: it’s much more professional and the boats are faster. Now the fleet is even sailing to China – how great is that! I must admit I’d love to do that. Yet, would I do it again? No, I like to sleep in a proper bed at night now!”