Pete – you've had an amazing last 12 months. Why the Volvo Ocean Race?
Obviously, I haven’t done much offshore and I only made my decision pretty recently but I’ve always wanted to do this race, and always really struggled to find the time. Now, it seems like good timing and a great opportunity to learn a lot off a pretty experienced team.
You've hooked up with Team Brunel – what was it about the Dutch entry that appealed to you?
Well, a few of the Team NZ boys are onboard, but also they’ve come into the race pretty late and it seemed like a good opportunity for me to learn a lot off some pretty experienced guys. I’ve done a little bit of ocean racing before but never on a Volvo. I’ve still got a lot to learn and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
What's your motivation for this race? Obviously, you're on to win an historic Triple Crown – and so is your long-time sailing partner Blair Tuke on MAPFRE?
Obviously every race you do you want to win and as a team we’re here to win this thing, but we’ve got a lot to learn and for the moment we’re trying to improve as much as we can as a team. . I’ve got a long way to go to improve my skills as an offshore sailor – I’ve done relatively well around the cans in small boat racing but I’m really looking forward to a new challenge.
How does it feel to line up on opposing teams with Blair – is there a bit of friendly rivalry – and did you discuss this move during the Cup?
I’ve sailed against Blair a lot in the past, and I think he’s really enjoying his time onboard MAPFRE. I think both of us will learn a lot of skills before the next time we sail together and we’ll take on a challenge again together soon. I know Blair was chatting to the MAPFRE guys during the America’s Cup, but I really wanted to wait until after the cup to see what the future held, and decide afterwards. I just wanted to make sure that everything worked and that I could keep doing a bit of small boat stuff at the same time.
Talk to us about what the Volvo Ocean Race means to New Zealand. Kiwis have an amazing history in this event...
When I was young and the race was coming in and out of New Zealand I’d see it on the news – and more recently seeing the Camper guys in NZ last time there was a Kiwi entry in the race, it was amazing being around Auckland at that time and it just seems like the Auckland stopover is always a massive thing back home. It’s pretty cool, New Zealand’s history in the race, and I’m sure that at some stage there’ll be a New Zealand team once again.