BOARDS: On to the Cadiz Worlds then, what’s your aims/goals for this regatta?
ND: Yeh, I want to do well here, training has been going well, and I’m starting to feel pretty good again; strong, fit, healthy. Just lacking a little bit of time on the water but other than that I’m feeling pretty racing fit and should be back at the front again.
BOARDS: $45,000 prize money up for grabs. This is a bit of a first for this amount, what’s your thoughts on that?
ND: Yeh it sounds a lot doesn’t it, and then you look at it again and only $6,500 if you win, out of $45,000. Which might pay for the trip. No really though, it is great, it’s great that the sport is moving in the right direction. It’s a shame that you have to split it half and half with the girls but I’m probably being a bit biased there. As I said though, it’s good, really good, but you’ve got to win to really make it worth while.
BOARDS: Do you think it is something we will see more of in the future?
ND: Apparently there are plans for it, but someone still has to pay for it, so there has got to be that commercial interest there.
BOARDS: So would you say that this goes against the traditional Olympic values of a Games that is played by non-professional athletes?
ND: There is NO Olympic sport that is not professional. Roger Federer turns up and Rafa Nadal, Mark Cavendish, Usain Bolt, who are all earning millions and millions of pounds. So no I don’t think $45,000 for the Worlds prize money is going against any Olympic values. Every single Olympic athlete is professional.
BOARDS: Ok moving on, there’s been the odd snippet of news coming out lately about Kitesurfing taking the place of Windsurfing in the 2016 Games. There will be trials for this later this month in Santander, where ISAF will be on the scene to make a decision. It might be quite obvious but what’s your thoughts on this?
ND: Well yes, my thoughts are pretty obvious and pretty opinionated as you might expect. You know, Windsurfing deserves to be in the Olympic games, it is the most all round and accessible discipline of the Olympic classes, it’s the cheapest, the most athletic, the most one design and the best to watch. It’s fast, dynamic, modern, young and everything the Olympics is meant to be about, so I think Windsurfing has to stay in the Olympics. I’m not saying Kitesurfing shouldn’t be, I’m saying Windsurfing definitely should be.
I think Kitesurfing may have it’s place in the future but I definitely don’t think it’s ready as a sport yet. I don’t think they are ready to be one design with one kite. They can’t race in six knots and then use the same kite in 30 knots. I think logistically it’s a bit of a nightmare, you pretty much need one rib per kite and yeh, the sport just needs to evolve a little bit more.
BOARDS: Kitesurfing is definitely off the agenda for you then?
ND: Yes, they are the enemy aren’t they – *laughs*.
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