Last week, the Austrian Ocean Race Project launched its campaign for The Ocean Race with the christening of its VO65 race boat at a ceremony in Portopiccolo, in the Gulf of Trieste in Italy.
It marks the first time an Austrian team has registered to take place in the race.
“Our biggest goal, of course, is to participate in The Ocean Race 2021-22 as the first Austrian Team ever,” said Julian Kircher, the project manager of the team. “We have been working very hard in the past six months led by our motto ‘Building a team for our Dream’ in order to reach our dream, The Ocean Race 2021-22. But we still need to tackle many obstacles before we get there.”
The current eight-member core-crew of the team consists primarily of Austrian professional sailors who sail or have sailed in the Austrian Bundesliga, the Champions League, the Youth America’s Cup, the Olympic Games or in the world championships of various classes.
Alongside Julian Kircher, the sailing team is made up of Raphael Hussl, Linda Fahrni, Gerwin Jansen, Konstantin and Oliver Kobale, Anna Luschan and Maja Siegenthaler. Their average age is 26.5 years.
The sailing team has a busy training schedule over the next two years with plans to take part in numerous international offshore races in order to evolve into a well-tuned race crew on their VO65, newly christened as ‘Sisi’.
Two of the most important first steps towards realising the dream have already been taken – the purchase of the VO65 race boat and the recruitment of a core team.
“Being a sailor in The Ocean Race has always been a childhood dream for me, even if it didn’t always seem realistic,” Kircher said. “The fact that I am now the organiser of the Austrian campaign, and that I have been given the chance to make this dream real, puts a lot of pressure on me but makes me incredibly proud at the same time… I will do my very best to make this dream happen.”