Jesper Nielsen to win world championship 2017
Contender Worlds 2017 - Worlds 2017

We would like to share some views on why Contender sailors want to join the World Championship in Sønderborg in July 2017. We have asked women, youths, newbies and one of the top-ten candidates in the class… This is the fifth interview (and last) in the top-ten category.

Name: Jesper Nielsen

Age: 30. 7 years in the Contender class

Category: Top-ten candidate


Why do you want to join the World Championship in Sønderborg?
Because I want to win! It’s my home turf. I started my sailing career here and have been sailing here ever since. I started in the Optimist, Europe and the 470. After I started sailing the Contender, I never looked back.

Tell us about your preparations?
Being in a physically good shape is quite important, especially as we have free pumping in +10 knots, so I go to the gym 2-3 times a week. Søren tells me that he is pretty sure I am one of the strongest in the fleet, and he never dared having a push-up challenge against me. This year, I will come 100% prepared. We have already had two training sessions with a professional coach. We have also planned a spring training session with the fastest German sailors in Sønderborg. I will race the Dümmer regatta, SailExtreme, Kieler Woche and of cause the Danish Nationals. I usually sail twice a week, mainly on my own, and it’s a good opportunity to really get my maneuvers perfect. Professionally, I work as a sail designer at Elvstrøm sails, so I have of course designed my own sails. It has been a fun process, and I can say that I really know my sails and how to trim them in any condition.

Do you have any goals in terms of results or personal achievements?
My goal is to win. My main advantage is the same as Søren’s, which is that I have no real weak points. I am fast in light, medium and heavy wind. My boat handling is close to perfect, I have good tactical skills, my physical strength is top notch and I know the area.

Are you planning on doing any tourist activities or bringing your family to Sønderborg?

I live here, so no tourist plans ;-)
My mother and father will come and look, as will my girlfriend and daughter naturally.

What do you think will be the most challenging for you racing in Sønderborg?
If the dolphins from last year are there again, they might steal my focus ;-)
Sailing-wise it’s really one of the best places to sail in Northern Europe. In general, it’s always good sailing, the winds are rarely the same two days in a row. It can be shifty, it can be stable, it can be high winds and high waves (the rather famous picture of GER-551 taking off is taken here Sønderborg). So, the best way to prepare, is to be prepared for any condition.

What are your expectations to the social part on shore of the World Championship?

Surely, I will attend the activities, Sønderborg Yacht Club is famous for its social arrangements, so I can guarantee that everybody will have a great time on shore!