From Olympics to Volvo...

John Greenland talks to two men well versed in the art of winning in small boats, but still finding their feet in the world of ocean racing
To compete in the Olympics and expect to get a top result now takes years of dedication - both in terms of physical and mental training. So why would Amer Sports One's Freddie Loof and Chris Nicholson (pictured) take time out from their Olympic campaigns to do the Volvo Ocean Race? Those on track for a place in their country's Olympic team take care of their bodies, do regular physical exercise, and watch what they eat. Surely doing a gruelling nine-month long round the world race which can take months to recover from is the last thing you would expect some one to do two years before the next Olympics games? John Greenland caught up with the sailors to find out why... Chris Nicholson is one of the best Australian sailors there is. He has been Australian yachtsman of the year twice, 49er World Champion three times, a member of the Olympic sailing squad, and a finalist in the Sperry World Sailor of the Year. Freddie Loof graduated to the Finn in 1988 after moving through the Optimist and OK ranks. He has sailed three Olympic Games and 12 World Championships. He finally won an Olympic medal in Sydney, albeit a bronze after being match-raced out of contention for gold by Iain Percy. However, recently he has focused on keelboats, in particular the Star in which he has won the Europeans and Worlds in his very first year of trying. "It’s a case of answering all the questions in my head, do I want to do the America’s Cup, do the Volvo Ocean Race, carry on sailing?" says Loof. Nicholson agrees with this, but he also sees the Volvo Ocean Race as a good 'break' from the usual campaign track. "What better way to get a break than an extreme of