Meet Australian sailor and Turn the Tide on Plastic crew member Lucas Chapman
Last Updated: 27/11/17 1:45pm
Lucas Chapman tells turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari what motivated him to become a part of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
Meet the crew: Lucas Chapman
Hometown: Newcastle, Australia
Special skill: I can play the guitar. I can surf. I can't sing.
Skipper, Dee Caffari, spoke to her Turn the Tide on Plastic crew member Lucas Chapman about all things Volvo Ocean Race!
Why did you sign up for the Volvo Ocean Race?
I was in the office, working as a mechanical engineer, watching videos of the Volvo Ocean Race when I should have been doing my work. And because I love ocean racing, and being on the ocean, and sailing and surfing, I saw the Volvo Ocean Race as the pinnacle of offshore sailing.
So I wanted to go and do that and I wanted to be a part of that because I wanted to be at the top.
What did you do to set out on this mission to get to the Volvo Ocean Race?
Well, when I was at uni getting my engineering degree I went and did as much offshore sailing as I possibly could. I tried to get as much experience as I could - doing the Sydney to Hobart five times and plenty of other offshore miles and deliveries and things. I tried to make some contacts as well.
I managed to do a regatta on a Farr 40 with Liz (Wardley) and she sort of saw that I was alright and we got talking during the race and she gave me some tips and advice along the way. Then I managed to do a bit more sailing with her on the Volvo Ocean 65 doing some corporate sailing and some deliveries. So I think that's what cemented in my mind that I wanted to do it.
Your dad has done the race before. Was that like in the back of your mind that made you want to do it too?
Yeah, for sure. So my dad competed in the 1985-86 Whitbread race. He was onboard a boat with Bower Bekking (Five-time race veteran and Team Brunel skipper in the current race).
Him telling stories and seeing photos and stuff of him doing the race back then inspired me. And also there was the adventure of it all. Back then I think it was more of an adventure than it is now - they didn't have all of the navigation tools and stuff we have now - and I think that's what attracted me to it as well.
Why did you choose this team?
Why did I choose….What? This team? Oh… because no other one wouldn't take me!
I'm joking. I think it was more the youth focus on this boat that attracted me as well. Basically being a young team there's more room to develop and grow and I think on some other teams you end up pigeonholed in one job, like being a bowman or something.
You'll never get to drive or trim. So I think this boat is best for that - you get to do more and learn more.
What are you looking forward to most in the race right now?
Right now? Getting to Cape Town (laughs) and hopefully in front of a couple of other boats.
The Southern Ocean. I'm pretty keen to go down there and trial that out. One of the highlights is going to be sailing into Melbourne because it's my home country.
What do you think you bring to this team? What singles you out?
I think in comparison to most of the other younger people I've done a decent amount of offshore sailing, so I think that helps me and also being multi-skilled. I think knowing multiple areas is a good thing and I think having the engineering degree helps with that as well.