Former Japan driver Nathan Outteridge has said he’s keen to return to a full-time driving position in SailGP ahead of subbing in for Danish driver Nicolai Sehested this weekend.
Outteridge, who steered Japan to two Grand Finals, will take charge of ROCKWOOL DEN this weekend, while Sehested awaits the arrival of his second child back in Denmark.
Looking ahead to the weekend’s racing in Abu Dhabi, Outteridge complimented Sehested’s leadership of the team so far. “We don’t get enough time on these boats and the Danish team has done a great job of using their time very effectively,” he said.
“You can see that everyone is confident in their abilities and skills - they don’t want to sit there and talk forever, they want to get on with their job.”
Outteridge led Japan to two Grand Final appearances during his tenure as driver before the team folded due to commercial difficulties at the beginning of Season 3.
Outteridge has driven just twice since then, taking the reins of the Swiss F50 in his role as sailing advisor and co-driver last season. He admitted he’d ‘be lying’ if he said he wasn’t interested in returning to driving full time.
“Everyone here wants to be driving - you ask any sailor and they’d love to be here driving a team and going against the rest of the fleet,” he said. “I had a position earlier on in Season 1 & 2 and unfortunately that opportunity disappeared for me so hopefully some point in the future, an opportunity arises where I can back to a full time driving role.”
Heading into Abu Dhabi, ROCKWOOL DEN currently sits second on the overall leaderboard. Known for his ability to dominate in light winds earning him the nickname ‘the wind whisperer’, Outteridge has the opportunity to lead the team to its first ever event victory.
“I just hope I remember how to drive the boat and do a good job this weekend,” he said.