Puma Ocean Racing Crew Member Michi Mueller Interview

September 15th, 2008

Puma Ocean Racing Crew Michi MuellerToday, Ken Read set me the seemingly impossible task of interviewing Michi Mueller.
My brief, get up close and personal with our quiet but very talented crewmate
I hope I succeeded.
RD: So Michi, an eight day Transatlantic crossing – not bad in a mono-hull – you musthave had perfect conditions. How was the trip for you?
MM: Great
RD: You told me earlier that you’ve done this trip twice before. How did the brilliant sailing conditions experienced by il mostro, with back to back high mileage days in great reaching conditions, compare to previous Transatlantics that you have done on other boats? I think you mentioned Newport to Cuxhaven Race? (Shakes his head a little)
MM: Ok, pretty easy (mumbles something into the wind that I don’t catch)
RD: You came to the team from the America’s Cup arena where sailing is very different. Volvo sailors usually have a pretty strong skill set, as well as practical sailing skills, how would you describe your role on the boat?
MM: I grind
RD: I know you do more than that because I’ve seen you all over the boat. Anything else?
MM: Some trimming, maybe drive a bit
RD: So how does a typical 4 hour watch go down for you?
MM: Mainly grinding
(Thinking to myself – OK, OK, this is all good stuff, it seems pretty straight
forward…how hard can it be?)
RD: So Michi, the race village opens soon and the other team will all be here by then, any nervousness about the race?
MM: Not really
RD: Would it be accurate to say that you are the Rookie on the team?
(looks slightly uncomfortable then shrugs)
MM: Maybe
(Thinking to myself again, this is harder than I though…I need some help here…)
RD: Michi you’re German right? Has there been a language barrier for you on the multinational PUMA team?
MM: It’s harder for the Kiwis
RD: Michi, that reminds me. You told a great joke the other day. The one about Velcro gloves being New Zealand’s most popular sex toy! That was pretty funny.
MM: Yes
(IDEA…I know how to get something out of him)
RD: You found out recently that you will be joining every other person on this boat by becoming a Dad soon, how does that make you feel?
MM: Best news I ever got
RD: You don’t say much do you Michi??!!??…
-Rick Deppe

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