NZME's new podcast series features interviews with some of the movers and shakers from the sailing world to find out what makes them tick, who their heroes are and what makes them keep coming back for more.
In episode one of the Superior Sailor Series, Chris Dickson joins Newstalk ZB's D'Arcy Waldegrave to discuss his love of sailing, what keeps him coming back for more, and the history of New Zealand's first America's Cup challenge.
Dickson is one of New Zealand's most decorated sailors and probably the country's first professional sailor – an Olympian, world champion, round the world competitor and America's Cup skipper and team owner. Dickson has done it all.
Dickson says his start in America's Cup racing started when he received a phone call out of the blue from New Zealand's first Cup challenge in 1987.
"The America's Cup called me," he says. "I was probably New Zealand's first professional sailor; living and working in the US at the time, sailing on every big boat I could get near. I was sailing in all the top regattas worldwide as a young helmsman.
"I had a phone call from New Zealand's America's Cup campaign when it wasn't even off the ground to see if I would fly down to New Zealand."
Dickson says he didn't pay the offer much attention at the time, but was drawn to the project by a business class ticket to New Zealand that appeared in the mail and assurances that the team would be financially viable to challenge for the Auld Mug.
The KZ 7 "Kiwi Magic" eventually lost in the America's Cup match to Stars & Stripes, but the campaign set the tone for New Zealand being one of the biggest teams in world sailing.
"We won a lot of races but (Stars & Stripes helmsman) Dennis Conner proved he was wiser and smarter in his whole campaign. They built more boats. They had a bigger, longer, faster, heavier boat."
Conner and his team ended up dominating that 1987 America's Cup, with New Zealand the only team to win a race against the Americans.
"What it showed me was how you can have all the best sailors in the world, but if you don't have the team, the boat, the technology and everything else to go with it, it doesn't matter.
"It's a hard game and there's a million ways to lose it and not many ways of getting it right."
Listen to the full podcast below: