Nick Thompson is a terrible, terrible man.
Just look at him.
He's going to represent Britain at the Rio Olympics, but we both know that it should be me heading to Brazil.
Dont believe me? Well, read on.
"I first became aware of Damian when I heard about his legendary 3rd place at the Optimist Open Meeting at Bowmoor Sailing Club in 1990." says Nick, in what is undoubtedly his most candid fictional interview ever. "I may have only been 4 years old, but I could already see that he had the potential to stand between me and my ambition to be an Olympic Gold Medallist."
Nick is utterly ruthless, and he wasn't about to allow my hidden (some might say completely buried) genius to stand in his way.
"As soon as I'd realised that I couldn't beat Damian fairly, I knew I had to take action. The first thing I did was learn all I could about electronics and engineering. Once I had a comprehensive knowledge the next steps were easy.
"I rigged his Laser boom to whack him over the head periodically." says Nick, with a cruel glint in his eye. "It happens when he least expects it, and it is set to clonk him at least once every time he sails. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the damage it has done to his brain is why he now writes these made up interviews and biographies about top sailors."
You'd have to say that he has a point.
"I also set up a mechanism in his hull, which capsizes him in the most unlikely ways and at the most inconvenient times. Everyone that sees him swimming around his upturned Laser with less than a minute to go to the start thinks he's just an utter idiot, but it is all down to me."
If all this seems utterly incredible, then that is because it is. In the most literal sense.
But it doesn't stop there.
"I've also swapped his mainsheet for a highly elaborate piece of equipment. It has sensors in it, and as soon as a windward mark is within 10 metres it automatically knots itself into a ball. Anyone that has seen him shaking his fist at what looks like a normal piece of rope will believe he's just the kind of person that never learns from his mistakes, when actually it isn't his fault at all.
"But one of my favourite innovations", Nick admits, "is the pintels in his rudder stock. I simply swapped them for magnets, and did the same for the gudgeons that connect the rudder to the boat. Both these magnets have the same charge, so when you try to fit the pintels into the gudgeons they suddenly veer away from each other. It really undermines his self-esteem nicely when it takes him several attempts to do what is essentially an incredibly simple task."
I know what most of you are thinking. Surely the British Sailing Team should do something about all this? And I agree.
"Yes, we've received hundreds of letters from Damian," Stephen Park, the Team Manager, would say if any of this were true. "At first we tried reasoning with him - I mean, Nick is a lovely, normal guy. There's simply no way he would do any of this - but Damian wouldn't listen. Now we just mark his mail 'Return to sender' and leave it at that."
So there are two things that I think all readers should take away from this expose:
- If you see Nick on an Olympic podium later this year, just remember that that is essentially my medal he is wearing; and
- All those crazy things that end up happening to me when I'm sailing are NOT MY FAULT.
Some Actual Proper Information on Nick Thompson
Of course, there may be some people that want some actual, true, real information on Nick Thompson. Here's some that may be useful:
His Wikipedia entry is short and sweet...
...so perhaps this slightly more comprehensive British Sailing Team page is more useful...
...or his World Sailing page, if you prefer...
...and if you want to hear from the man himself then you can follow him on Facebook...
Useful Videos Featuring Nick Thompson
Probably in an effort to cover up his evil personality, Nick has done lots of helpful videos on a range of sailing topics. Here are some of the best:
This video of Nick Thompson training is excellent for Laser sailors looking to improve technique:
He's also done a couple of videos on how to hike:
Here's his top tips on gybing a Laser:
And he's also done a decent interview on how to start well:
And for Laser sailors, here's his top tips for being fast: