Following news that the GP42 class will no longer support the Audi MedCup in 2011 comes the announcement that the Soto 40 (S40) one design will become a key part of the Circuit.
[cleeng_content id=”538382524″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]Organisers expect at least eight of the one design grand prix racers to compete next season. They say they have confirmations from three South American teams, two Spanish teams and one French team.
While sailing suffers from a glut of classes, fragmenting the sport into small groups rather than working together, the Soto 40 has experienced good growth since it was purpose designed by Javier Soto Acebal to meet the demand for an exciting, fast and technically advanced 40 footer.
The Soto 40 is a grand prix boat which can be built and campaigned to a tightly controlled, reasonable budget. Success can be achieved on the strength of sailing talent and skills, not simply by the crew with the biggest budget. By the start of the 2011 season at 20 boats will already have been built.
At the top end of the sport, best practise is being shared between series and the Audi Med Cup seem to be taking note of the simplified product offered by the Extreme Sailing Series where the One Design Extreme 40 provides easily understood, exciting, accessible grand prix racing where the first boat across the finish line wins.
Javier Soto Acebal (ARG), designer S40:
“This is a very exciting advance for the Soto 40 taking our design on to the world stage. I am totally happy about this and very proud of the team that have worked together to get us here. My biggest desire is to see the very even, open level of competition which we are seeing now in South America spread to the Audi MedCup Circuit. Each sailor that is racing a Soto 40 when he comes back to the dock has become a better sailor.”
Norberto Alvarez Vitale, owner Soto 40 #2 ‘Patagonia’ and class manager:
“ The initial idea was to forget about rating systems, forget about IMS, design us a boat which is fun. We want to have fun in light winds, we want to have fun in strong winds we want to surf.”.
“The other thing that we had very clear is to bring costs down. For that it had to be one design. In order to be competitive from the very beginning with the boat it has to be a one design. There has to be no development to the boat.”
“In our case that has turned out we raced in Rio two weeks ago and we had a great Chilean boat which won even after he had only got the boat one month ago. All these factors make it fun, make owners want to come to our class and really enjoy racing which is what it is all about. For us it is about the owners and the crew. For us it has been more than what we imagined. We started out with two boats, match racing, and now we have 20 in a year by this December. If that happened in South America where the economy is the way it is I can’t imagine what will happen in Europe once the boat lands in these waters.”
Nacho Postigo technical director Audi MedCup:
“It is a big change to a philosophy for the Audi MedCup. It was a big step forward two years ago to a box rule for the smaller boat class and now we are moving to a one design class. One of the most important reasons is cost, cost of buying the boat, running the boat and resale value. When you exclude development from the equation apart it is also important that when you resell the boat it is still competitive and it has not become outdated. So the value remains.”
“For a newcomer he will have the same tool, the same weapon as all the other boats around. In fact it is more about the sailing skills of the team, not about choosing a designer and how you run the project.”
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