Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aussie Skipper Talks About Winning Soto 40 Practice Race at MedCup Cartagena

Winning the practice today in their MedCup debut in the 40 Series has further boosted the confidence of the Patagonia powered by Australian Soto 40 Sailing Team. 
Photo: Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup
Skipper Brent Fowler and his mostly Aussie crew had their work cut out for them today in the light 5-7 knot sea breeze and sweltering Spanish heat where they lead the race from the first cross to the finish line. The young team of sailors from Perth and Sydney are joined by with leading match race champions, Tudur Owen (UK) and Tiffany Koo (MAS).
Photo: Ian Roman/Audi MedCup
“It was pretty testing conditions, but it was great. We went out early and spent a fair bit of time practising, then cooled down a bit. We spent a lot more time on the race course area than the other guys. There is a lot more to learn, we need to spend more time in the boat, it’s a one design so there is a lot more to learn. I think we will get there," Fowler said.

"We came off the start not in a great a position but if we had been only a little bit slower it could easily have been us at the other end of the fleet. We went right and were in front from the first cross in a strong position. Then from there we just did not let anyone get between us and the top mark. Going downwind we overlaid the bottom gate mark but that was not too bad, upwind the breeze had shifted right a little more and it paid off. 
Photo: Ian Roman/Audi MedCup
"Sometimes it is a bit of a curse to win the practise race, but then Iberdrola is green and green is bad luck on boats, so you never know. I don’t think we are believing in superstition this week, but we do think we have the pace. It gives us some confidence because the boys have been working pretty hard these last few days. We will get out early tomorrow and see if we can do it when it counts, we will try and get a bit more rig tuning in the boat."

A sailmaker by trade, Fowler has made the best use of their hand-me-down sail wardrobe, an inventory complemented by loaners from three different boats including Quantum headsails from circuit leaders Iberdrola.

“We have three jibs from Iberdrola, but maybe they will want them back after today,” he added.

Consistency is key in one design racing and now the pressure is on to repeat their performance when racing commences on Thursday where more light winds have been forecast.

Lulu Roseman

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