Hugh Styles back on Olympic trail for 2004

Tornado and Admiral's Cup commitments make 2001 a busy year

Thursday December 14th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Styles and May have secured the use of a Dart Hawk from Performance Sailcraft to familiarise themselves with twin-trapeze/gennaker racing. They have already proved themselves adept at the transition with a fourth place at last year’s Formula 18 world championships. "That was done on minimal practice, so I think we will pick this sailing up pretty quickly."
One thing he is keen to work out is whether the old ‘Wild Thing’ will work - where the crew sits on the leeward side downwind to help lift the windward float clear of the water. "I’ve heard that we could be twin-trapezing downwind with the gennaker, but that’s not what seems to work on the Formula 18s. Getting depth downwind is king, but if we can get sufficient apparent wind up then maybe twin-trapezing is an option. I guess we won’t know until we’ve done some two-boat tuning," he said.

Styles has opted to stay in full-time sailing, whilst Adam May has gone back to full-time engineering employment with BAE Systems Airbus UK, the company that sponsored the team in their build-up to Sydney. May is known for his analytical mind and has been earmarked as good navigator potential for big-boat racing, such as in the Admiral’s Cup.

Whether or not May finds the time to do that next year is not clear, but Styles is lined up to trim aboard Adrian Stead’s Barlo Plastics IC45 campaign. "It should help me gain a new set of skills that could be useful in the future," he said, adding that he would put himself up for consideration if the much-rumoured British America’s Cup plans come to fruition.

In the meantime, though, he has his hands full sorting the logistics of his ongoing Tornado campaign. "I’m out in the garage sorting out all the stuff we’ve just got back from Sydney. The boat came out of a container from there last week, and it’s going back into a container for South Africa next week. I’ve lots of people ribbing me that I must be getting out of bed late these days but far from it. It’s up at 7.30 every morning, even when I’m not in the middle of competition season. I think the level of professionalism will have gone up to a new level by Athens so it’s the people who put in the preparation time that are going to succeed."

High on Styles’ agenda is to find a sponsor for the Tornado, and he said he would welcome any contact from madforsailing readers who could help him in his quest. For anyone who thinks they can help, Hugh Styles’s email is: hugh@zingads.com

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