On board the Soto 40

James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
Video surfing in 20 knots on Tony Buckingham's Ngoni plus tactician Kevin Sproul insight
Read our introduction to the Soto 40 and interview with Audi MedCup Technical Director Nacho Postigo here Kevin Sproul comes to the Audi MedCup not just wearing his Ultimate Sails hat, but also as tactician on board Tony Buckingham’s Soto 40 Ngoni, having sailed on Buckingham’s previous 40 footers, most notably the Farr 40 Bit of A Coup. Training time for Ngoni prior to the Audi MedCup kicking off in Cascais was limited to just five days out of Valencia and having sailed with the mostly British crew yesterday, roles are still being established on the relatively labour-intensive Soto 40. But then we imagine this is also the case on many of the other boats racing in the MedCup’s new one design class. “It is a great boat – perfect for the MedCup as a new one design,” says Sproul. “I think a strong part of the boat is that it is an entry level for owners who don’t want to spend the money on a development class like the 52. That will help the Audi MedCup build the regatta series and get some new blood into the boats. They are very exciting to sail, fast and quite easy to sail.” While the Soto 40 class is finding its feet on the Audi MedCup, Ngoni at present is the only clear-cut owner-driver boat. Given Tony Buckingham’s previous experience, having campaigned a series of 40 footers previously, from the Farr 40 to an ILC 40 and most recently the previous Ngoni, a Mills 40 (originally Tiamat), he has opted for wheel steering on his Soto 40. “It is nice with the wheel downwind because you can see the waves, and the tiller is probably a little bit better upwind, so I think they will even themselves out,” says Sproul. With a crew of eight, plus an