New recruit for the Soto 40
From the flurry of visiting potential Soto 40 owners who visited the final event of the 2011 Audi MedCup, Lance Adams from the southeast of England is one of the first to order a new boat for next season, which he hopes to take delivery of before the end of this year.
After three years campaigning around the English Channel with his Corby 33 Banshee, Adams and his team are set to make the step up to Audi MedCup with young Kiwi skipper Piers Tyler, 23.
Adams was one of the first potential owners to sail on this season’s circuit, enjoying one of the best seats in the house aboard Patagonia in Cascais in May. Now he plans to train with his crew on the Solent prior to next season.
“The attraction of the Soto 40 is that it is such an exciting one design offering really close racing," said Adams. "The attraction of the Audi MedCup Circuit is that it is such a well run circuit. It is fantastic and we can’t wait to take part.
“I have been sailing in the Solent in IRC boats, crewing first and then I have owned a Corby 33 Banshee for three years. We have raced there and in Northern France, Cork and beyond. This is a big step up for us, but the whole of our crew want to do it and they have such enthusiasm to come and do some serious racing at a very serious competition and so come and see how good we really are.
“I have always aspired to reach this level. In Cascais we saw the standard was pretty high and the conditions there were really quite extreme for the size of boats, but here in Barcelona it has been very different, much more fascinating with the wind shifting all the time.
“We hope to get the boat before the end of the year into Valencia. We might do some training there first but I think we will bring the boat to the Solent to start with and find our feet there. The plan is to do the Spring Series there. It is obvious that more time you spend on the boat in a race environment is much more beneficial."
Piers Tyler is a young Kiwi graduate of the New Zealand Youth programme who has raced and skippered in the Caribbean and Europe since leaving New Zealand at 18. He said: "My dad pushed me off the beach at the age of four off Narrow Neck, Auckland and I have been sailing ever since. I sailed from New Zealand through the New Zealand Youth Scheme moving to Europe at 18, 23. I skippered in the Caribbean at 21 and done a lot of offshore racing and inshore.. Peers include Adam Minoprio who is helm on Camper, Phil Robertson is doing the World Match Racing tour. But the core crew is English and all come from a dinghy background, but we race all around the English Channel to Ireland and Northern France. I am impressed and looking forward to the challenge. I think the crew is ready for it but we will learn a lot of lessons at the first event!”
Kevin Sproul, the Solent-based British tactician of Ngoni, which finished third overall on the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit and won the Region of Murcia-Cartagena Trophy in August, promised to help the emerging English team: "It is great news that there will be another English boat for next year and especially that they will bring the boat to England to race on the Solent before the season starts. We have offered our help as much as we can to help the guys get up to speed as quick as possible. One of the beauties of the Soto 40 is that as a one design it is relatively easy to get to a decent base line in terms of boat speeds and crew skills to be competitive. And it has been a lot of fun this season.”