Buckingham hangs on
The penultimate day of competition at the Soto 40 Worlds confirmed the equality of the eight crews in the fleet. Alegre and Noticia IV were today’s winners. The Spanish boat also reduced its distance from Ngoni, which still holds top position overall on 25 points.
The eighth race of the day started at 1:05 pm with a 12 knots SE wind that gradually moved to the East, reason why the Race Committee had to change the windward mark. The champion of this race was Andrés Soriano’s Alegre, which made a very good start and took the lead from the beginning of the race.
Antonio Piris, Alegre’s pitman, who is also tactician on the Soto 40 Mitsubishi in Chile and has made three America’s Cup campaigns as well as two Volvo Ocean Races, described it: “The first race of the day was good. We’ve made good starts in this championship, but then we realised that it wasn’t working properly and that the fleet that chose the left side had more chances, today we had the idea of fighting that position. And we made it without trouble. That’s what took us to the right side of the course and helped us to make an easy race. It’s a pity we didn’t notice that before!”.
Luis Martín Cabiedes’ Noticia IV and Tony Buckingham’s Ngoni finished in second and third positions, respectively.
The wind increased up to 16 knots at the beginning of the second race of the day. After a General Recall, the boats started at 14:38. Pedro Mendonça’s Bigamist led the fleet until the last gybe, when the Spanish Soto 40, with Laureano Wizner as tactician, managed to cross the finish line in the first position, adding its second victory.
José María 'Pichu' Torcida, helmsman of Noticia IV, said: “We are happy. Today we had very good starts. In the second race we made a really good start, we reached the windward in first position, after Bigamist, we kept our position in the first downwind and the next reach was evenly match. Bigamist, on the left side, managed to overcome us. In the last downwind we chose the left side of the course, in which we thought we’d find more pressure. And finally we overcame Bigamist and finished first”.
There’s nothing decided yet. The British boat Ngoni leads on 25 points, but Noticia IV is near him with three points of difference. The silver medal is between the Portuguese Bigamist and Uon.
More photos from Jesus Renedo / www.jesusrenedo.com