Victory for Ngoni
After five days of intense racing, Tony Buckingham's British boat Ngoni, was crowned 2014 Soto 40 International Class champion, after achieving a second place in the last race in Valencia. Noticia IV–Burriana Nova of Luis Martín Cabiedes finished second overall, followed by Pedro Mendonça’s Bigamist.
The last and decisive race started at 13:05 local time in 11 knots of wind from 120°. The Chilean boat Santander made a great start and was the first to cross the finish line, achieving its first victory in the championship after a week in which the South American crew showed that they are good and they can get used to Valencia’s racing conditions. Ngoni arrived second, while Glen Ellen XXII overcame Earlybird in the last part of the race, to claim third.
After 10 races, the British boat finished top position overall with 27 points. Noticia IV, the only one with chances to the crown, ended seven points behind, while Bigamist finally overcame the Portuguese boat Uon and achieved the first position of the podium. John Kostecki, tactician of the winning boat, said: “It’s nice to win a world championship! Today it was a good race for us, the guys and the boats did a nice job all week and it’s nice to win. The hardest part is getting good results consistently. It was a tricky good fleet, everybody is very good in this fleet so probably the most difficult part was getting consistent and good starts at the start line. The race area was excellent, it’s a very nice race course. I’m familiar with it from America’s Cup sailing and so is a lot of our crew, so it was fun to be back on that course and it was great sailing”.
In addition, the Portuguese José Caldeira and its Uon won the Owner Driver trophy. “We feel great, we achieved our goals. There are two groups, the first four and the last four; we were struggling among the first ones. And I can say that the ones ahead are really good. It’s been a good week, optimal from a sailing point of view and a very good one from our boat’s point of view”, described Caldeira, who is the new President of the European Soto 40 Association. And he added: “Now we have to push the fleet, our main objective is to find two more boats so we can have here in Europe ten boats. Then we’d like to show the boat to the ORC and IRC fleet in order to add more people to the Class. We’ll also evaluate the possibility of going to the Worlds that will be held in Brazil next year as well as promote more exchange between the European and South American fleet”.
The 2014 Soto 40 World Championship was held on 6-12 July at the Marina Real Juan Carlos I (Valencia, Spain), place that held two editions of the America’s Cup. The competitors were Alegre (IVB), Bigamist (POR), Earlybird (GER), Glen Ellen XXII (FRA), Ngoni (GBR), Noticia IV (ESP), Santander (CHI) and Uon (POR).
We’d like to give our thanks to the Ayuntamiento de Valencia that helped us through the Fundación Deportiva Municipal, as well as the Real Club Náutico de Valencia and the Marina Real Juan Carlos I. We also appreciate the collaboration of Bodegas Enguera and Cerveza Altura de Vuelo.
Full results below
More photos from Jesus Renedo / www.jesusrenedo.com