Alexandre Tinoco (aka Amiguinho), Snipe World Champion.
1) Your first time on a sailing boat?
In the Optimist sailing school of Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, influenced by my grandmother Vera, when I was 13 years old. The classes were on Saturday mornings, I liked it so much that during the week I could only think about sailing.
2) Your first time on a Snipe?
In 1999, as Ricardo Lobato’s (Blu) crew. On the first jibe, the boat capsized near Botafogo beach, with a strong wind coming from the southwest. That dip was the start of my passion for Snipe. Right after, we competed together the South-Brazilian Championship in the island of Florianópolis and we went by car taking two Snipes. That inspired me to do something similar in 2005, when I crossed all South America with another friend, from Rio de Janeiro to Algarobo in Chile, passing by the Andes Mountains, also taking a Snipe.
3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?
When I was sailing as Mario Simoes’ (Mariozinho) crew, in Rio de Janeiro International Sailing Week, in the last downwind leg, we were leading the fleet but ended up capsizing in a risky jibe. I couldn’t find Mariozinho anywhere and he could not find me. As the boat was completely up side down, when I was diving looking for him in the water, he was looking for me out of water. When I went up to look for him, he was under the boat, looking for me, each in the opposite side of the boat. After some time, we found each other under the boat, under the water, and then we turned the boat back and continued the regatta.
4) What is the thing that most angers you in a race/regatta?
Team racing (in regular races), being it for national, fleet or commercial interests. I also really don’t like mistakes during the starting procedure.
5) Which is the race/regatta that you remember with the most pleasure?
The Medal Race in the Pan-American Games in 2011 in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The snipe was the last class to start and it was a moment of intense anxiety and strong concentration at the harbour. Gabriel Borges and I were not leading the competition and we needed to convert the result in our favor, and there was still the possibility of ending with the bronze medal also. During the dispute, we did a strategically perfect race, that contributed to our Gold. A few meters before crossing the finishing line, sailing downwind the last wave of the Games, I started to cry of happiness, unforgettable moment. I believe the Snipe World title in Denmark a few months prior, gave us the confidence needed for the Gold Medal.
6) And the race/regatta you would like to forget?
The Brazilian trial for the Rio 2007 Pan-American Games in February that year. My brother Mario and I were part of the Brazilian team in 2006 and a few days before the official trials for the Games, the partnership ended, for reasons of external influences and lack of support of a sailing structure. That gave me even more will not only to try the Brazilian spot for 2011, but to get the Gold Medal. At least the Gold in 2007 was to my brother Pedro as Alexandre Paradeda’s (Xandi) crew. Brasil was at home, well represented.
7) Your “dream in the peak”? (Your sailing dream?)
Some I already achieved in 2011 🙂
And to sail around the globe in a sailing boat, in family, would be a great achievement and to contribute to a more fair and balanced world, not only in the sailing world. A few years are needed for that..
8) Sailing goals for 2013, and beyond?
Snipe World Championship in my hometown Rio de Janeiro; to launch a project in an ocean boat, in family; to possibly start an Olympic campaign for Rio 2016, if some trends change to a positive direction; to contribute to a new generation of sailors and Snipe sailors.
9) The most important people for you in sailing and in the Snipe?
In competitive sailing: Torben Grael as sailor, Robert Scheidt as athlete. Integrating life and the sailing world: Lars Grael as human being-sailor. Outside racing: Lucas and Sandra, Santa Paz sailing boat. In the Snipe, the most important people in my opinion are the snipe legends who teach others, especially kids and youths, on how to have this way of life. Examples are Ivan Pimentel, Bibi Juetz, Paulo Santos, among others.
10) Why the Snipe?
I see at least 9 reasons: It is the most accessible, fair, exemplary, thrilling, competitive, traditional, pleasant, healthy and balanced class.
11) Your perfect sailing venue and your perfect sailing conditions?
For racing venue:
Rio de Janeiro (Guanabara Bay – Escola Naval race area), if the water is clean;
Cabo Frio (Brasil);
All these places in their typical wind conditions and good weather. I still need to get to know a lot of other places! Cuba would be among them without a doubt!
12) Besides sailing which other sport do you practice?
I just started kitesurf/kiteboarding, it is wonderful! I would also like to learn diving someday.
13) Are you superstitious?
A bit. When racing in Brasil, my wedding ring has to be tied to the boat;
I always first step in the water with my right foot, as well as in the boat. This “strategy” never worked very well in US and Canada.
Before executing projects or racing in important championships, I need to listen to instrumental music of really good quality, that brings me the energy needed.
14) Your perfect holiday?
Cruising along the east coast of Brasil, in a sailing boat, in good company and with pleasant weather and wind conditions.
Comment about the last photo: “This photo is a special moment with my brother Pedro. Two Gold medalists in our homewater”.