From the Winter Snipe Bulletin
Q:The Pan Ams fleet was small – only 10 boats. How tough is sailing in this 10 boat fleet compared to the 80 boat fleet at the Worlds?
The two championships were very different, so the strategies were different due to the number of boats. In Denmark, we have to be more conservative, in Mexico, more agressive.
The competitors in the Pan American Games who were in Mexico are great sailors, I admire them a lot. The technical level was very high, as in the Worlds in Denmark, but the number of boats and the specific characteristics of each race area had a big influence in our strategy. Our training for the championships were in different locations. For the Worlds we practised in Spain, competing in two high level championships, with many boats, the II Open Snipe Espana in Vilagarcia and the Spanish Championship in Gijon. The boat we used in Gijon was the same we used in Denmark, a Zeltic, and there we made the final tests and prepared it for the Worlds.
The practice for the Pan American Games was in San Diego, in the U.S, in the North American Championship, at the same Pacific Ocean, to get used to the same conditions we would find in Puerto Vallarta. In this last competition, close to the date of the PanAm Games, we had a different strategy than in Spain, for this training.
I see this exchange as something very positive for the snipe class and for the unity between the sailor. In the same way, our friends from abroad are very welcome in Brasil, for championships and for training as an exchange of experience. I see this as the way the Snipe family should be.
Q: You’ve been winning with Gabriel now in many events. What do you rely on Gabriel for in the boat?
Gabriel is a great friend and we get along very well inside and outside the boat. We started to sail on the second semester of 2010 and we are making a good team. He quickly grasped my sailing style and the way I take the boat and we adapted to each other when sailing. We have a very good match of biotypes, that helps us as a team.
Q: Are you working on any new improvements on your Snipe – rigging, sails?
In the last competitions, we had the support of Olimpic Sails, made in Brasil. I always give them feedback about the sails according to my experiences. I see that the sails made by panel (not-radial), are important to keep the maintenance of Snipe material cheap, as it doesn’t demand that you switch sails in different conditions. It’s possible to adapt one set of sails by panel according to the what the crew wants and the wind and wave conditions. This characteristic reduces the costs for Snipe sailing and contributes to the constant improvement of our class competitiveness and to an easier access to the class and everyone.
Q: You felt it was important to sail your own boat. Explain this.
I think it’s important to use a boat that you know and admire. The ideal is to use the same boat, not necessarily being its owner, as sometimes the transport logistics can be complicated and it demands more expenses, if you don’t own it. It can be a rented boat, for example, but the important thing is that we need to know it well.
In Europe we adapted very well to the Zeltic, the boat we used in the Worlds in Denmark. The hull, the ruder and the centerboard have an excelent quality and are very fast.
In Brazil and South America, we use a boat 100% made in Brasil, by Kurt Diemer (Lemao) and the boats are extremely fast. The Snipe class in Brasil is strong due to his very positive work. We used this boat in the PanAm Games in Mexico, it was shipped there.
As I do with the sails, I always try to give my feedback to the constructors so that we can always count on a good boat.
Q: What kind of mast & gear did you use to win your Worlds & Pan Ams? Did you change?
In the PanAm Games in Mexico, we used mast Lemao. At the Worlds in Denmark, we used a mast sidewinder gold. They are similar, although that are some differences that we can adapt according to each situation and conditions of the wind and wave.
Q: You applied for and gained redress in race 7 – explain what that was for.
In the 7th regatta at the Pan American Games in Mexico, the Race Committe failed substantially during the start procedure of the race, which harmed us quite a lot. There was an audience and the judges recognized the error from the Race Committe. The redress was granted according to ISAF rule 62.1. We sailed well during the whole competition and fortunately we achieved the Gold Medal.
Q: Tell us about the pride in Snipe sailing in Brazil – what’s it like to have your name on the Worlds trophy with the other great legends?
It was a dream coming true, we struggled a lot for this win to come. Brazil is going through a great moment in the Snipe class and we are very happy to be part of this team. It’s a big honour to have such legendary names such as Torben Grael next to ours in the Worlds Championship trophy that goes around the world since the 1930s .Torben is a incredible sailor, I admire him a lot and certainly I have a lot to learn with him.
Q: What are you and Gabriel training for next?
2011 was very good for Gabriel and I, we achieved together, in the same year, two of the greatest disputes in the Snipe Class. These results have been a great incentive to keep on this path. I hope these achievements can be as a trampolim to continue in bigger projects. We think about a 470 campaign for The Olympic Games in Rio 2016, but it’s an Olympic campaign and it demands higher expenses than a PanAmerican with the Snipe. We depend on support and sponsorship and this project is in its initial stages. I would really like to integrate this Olympic campaign with a project, that unites sport, community spirit and the environment, contributing to the so expected moment of transformation that Brasil, and specially Rio de Janeiro, are going through. Certainly the Snipe Worlds in 2013 in this wonderful city would be linked to this project, which is also, in its initial stage.
We are now looking for people who are interested in investing in us and in our projects, as a symbol of dedication, persistence and overcoming obstacles, in such an important sport that involves teamwork, the environment, health and achievements.
Photos: Fred Hoffmann, Reinaldo Marques/Terra, Washington Alves/COB