London 2012 Olympic Men's 470 bronze medallist Juan de la Fuente (ARG) will be among the competitors at the Soto 40 World Championship in Talcahuano, Chile this week.
After London 2012 he started sailing as the tactician of the Pisco Sour Black (Pisco II) and is ready for the weeks action having first sailed a Soto 40 last October, "I didn't know the boat, it was the first time onboard a Soto 40 for me, but I've sailed in similar boats and the truth is that it's great. But, as I always say, the most important thing is not the boat but the fleet. I mean, I like very much the fact that these boats are all the same, that they are a One Design class, and also the fact that you don't have to use numbers after crossing the line. And the competition is great, that is the most positive thing of the Soto 40."
Pisco Sour Black's crew has been training in Talcahuano for six days. There are young Chilean sailors in the team and de la Fuento was quick to acknowledge the work they put in, "The non-professionals are young sailors that come from the 420 Class. They've never sailed in a big boat: Tomás Middleton, Benjamín Grez, José Jiménez, Andrés Ducasse. They are all young men that are giving their first steps here in big boats. But this is part of the Pisco Black's project: to teach young promises so they can start sailing in big boats."
The rest of the crew is completed with Pablo Amunátegui, who used to be the helmsman of the Pisco Sour I. Having competed in four Olympics in the Men's 470 de la Fuente is used to sailing in part of a team and his relationship with Amunátegui is strong, "We are calm, and we are used to each other. The only issue is that the Argentinean Ramón Oliden was in the mainsail before, but now the Italian Michele Paoletti is coming from Key West to replace him. He's arriving tomorrow, so we have to train tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to know each other. The bowman is Pedro Más, a Spanish sailor that comes from the America's Cup (Desafío Español team). He has a lot of experience. And then we have the Chilean Luis Felipe Herman".
Regarding the venue of the World Championship, Juan says that it's excellent. "I think this is a great race area because every time you come here to Chile you find a lot of wave, a lot of wind… but for these boats that aren't that strong, and for sailing races, the truth is that the closed bay is excellent. I guess there is some work left to do on earth. But the important thing for us, which is the race area, it's excellent. For me it's the best race area in Chile".