[Source: Soto 40 European Championship] It is very close to the start of the Soto 40 European Championship, landmark Soto 40 class in Europe and that this season will be held in such prominent locations such as Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Porto Cervo, Sotogrande and Valencia forming one of the most important and competitive nautical events of the year.
The first event of the Soto 40 European Championship will be Trofeo Conde de Godo organized by Real Club Nautico de Barcelona from May 24th to 27th. This regatta will be the starting point and the first chance for teams to measure their true potential in this Championship.
The second meeting of the Soto 40 European Championship will be framed in the prestigious Sardinia Cup (Offshore nations teams World Championship) organized by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, from June 11th to 16th , where Soto 40 boats will compete together with the TP52/IRC 52 class.
In July comes the great event of the Mediterranean, the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. This year, in order to avoid clashing with the London Olympics, the Royal event will be held from July 18th to 21st in the Bay of Palma, a date with all the usual attractions of the Palma regatta.
In mid-August, the Soto 40 fleet will move to Sotogrande to celebrate the fourth round of the Soto 40 European Championship, during the Sotogrande Cup, held from August the 10th to 13th, coinciding with the prestigious Polo tournament.
The Finals of the Soto 40 European Championship will be in Valencia, more specifically in the Port America’s Cup from September 19th to 22nd in which every race will score double points. The event should decide the Soto 40 European Champion and Soto 40 European Owner Driver Champion.
The Iberdrola Team headed by Agustin Zulueta and skippered by double J80 world champion “Pichu” Torcida, current winner of the Audi MedCup last year and PalmaVela trophy last April, is the Soto 40 to beat.
Other teams with experience in Soto 40 class who will compete in the Conde de Godo are the British boat Ngoni skipered by his passionate owner-driver Tony Buckingham, who won las year one event in MedCup.
Román Turro from Barcelona participated in the final race of the 2011 Audi MedCup on board “visitmalta.com” where he discovered the versatility and easy handling of the one dessign. Apart from this, Román replaces at his father Jesús the owner of the prestigious series of “Soletes” very competitive boats on corrected time as ORC or RI.
Luis Martín Cabiedes boat Noticia IV who managed to secure second place at last year circuit, its skipered with the world champion Iñaki Castañer other of the teams to beat.
With less experience in the class, but not less competitive we can find four different teams; one of this boats is the new Alegre, Andy Soriano´s Soto 40, run by a very experienced international team which just finished second in mid-April in the PalmaVela trophy. Andy is widely recognized as one of the best Owner Drivers in the world thanks to his campaigns onboard his Mills 68 “Alegre” which has garnered numerous victories in the IRC circuit and in the MiniMaxi class.
The Portuguese Pedro Mendonca is the father of the series “Bigamist” the most prestigious and competitive of Portugal. During the last few seasons Pedro has participated in TP 52 through minor categories such as ORC or Platu 25. In the 2011 season he decided to give a try to the Soto 40 in the Cascais and Barcelona 2011 MedCup events and he has now taken thefinal step by joining the class in 2012 with his new boat POR30.
The German Stefan Jenztsch with Black Pearl is the latest owner to join the Soto 40 class encouraged by the competitiveness of these boats; Stefan has put together a very competitive international crew aiming at all, but like Turro, Soriano and Buckingham, he will steer his boat to fight for the Owner Driver Trophy that rewards the first owner at the helm of his boat.
Finaly Spanish XXII that in this occasion will be sailed by the “local hero team” Gunter representing Real Club Náutico of Barcelona.
Soto 40 European Championship Calendar
Trofeo Conde de Godo – 24 to 27 May (Barcelona)
Sardinia Cup – 11 to 16 June (Porto Cervo)
Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre – 18 to 21 July (Palma de Mallorca)
Copa Sotogrande – 10 to 13 August (Sotogrande)
Soto Final 40 European Championship – 19 to 22 September (Valencia)
ESP02 Geseme / Gramona – Román Turro (Spain)
ESP19 Iberdrola Team – Agustín Zulueta (Spain)
GBR20 Ngoni – Tony Buckingham (United Kingdom)
ESP21 Noticia IV – Luis Martín (Spain)
ESP22 XXII – In Yachts (Spain) GER27
Black Pearl – Jenztsch Stefan (Germany)
POR30 Bigamist – Pedro Mendonça (Portugal) Not in Barcelona
BVI33 Alegre – Andy Soriano (BVI)