I have been here in Valencia for 3 weeks now. My new job as Sports Director of Desafio Español has been keeping me busy. Desafio has a good base from which to start the challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup; two good ACC boats, a fully staffed and operational base. The main sponsor, Iberdrolla, is back supporting the team with more budget than last time. We are certainly not the richest team on the block but we have a good base to build on.
Farr Yacht Design was hired in September to be the main designer for the team. One of the advantages with Farr is that they are a team of people. This means they have their procedures and systems for working together and covering a large number of the technical tasks. This should be a nice advantage with the time frame for this Cup being so short, and with construction of the first boat needing to begin in early spring.
Our days start at 0800 with a 90 minute gym workout. We are starting with a fairly strong aerobic program and then moving into strength training. For sure, the new class of boat will be very demanding for the crew. The bigger and stronger the better for most. There will be 12 people grinding most of the time on 6 pedestals. Everyone is a grinder at some point. There will be plenty to do in the gym and in the dining room over the next 18 months.
Breakfast is at 0930, then a head of departments meeting and crew meeting to set the plan for the day in motion. Most days we sail, but the weather can be uncooperative here in the winter. So far we have been lucky. We have two sailing programs; 1) is racing the ACC boat from the last Cup against another team or 2) racing the two Swedish Match 40s we recently acquired. The SW 40’s are excellent for training the specific discipline of match racing. Friday for example, the Germans were on vacation do we got our race committee and umpires to run a series of races in the SW40