Ocean racing aficionados in Chile have cause to celebrate with the announcement that Chile will host the Soto 40 class events in the 2013 Sailing World Cup.
The Andean nation was chosen on the back of recent strong performances from local sailors. It also has one of the largest concentrations of Soto 40 yachts in the world.
President of the Ocean Sailing Club of Chile, Ramón Eluchans, said the decision to host the event in Chile recognized the sport’s growing following in Chile.
“Having an ocean sailing world cup is an enormous challenge. It’s never been done before in Chile so it shows that we are in a good position here,” Eluchans told La Tercera.
“This demonstrates that the country is a reliable destination for the rest of the world. In fact, we didn’t nominate ourselves – it was the other countries that chose us, so that was fantastic.”
The Soto 40 class is a relatively new category in the world of sailing, but it has already established itself as a favorite among Chile’s competitive sailors.
Valued at around half a million US dollars each, there are just 33 Soto 40 class yachts in the world and 13 of them are located in Chile.
“They are like the Ferraris of sailing,” Martín Vender, a Chilean sailor, told La Tercera. “The speed you feel in them is what sets them apart from other boats.”
With competitors from South America, North America and Europe, Vender says the 2013 world championship will be a competitive event, but he believes the Chilean team is in with a strong chance of winning: “We have enough quality here to do it,” he told the Chilean newspaper.
The final location for the world cup regatta is yet to be decided, but the Biobío Region in the country’s south is a possible option, according to La Tercera, due to its optimal sailing conditions and the strong support for the sport in the area.