JUAN VILA BACK HOME TO RACE
Juan Vila is possibly the best and most experienced Spanish sailor of all time. Winner of some of the most important sailing events worldwide
Juan Vila is possibly the best and most experienced Spanish sailor of all time. Winner of some of the most important sailing events worldwide he is the only Spanish competitive sailor to have won both a round-the-world race with stop-overs (Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race) and the America’s Cup.
As if this was not enough, he recently broke the Jules Verne record (round the world non-stop) on board the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire. In the 39th edition of the Trofeo Conde de Godó the Barcelona-born sailor has come back home to a club with whom he has a long-standing relationship, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, sailing with Quantum Racing.
1. What is your connection with the RCNB?
Since I was very young I have sailed in the different regattas organized by the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, including the Trofeo Conde de Godo.
2. El Real Club Náutico de Barcelona has made a huge effort to organize the 39th edition of the Trofeo Conde de Godo. How important is it for you as a sailor to see this kind of effort made, and in the case of the RCNB, for such a high-standing event to be organized amidst such a challenging economic situation?
I think it is incredibly important to keep these events going whilst adapting to the changes and the current economic situation. As sailors we are very grateful for everything the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona has done to organize the 39th edition of the event, and for me personally it is wonderful to be able to take part in such a high-level competition here in Barcelona.
3. Why are you sailing this season with the TP52 class?
The TP52 is an excellent class with some of the best sailors competing. The racing is usually very close, with changes of position on each leg and often racing is only decided on the finish line with a difference of just metres. It is fabulous to be able to work on the very small details that can make the difference between winning or losing a whole series or circuit.
4. Is it not too radical a change to go from setting a round-the-world record to a windward-leeward race?
I have always liked to combine different types of racing and different types of boats. From offshore racing with trimarans, to America’s Cup races, coastal and offshore events, and circuits like this one with the TP52 Quantum Racing.
5. How do you see the current TP52 class?
I think it is an excellent class, since the boats really make improvements from one season to the next. Having seen the end of the Medcup we are now in a state of transition where in the future there may well be a circuit on a worldwide scale, for example with racing in the United States where there are also many boats in the class actively competing.
6. In the Trofeo Conde de Godó there is a combination of classes including the Wally, Maxis/mini Maxis, TP52, Sotos 40, J80 and ORC. Will Barcelona be the main focus in the Mediterranean for this week’s racing?
Yes, absolutely . This week the Trofeo Conde de Godo will reinstate its name as a true classic in the Mediterranean with fantastic organization, the number and quality of participants and diversity of classes taking part. The Trofeo Conde de Godo is undoubtedly the centre of attention in the world of sailing this week.
7. Is it a positive thing for the professional classes to join the amateurs such as the J80 and ORC?
I think it is both positive and necessary for the two to come together in one event where there are different classes and combining amateurs with professionals. It all adds towards making the event much more visually stimulating, open to all and providing amateur crews the chance to make their way into the more professional teams and classes.