Snipe/Star superstar Augie Diaz stepped into the International 505 in February only to walk away with a resounding win in the 29-boat Midwinter Champs. Anarchist KmMccabe, one of the geniuses behind the excellent High-Performance Dinghy Open as well as an enthusiastic Tempest sailor, caught up with him for a great SA Innerview. Enjoy.
Kmccabe: Thanks for taking the time for this discussion, Augie. I was hoping to have a chat with you about what I think is something pretty unique in 505’s, that is, someone essentially stepping into the class and walking away with a major trophy.
Everybody already knows that you’re fabulous, you’re one of the best in the sport. Quite honestly, I’ve been following your career ever since I was a kid in high school.
Augie: I don’t really agree with that, and as we go through our discussion, I think you’ll see why – and by the way I STILL haven’t figured out how it really happened that weekend, because basically it was almost like a Perfect Storm that happened. I like to analyse; when I lose I like to know why, but when I win, I really like to understand exactly why as well. So, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the Midwinters; and the thing that troubles me is that I just can’t quite put my finger on it. I’ve got a lot of tidbits but I can’t say really that this is the way things happened and I know what I’m doing. Which is what I like to be able to do after a race.
Kmccabe: OK, well I’ve got some suspicions as to why you did well. It has to do with the fact that you are a newcomer. I think that a LOT of people in the class get too involved in the gear. I think it’s the fact that you come from a different perspective where you can see things fresh and you’re not involved in fashion and styles, the latest and greatest piece of gadgetry. There are a lot of frustrated engineers in the 505 class, and consequently, they focus more on the equipment and less on the actual sailing of the boat, moving the boat around the course. Its my opinion that your experience with the other classes has basically allowed you to see what’s important and focus.
Ok if you could just tell me a bit about the reasons why you selected the boat you did, why you picked the masts, a lot of the reasons why stuff gets done in the 505 class is the “best guys are using x or y”