The newest Soto 40 to come out of the Argentine builder is destined for the dock of Ted Etheridge, a long time member of Macatawa Bay YC. That’s the idyllic little spot on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan that’s home to a pile of Melges 32s, the MaxZ86 Windquest, a growing passel of Melges 20s, and an amount of carbon fiber far exceeding what you’d expect from such a sleepy little place.
The new S40 Drumbeat – possibly the first of the winged SotoAcebal design to race outside the active one-design fleet in Argentina – is already entered in the Traverse City Ugotta Regatta, and we expect to see it compete in the other major Great Lakes races as well. It’s a hell of a sexy boat with those hiking wings, flat tops mains, huge cockpit and a lot of sail area, and with strict weight and quality controls, is sort of what a Farr 40 might look like if designed today. Could the South American boat catch on in the states, or is Etheridge planning something a little different? Remember that Etheridge was a crucial member of the Canada’s Cup team that wrested the storied trophy from a decade of Royal Canadian ownership a couple of years ago, and that the CC has been raced in Farr 40s for the past few years.
Pure speculation – but could this be the next Canada’s Cup design? And is Macatawa ever going to get the next Canada’s Cup off the ground anyway? We may not get these answers right away, but we promise a report on the boat soon.