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anarchy in the BCN

Sam Greenfield is one of the sport’s hottest new video kids, and he’s down in Barcelona covering the TP52 SuperSeries for Sailing Anarchy.  His first video is a look at a morning in the life of Andres “Shifty” Soriano aboard the TP52 “Rio”, and below is Sam’s written report.  Be sure to Like Sam’s Facebook and check out his Instagram page here if you want to follow the nipper’s neverending adventures.

It’s midnight and I need my damn pants to dry.

I’ve transformed the pressroom into something rural, but luckily everyone has gone home.  My pants, boxers and rain shell are slung over the backs of chairs after a few hours of airing outside the Rio trailer in vain.  It’s Spain, I told myself as I rushed out the door into the streets of Alicante.  You won’t need anything warm.    Well, it’s probably 50 degrees outside and the wind is still howling.  Welcome to Barcelona; maybe I should help write the next “Idiot’s Guide”?

On Thursday I was supposed to come home after wrapping up an internship in Spain.  Instead, I pushed my return flight back about two months and opted to stay in Europe.  The notion of draining my savings chasing after sailing events that I’ll never be able to pronounce seemed like a novel idea.  The next morning I realized I was already one day late for the TP52 Super Series Trofeo Conde De Godo in Barcelona, Spain.  Without checking the weather I stuffed a rain shell, one pair of board shorts, two tech-shirts, some boxers and my sole pair of khakis into my camera bag and hopped a 5-hour train ride to Barcelona.

When I got to the Real Club Náutico the next morning I walked along the docks asking for a guy named ‘Shifty’.  Andres ‘Shifty’ Soriano was Sanya’s Media Crew Member for the last Volvo and now sails aboard the California-based 52 Rio.  I found him inside the Rio trailer where one of his crewmates was providing him a bit of TLC for a non-sailing related injury across his eyebrow.

Thanks to Shifty I spent the day on the Rio protector with driver Eduardo, and Day Two started with Race 4 of the event.     When the first gun went off at noon the breeze had built to fifteen knots and it was starting to feel brisk.  Quantum, fresh off a 3/1/2 from day one, was forced to eat a fourth place finish in race four, but despite being over early in race five, pulled off a fabulous comeback for second (great Keith Brash video of it here).  Azzurra, the Spanish rocket ship, matched their pace with a 2/4 to keep ahead on the scoreboard. By race two the breeze was well above 20 knots and the sea state had boiled into something angry and inconsistent.  In the end, the day belonged to Ran and Gladiator, with each team earning the gun and a third place finish.

Then Eduardo said, “Uh oh,” and I saw that port tachometer had flat-lined.  In a head-high sea state we picked up three crewmembers, went searching for a deck hatch that had been torn off by a wave, and then limped back into port.

I consider Rio’s protector the grand daddy Cadillac of yacht escorts.  Dual inboard turbo diesels, a teak swimming platform, a full sized dock box and best of all, Eduardo.  Even battling hypothermia and a broken engine she’s still one hell of a ride.

Glory.  I just discovered that the crotch of my pants blew out today.  No matter, I’ve got an idea in mind.  Tomorrow is day three of the Trofeo Conde De Godo.  Just don’t expect me to pronounce it right.