Interviews with the Lead Pack- Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser

What is (are) your name(s), and where do you sail?

Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser.  We sail in the River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina

How long have you been sailing F18s?

We’ve been sailing F18 since 2008.

Did you do anything special to prepare for the 2013 F18 Americas Championship?

We had 2 previous championships during the month before, and it was very useful to be ready for the event.

What do you think was the biggest factor in your success in Sarasota?

It was very difficult, but after 2 days of racing we start to understand more about what to do and what not to do in terms of tactics decisions.

The Americas Championship was a 17 race event with conditions from 5-25 knots. How did you manage to have success over such a broad range of conditions?

We are used to sail in every condition, and we feel fast all around, but If we have the chance to choose we prefer heavy conditions.

What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?

The race we won for sure. Haha!

Every event has difficult moments. What was yours, and how did you overcome that setback?

I think it was at the beginning, the things were not working as we want to. The wind was very shifty and tricky, with a lot of changes in terms of pressure and angles. It cost us a lot to start understanding the wind patterns. It was a little frustrating because we felt that we were taking wrong decisions for two days long.

If you could get a redo for one sailing mistake during the week, what would it be? what would you do differently?

Probably nothing!  When you come to one big event, in challenging conditions, with very tough competitors it is almost impossible to avoid mistakes. The good things about mistakes is that you can learn a lot!  We felt that we have been improving a lot during the sailing week and that couldn’t be possible if we didn’t make mistakes. So we probably wouldn’t do anything differently.

For new teams just getting into F18 sailing, what would be your biggest piece of advice?

Enjoy F18 sailing!  It’s awesome!

Fifth place overall, all the way from Argentina, Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser

Fifth place overall, all the way from Argentina, Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser