Spain’s Diego Botin has reflected on his debut performance as driver in Sydney, admitting that ‘conditions couldn’t have been harder’ for his first event behind the wheel.
Spain picked up an 8-5-9 racing record across the three fleet races, finishing the event in eighth overall ahead of Switzerland.
Teams battled against high winds and gusty conditions, with even the most experienced of crews making boat handling errors as they fought for space on the congested racetrack.
Looking back on the event, Botin pointed to the ‘small wings, big breeze and narrow course’ as key challenges, while the ‘hardest part’ was the ‘hectic’ nature of the racing. This ‘forced’ the crew to ‘rush maneuvers’, he said.
“I couldn’t have imagined it being so hard and the tough conditions made it the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Botin said after racing.
However he remained upbeat about the team’s performance.
“Obviously technically we are quite far off the pace but in general the team is super happy, the boat is in one piece and the vibe is very positive to keep going in the future.”
Botin pointed to his limited training time of just two days ahead of racing. “We are trying to set the best working ethic we can, taking all the feedback and trying to push in the same direction,” he said. “That’s the main goal now for the team.”
Botin stepped into the driving position after the Spain SailGP Team announced an internal restructure ahead of the Sydney event, with former driver Jordi Xammar stepping down from the role. Ahead of his debut in Sydney, Botin described his appointment as a ‘huge personal opportunity’.