Pierre Orphanidis from the top European sailing site vsail.info caught up with the backer of the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, Torbjorn Tornqvist during a break in the racing at the recent RC44 regatta in Puerto Calero
Torbjorn Tornqvist has been a TP52 Medcup champion, RC44 world champion and current America’s Cup challenger of record. Who better then to talk about all of that? The light conditions in Puerto Calero on Sunday morning and the postponement ashore gave us the opportunity to catch up with him and discuss these issues. VSail.info:
You have won a Medcup Championship in the TP52 class and you are the current RC44 World Champion, so to say that you are a competitive onwer-driver would be an understatement. You must also be passionate about sailing. What drives you though to be in the world’s most competitive sailing circuits? Torbjörn Törnqvist:
First of all, sailing is a team sport and I have always been fortunate to have a very good sailing crew and a group of very good people that prepare the boats. I’m just a very small part of a team effort. When I started in 2007 I had a really very good team and we made a number of steps in the class that were never done before. We created an edge and I have to admit that. I’m passionate about sailing and I have been sailing during my entire life. I started when I was just a small boy in the Swedish archipelago in wooden dinghies.
Sailing has always been a part of my life since I can remember but never really in competition. It was more about cruising with my family and friends in the summer. Racing came much, much later. If I remember well, my first ever regatta was in 2004, in Porto Cervo, for the Swan worlds. Since then things have, obviously, changed, I moved on to the TP52's, then the RC44's and now the America’s Cup. This has been my journey in sailing. VSail.info:
Would you rather helm an RC44 or a TP52? How do they compare from the driver’s point of view?
Torbjörn Törnqvist: The boats are clearly different. The RC44 is an extremely fun boat to drive and the moment I stepped on the boat and sailed, I said 'This is great!'. It’s a light boat, it’s very fast but there are also other things around this class that I like. I think that today it’s the best class in the world where owners-drivers can participate, without any doubt. There isn’t anything better than the RC44 class out there. I, obviously, always enjoyed the TP52 and I did four seasons. At that time, when we were there, it was certainly the most competitive sailing class and truly professional. Yet, at the end, I think I couldn’t put the time necessary to stay at the absolute top. We always were there, in third or fourth place, but in order to take that step up and regain the top spot it would have taken too much of my time. VSail.info:
Do you have enough time right now? Would you like to spend more time on the boat?
Torbjörn Törnqvist: I take as much time as I can and I think I’m right at the edge when my family starts complaining. They complain that even if they come to see me in a regatta, I always leave them behind because I spend the entire day on the water! Seriously, they do come to see me for a day or two in each event. That’s what I like with the current format of the RC44. We have five events per season and I could skip one if necessary. Still, I try to be in every event. It’s not too heavy but still, it is a month of sailing each year. I plan to do all five events in 2012 but, you know, it might not be possible.
For the full interview click here?nid=93920