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Asier García: “Still learning from the people who’ve guided me”

We’re inspired by everything that inspires others, whether it’s art, music or sports. Inspiration is always something that arrives by chance. Sometimes it comes to us in the form of words, other times in the form of dreams and a lot of time in the form of water: waves that oscillate, balance us, rock us softly or strongly. This is Asier’s inspiration: the Sea.

 

Head of Delivery at LOLA and a sea dog when he’s not at the agency, he began sailing as a kid when his father instilled in him a passion for Competitive Sailing. Asier, how long have you been doing this?

I’ve been sailing since the age of 3 (I don’t even remember my first bouts of seasickness) and since then and until now I’ve continued to learn from the people who’ve guided me. My father took up the hobby and I was fortunate enough to be able to follow suit. From there I’ve tried different types of boats, from dinghy sailing to boats that measure 15 metres. Now we’re focused on the ORC2 class, which encompasses regatta-yachting boats (standard boats) of between 10 and 12 metres, approximately. And -I have to mention it- we’re looking for a sponsor!

In order to start at the beginning, the first thing we need to know is what a regatta consists of …

There are different types of competitions: inshore (between buoys and beacons with a short course set up between them) or offshore, which is longer distances and have a longer duration. We participate in both, although the most competitive ones are the inshore competitions in which the differences tend to be tenths of a second.  We are 8 or 9 people on the boat/team, distributed in different positions; from the skipper/helmsman to the prow, who occupies the foremost part of the boat. Each and every one of them has specific duties that make it such that, as a team, the manoeuvres are done in less time; it’s an orchestra where, if the viola makes a mistake, if affects the symphony.

What type of Championships have you participated in?

We’ve participated in European and Spanish championships (we were the champions in Spain for 2 years in our category), regional championships and in different editions of the well-known Copa del Rey. This season will be the most complete, since in addition to the usual championships, we have the World Championship in our category, which will take place the first week of July in Barcelona. We’ll be there.

 

Tell us about your team: Who are they, what characteristics do you consider important for a team to function, so that everything is coordinated?

The team is very diverse. People from different areas (dentists, lawyers, advertising executives, engineers,…) and we’re all friends. The fortunate thing about being amateurs (but, with extensive experience, mind you) is that it allows us to enjoy not only the competition, but to have fun while competing. We’re united in our fondness for the sport and with it we try to demand perfection from ourselves in order to achieve the highest ranking on the podium. In the end, it’s the satisfaction of doing things well and better than others, which is what on many occasions allows us to beat professional crews.

What prizes have you won?

In the 5 years that we have been using the current boat, we’ve participated in different levels of competitions. In local competitions we defend our initial positions well, and in high-level competitions, which includes the majority of the most competitive fleet, we fight for positions on the podiums. To date we’re able to highlight 2 national Spanish Championships, victories in local, regional and offshore competitions, and rankings in 2 regattas such as the Conde de Godó Trophy, the SM La Reina Trophy, Castellón Costa Azahar, …

 

To what extent is it important to have a sponsor in these types of sports/competitions?

Having a sponsor helps a lot, since until now we’ve been lucky enough to have the boat on loan, but each of the members of the team allocates part of our savings to be able to cover only maintenance, not leaving room for other whims. The competitions are our holidays, with regard to costs as well as time, and we economise anywhere we can: travel (travelling on the boat to the locations where the competitions take place), accommodations (staying on the boat), etc.

In the end we channel our hobbies onto this sport, by taking away from other interests; it’s something that anybody, if they really enjoy it, can do; and yes, it’s addictive! Also, in order to be competitive with a boat, you need to treat it like a racing car; it has to be tuned-up and use material that allows you to perform optimally. The wear and tear of the material affects the speed, the boat’s acceleration, competing with sails that are worn down and deformed from overuse is like trying to race 10 rounds of a gran prix with worn-out tires. Likewise, if a halyard breaks (the rope that sustains the weight of the sails), its like if the gearshift were to fail. Clearly, you can compete by spending just what you need or nothing, but in order to achieve high ranking in the classifications, a certain amount of investment is necessary. The sponsor provides financial assistance so we can have the best possible material to battle for the leading positions and emerge victorious. It’s clear that the crew is 50% of the result, but it’s a part that we work at constantly and depends solely on us.

If you’d like to learn more about the team:

Link to the team’s website: http://www.modarksailingteam.com/

Link to the team’s page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/modarksailing

The team’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ModarkSailing

Miguel S.

CEO MullenLowe Group W. Europe