AN INTERVIEW WITH ASW RACE MANAGER - JAIME TORRESWednesday 29th January 2020
Race Manager drives his Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave. His favorite thing to do when he is not directing racing events.
How did you go from racer to ASW Race Manager?
It's a simple story. The economy in Puerto Rico has been weak since Maria. That prompted the shutdown of my business, so I couldn't afford to keep racing my boats. But sailing is my life, and ASW is my favorite event. After so many years of coming over to race and being so vocal about EVERYTHING, Alison the President and fellow CSA board member figured I might be able to contribute and offered me the opportunity to fill the vacant Race Manager position. Frankly, I was honored but hesitant at first as those were some pretty big shoes to fill. I consulted with a few sailing-industry friends that I trust and respect. Their answer was clear: go for it! So here I am. I think that my perspective as a racer, charter skipper, and event organizer gives me an excellent base to contribute from. Plus, I am a list maker, a skill that is coming in quite handy.
Word on the street is you are shaking things up. Are you?
Not really. After 52 years of running a successful event, you know the team is doing most things right. I think my contribution has been to take the existing Race Management Team and give them more freedom and opportunity for each of them do what they do best. I came to listen to those with experience. What I heard was we were ripe for a refresh. To push growth in new areas, shake up our class structure, and make the racing more fun for more people. I became a yes man to anyone that wanted to push improvement even when that came in the form of significant changes or breaking with tradition that was not meeting our current needs. But it is hardly me originating the changes. I am more of an enabler.
What is new?
The overall theme of our plan is tailoring the regatta to the racers on a class by class basis. Let's start with the Sport Boat Class. These pocket rockets like the Melges 24 and the J70 are fun, and fast boats, and their numbers are growing. They are good for the sailors and the sport of sailing. They are tiny and wet but super exciting to sail. But these boats are not meant to be out there in long races on the same courses or starts, with slow cruiser racers. They need to have their separate starts, shorter races, and more of them. So, give them that: a regatta that is just right for them. And we are doing this across the full spectrum of classes from multihulls to Volvo 65s to cruising boats. Our team is speaking to boat captains, owners, sailors, and opinion leaders. We are responding by customizing the racing experience... click here to read the complete interview
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