Fabian Bengtsson gör kontinuerligt intervjuer med de bästa matchracing seglarna på Sailingsweden.se. Nu är det Keith Swinton som är under utfrågning, Keith och hans Black Swan Racing Team är högaktuella inför Matchracing finalen där man jagar medaljplats. I teamet ingår även svenskarna Olof Lundgren och Jakob Gustavsson, Jakob som är en av de bäst tränade på touren blev nyligen intervjuad av Västerås länstidning, den artikeln kan ni läsa nedanför intervjun med Keith.
Keith Swinton and his team Black Swan Racing have a golden opportunity to take a podium position in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2012. The half Australian, half Swedish crew started the season in Germany by taking their first win ever over Peter Gilmour and later won their first world tour event at St. Moritz. Now it can come down to a race between Swinton and Gilmour for the bronze medal and maybe they will reach even higher. Sailing Sweden has talked to the young Australian skipper about his hopes for the Monsoon Cup.
What’s your take on your season so far?
We are really happy with how things have gone for us and I think we managed to be quite consistent which is very important. We sailed well in both Germany and Sweden and the only really big disappointment was in Chicago. We have also improved a bit at each regatta and we have been good at talking about what we can do better.
Would you say that you are more professional this season?
There are certain things we need to do to prepare for a regatta and each individual race. It easy to get sidetracked but we have gotten better at looking at all the factors before the start. If we do these things well we often sail well and the good thing is we know what we need to do.
Having a Tour Card has been a great opportunity and with that comes a lot of experience from being at many events. When you are sailing against the top teams it doesn’t take long to realize what you need to do to perform.
You have been to the Monsoon Cup twice before. What’s different this time?
We have never been properly organized for the event before because it has always felt like a one-off thing for us. We are excited to go there because now it really means something and that’s an awesome feeling. It’s good to have been there before because it’s a quite difficult place to sail.
Why is it difficult?
There is a lot of tide and sometimes it’s almost even on both sides of the course, which makes it difficult to choose the right way. Other times it’s quite straightforward and obvious where the tide is better but the wind can also be very shifty and that always creates difficult situations.
You have a great opportunity to end up on the podium after the Monsoon Cup, how does that feel?
I don’t think anyone in the team thought about getting on the podium heading in to this season even if we new that we could get there if we got good results and sailed well. We are on the podium now but we have to continue to sail well in Malaysia to keep that spot. If someone would have told us at the start of the season that we would have this chance with one event left, we would be very happy.
You have been quite strong in the smaller boats and in Malaysia. Is that going to be a problem?
Well no not really because we did well in Sweden in boats that are similar to the ones we will sail in Malaysia, and we felt really quick in them. Also, we are going to get a couple of days of training before the event starts to get used to the boats.
How are you going to prepare for the regatta?
We have three days of training here in Perth, with the rest of the team flying in from Sweden to warm up. We are going to race against Peter Gilmour’s son David and his team who are also going to sail the Monsoon Cup.
It can come down to a match between you and Gilmour for the bronze medal…
Yes and I think we have had a good bit of rivalry between us the whole season. He has always been there and it’s fun to have a fight between a young team like ours and the old guy. He pushes us really hard and there is always a lot of action when we race him. I’m actually quite glad that he is the one that’s pushing us.
Is there any pressure from the sailors trailing behind you?
I think that pressure is something you put on yourself. Basically it’s the same old story; we have to go to the regatta and do the best we can, get a good result and then we will stay on the podium.
Text: fabian Bengtsson på sailingsweden.se