At this weekend’s Barcolana Race, Esimit Europa’s skipper Jochen Schümann wants to break the course record, which every year attracts around 2,000 boats of all sizes to Trieste in Italy.
'This is the home regatta for Esimit Europa,' said Schümann, who has taken the 30m Maxi yacht on an extensive race tour of Europe during 2013. 'The Barcolana is a very short race, but having up to 2,000 boats on the line makes it very special. As one of the biggest boats we have to fight for line honors, which we have won for the past three years. Of course, we are going for line honors again and if there is sufficient breeze then maybe we can break our own record set in 2010, because the boat and the team are better than ever before.'
Part of the reason why Esimit Europa is better than ever is because of its long season competing at some of the big events on the European racing scene - from Kiel Week in Germany, to the Gotland Race in Scandinavia, and then the Rolex Fastnet Race in England. Schümann’s never-ending drive for perfection has led to three Olympic gold medals and two victories with Alinghi in the America’s Cup, and now he applies the same level of determination to the Esimit Europa campaign.
Esimit Europa in action
One example of his ‘leave-no-stone-unturned’ approach to success is in Schümann’s choice of clothing for the crew. 'We changed our supplier at the beginning of this year, and we moved to adidas, who I had already been working with for many years. Esimit Europa was the first team to be fully equipped with adidas gear, and I think we are learning together. adidas is a very well known sporting brand, of course, and it’s great that they are now getting into sailing. The technical standards are being pushed by our team, and we are going through a steep learning curve as we work with adidas sailing to develop the equipment and optimise it, not only for Esimit Europa but for the wider sailing world.'
If Esimit Europa succeeds in a fourth consecutive line honours victory at the Barcolana this weekend - and even if the boat breaks its own course record - there will be very little opportunity for celebration. 'After the Barcolana, the same night we set out on a record attempt from Trieste to Malta, a course which we created last year,' said Schümann. 'This is the second time we will do this, a racing delivery to Malta. Depending on how quick we are, we will only have two or three days' rest before our final event of the year, the Rolex Middle Sea Race. It has been a busy but exciting season for Esimit Europa.'