Charge!! The dynamic image that greets us in November in the 2021 Ultimate Sailing Calendar is by the fascinating Luis Fernández, at one of the last RC44 events to have materialized before the world shut down last year.
Luis is such a character! We worked together in Portugal and I was enthralled by his sense of humor and multitude of talents: one of which is building intricate Playmobil scenes and dioramas. Although he professes to be retired and ‘not a professional,’ his images of yacht racing, motorsports, performance art, and more are spectacular, as you can see!
Here, Luis has captured the start of the RC44 Cup at the Real Club Nautico de Palma. He tells us the regatta took place during a typical autumn week, even though extreme winds put racing on hold some days! “Eventually, the last day arrived and the thrilling third and last leg, in which several teams were not only fighting for the event but also for the overall series,” said Luis.
“Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF, despite not being among the top players of the day, was able to make a spectacular exit as fast as lightning. During the race, she was able to control the opponents and not only win the event but also steal the foreground of this shoot!”
“I was on the same rib as the official photographers Nico Martínez and his son Pedro,” Luis continued. Nico and Pedro have both been spotlighted in the Ultimate Sailing Calendar in the past: and Pedro’s Nacra 17 images can be found on the February pages of this year’s edition!
Luis explained, “It was an atrocious rainy day with rough waters.” At the start, fighting with the fleet and TV RIB for position, he managed to capture this stunning action shot. “It was not an easy task and we were drenched to our skin - thanks not only to the waves, but to our neck-to-neck battle with the TV crew! But it was completely worth it!”
For these grueling conditions Luis said he carries a simple suite of equipment: three Canon bodies (EOS 50, EOS 80 and EOS 5D) and three lenses (Canon 10-22, canon 100-400 and Sigma 18-200).
Capturing the inset photo, he said, was “the complete opposite. It was a very calm training day. Finally the sun set, and that sensual golden-hour light perfectly framed both yachts.”
A question Luis said he is always asked is, ‘How on earth did you end up here?’
“Before considering myself a sailing photographer, I was crew on an amateur racing team in the Bay of Biscay. At the same time, I stepped in as an assistant Race Official.”
His passion grew and soon he started a blog, with the goal of publishing results and race announcements. “I have never been an inspired writer, so I started dressing it up with pictures. Those pictures started to slowly take over more and more space on the blog, as people really liked them! As a result, I started paying more attention to my photography. But I am not a professional, it is a hobby,” Luis insisted. And yet he attends 20 to 25 races a year, capturing classic yachts, J80 one-designs, RC44s, TP52s and more with aplomb! Very impressive!
“I would have never thought that I would be a ‘calendar boy!” he said with a laugh. “Thanks, Sharon, for the invitation to be part of your fantastic Ultimate Sailing Calendar.”
And thank you, Luis!! Please check out more of Luis’ exciting work on his blog www.lamarsalada.info.
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