VISTA 2011 is the fourth competition Chile has participated in, and this time they’re being represented by 22 teams, with 85 competitors. It is a notable increase on the 15 teams that took part in 2009, and as Chile’s involvement in VISTA grows, so does their ambition.
”Expectations are very high,” says Harry Opitz, VISTA leader for Chile. “We have trained our people so they can perform at a very high level. Our technicians have a lot of motivation and conviction that they can win. They also have the full support of our CEO and all the managers, which is vital to be successful and for winning the final in Sweden.”
To date Chile’s best ever result in VISTA was when Saul Hernandez reached the 1999 World Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” recalls Hernandez. “It was a great sensation to arrive in Sweden, which I had never visited before, as a winner. I could share the experience with people from other continents and other cultures, who spoke other languages and had other ways of working. Yet we were all a part of Volvo and winners of VISTA, and we were being recognised by the whole Volvo family as being the best technicians.”
As the only Chilean to compete in a World Final, there is no one more qualified to act as Technical Leader and trainer for VISTA 2011. “I keep telling the new teams about my personal experience of having participated and travelled as a winner,” he says. “It was fantastic to visit another country, and to be sponsored by Volvo was great recognition from the company of my work.”
However Hernandez also knows that it will take more than his fond memories to get another Chilean team to next summer’s final. “I also stress the importance of acquiring knowledge and constantly teaching yourself if you want to be recognised worldwide as one of the best.”
“For the first three rounds training is focused on using Impact, but for the semi final in Brazil and the World Final in Sweden, we’ll focus on more specialised preparations,” says Harry Opitz. ”We think this is the key to achieving our aim: that our boys enjoy the summer in Sweden and return to Chile victorious.”