Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion governed the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 NSW State Title from the outset and after two final races on Sydney Harbour today was declared state champion in a landslide victory.
“We were pretty well into it on the scoresheet, we just needed to consolidate today,” admitted Belgiorno-Nettis. “Even though we didn’t take any bullets we sailed well in extremely difficult conditions with many opportunities for getting it right, and wrong.
“The team I’ve put together for the Rolex Farr 40 worlds have sailed with us on and off for years. I’d have to say it’s probably the best crew we’ve ever assembled.”
The challenge for Transfusion’s crew post the John Calvert-Jones nationals scheduled for 19-22 February, 2014, in Hobart is keeping the discipline and skills up throughout the Australian Farr 40 off-season. The Americans will be well into their summer season and racing right up to the class’ pinnacle event, the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, 15-18 October in San Francisco.
Lang Walker’s Kokomo finished second overall in the three-day inshore regatta, 17 points off the lead boat.
“It was a great regatta, very well organised,” said Walker. “Conditions were tricky in the harbour with the traffic. We almost wore a ferry yesterday and it took so long to pass we believe it was a new kind of stretch ferry rather than a normal ferry,” he joked.
“Our crew worked very hard and did a great job to just scrape into second. Guido sailed a fabulous regatta; congratulations to him. We’ll have to get him next time.”
Jeff Carter’s Edake (pronounced Ed-ache) finished third by one point and was the first Corinthian boat.
Merely three points separated second to fifth on the pointscore, an incredibly close tussle over 10 races for the series’ minor placings.
Carter has been slogging it out in the Farr 40 class since 2006 and today the Middle Harbour Yacht Club member deservedly collected his first podium trophy. “This is our first ever podium finish on a scratch result and I‘ve been at it for seven years. Over that time I’ve seen my fair share of lasts. These days the Australian fleet is very close.”
Carter reckons he was spurred by going head-to-head with his second Edake, on loan to clubmate Gordon Ketelbey and renamed Zen for the NSW State Title, sailed 10-12 January, 2014.
“We had our other boat racing against us and after they beat us in race one we decided we needed to get going,” Carter said. “The crew work came together and Evan Walker did an excellent job on tactics. He’s also put a great team of young guys and experienced Farr 40 sailors together for the season.”
The fine result means Carter is now under pressure from the crew to take the boat to Hobart for the Tasmanian states and national title on the Derwent River next month. “You only live once…maybe I can live twice and contest the nationals!” Carter added.
Edake is the name of the Flying 11 that won Carter his first Australian title in that class. He’s kept the moniker and has expanded on the theme with other boats called Migraine Edake, Splitting Edake and Looming Edake.
Voodoo Chile appeared to stage the comeback of the regatta until they agreed to retire from race 9 rather than go to the protest room with Kokomo for a top mark rounding incident.
Skipper Lloyd Clark was disappointed but circumspect, “Unfortunately Kokomo protested us in the first race and after discussing it back at the dock we decided to retire, which added another six points to our tally. This put us back to fifth from second. It’s very disappointing but that’s the way it goes. We are really happy with how we sailed.”
The intensity of this season’s Farr 40 competition ramped up noticeably during the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 NSW State Title, “It must be the Tasmanians in the mix, I think we’ve rattled the others,” suggested Clark. “We are fired up for the nationals,” warned Voodoo’s tactician David Chapman today.
On Hobart staging the first Farr 40 nationals to be held outside Sydney Clark added, “We are really looking forward to hosting the mainland boats down south on the beautiful Derwent River. Hopefully as many Farr 40s as possible can come from the other states.”
Racing was delayed by an hour this morning and the start line shifted from Rushcutters to Taylor’s Bay by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Principal Race Officer Rod Ridley and his team. Race 9 got underway in 8-10 knot SE winds with more south for race 10 and an upwind finish to mix things up and close the series. A third race was discussed but not doable given low storm clouds were playing havoc with the breeze.
“Aberdeen has been a fantastic supporter of the Farr 40s,” said class president Belgiorno-Nettis this evening, Sunday 12 January, 2014. They were on the water again today with their guests and we could hear 470 champion Will Ryan commentating on the hospitality boat.”
The next event on the calendar is the Aberdeen Asset Management Tasmanian State Title 15-17 February, 2014.
by Lisa Ratcliff.