Jeff Carter’s Edake is the toughest Farr 40 moniker in the Australian fleet to pronounce; the most common mispronunciation being the phonetic Ed-ark-ee, but the rest of the crews only need remember ‘Edake’ rhymes with ‘headache’, which is what Carter and his team inflicted on the strong fleet contesting day one of the Newcastle One Design Trophy.
Carter is one of the more subdued Farr 40 owners, until he starts crunching sixes over the boundary. Then the Akubra-wearing owner/skipper starts dropping plenty of ‘awesomes’ and beautiful sporting prose while recapping the day’s highlights.
“We nailed three of the four starts, one we were over by half a metre and had to cross the fleet on port tack to find ourselves in eighth. Our speed was awesome and we came back with pace to finish third in that race. We’ve come out today and shown the other boats we have the ability and crew work to make a real go of it.”
Being only one point clear of the nearest challenger Hill PDA, Martin Hill’s Farr 40 racing team, after four races means the pair start from scratch tomorrow. “There’s no stay at the wicket,” Carter added.
Racing began under the leadership of Ted Anderson and his Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club race management team in nauseatingly lumpy seas and 15 knots of opposing east/north-east wind. By the final race the sea state had flattened out and the breeze dropped to nine knots out of the sou’east.
Describing the last race Carter narrated: “It was us and PDA fighting it out. We did six or seven tacks to windward and even tried to fake gybe on them, to get them off our hip. It was awesome; it’s just great racing up here.”
Hill PDA squeezed two firsts out of races three and four but a fourth in race two became their ball and chain. “Farr 40 racing is about saving inches,” Hill said of another incredibly close contest, the second of the class’ 2017-18 summer season.
Rio 2016 Laser gold medallist Tom Burton is Hill’s tactician for the Newcastle series and feeding Burton plenty of intelligence was Finn Alexander, Australian Sailing’s Youth Sailor of the Year who one day hopes to achieve the same Olympic honour in the same class.
“We’ve got the Laser boys on for this regatta and I was really pleased with Finn’s input, and the fact we improved over the day,” Hill said. “The race management was great and the courses well positioned. It’s all on tomorrow,” the skipper cautioned.
Newcastle crew Good Form, led by skipper Joe de Kock, opened strongly taking victory by half a minute in race one, but unable to maintain good form over the course of the pleasant summer’s day. They ended up fourth overall and ahead in third is Andy Baker and Rob Davis’ Nutcracker sailing for Sandringham Yacht Club on the shores of Port Phillip in Victoria.
The second half of the weekend series is due to commence for the fleet of eight Farr 40s at 1100hrs on Sunday December 10 and four more races are scheduled. Sunday’s forecast indicates 10-15 knot sou’easters and one metre seas.
Full results: http://topyacht.net.au/results/ncyc/events/2018/farr_dec/series.htm