The top five NSW Farr 40 One Design crews will hit the water for three days of intense competition starting today (Friday December 11), kicking off the Rolex Trophy 2009 which is organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.
Nine races will decide the Farr 40 series, while the Sydney 38 One Design series will consist of six races, starting on Saturday.
Both classes will race until Sunday afternoon to determine who will hold the Rolex trophies aloft as winners of the respective classes.
The Farr 40 entries are: Chris Way's Easy Tiger II (RPAYC), Jeff Carter's Edake (MHYC), Martin and Lisa Hill's Estate Master (MHYC), Lang Walker's Kokomo (CYCA) and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion (MHYC).
Competing for the Sydney 38 Rolex Trophy are: Calibre (Geoff Bonus, CYCA), the lone Queensland entry, Mondo (Ray Sweeney, RQYS), Swish (Steven Proud, CYCA/RSYS), The Tavern (Ian and Shane Guanaria, CYCA) and Gordon Ketelbey's Zen (MHYC).
All have had their share of wins and in every case it has come down to crew work and minimising errors and damage. There are no favourites; it is open slather, some beefing up their crews with Olympic sailors and the like.
Kokomo won the Farr 40 Trophy last year from Estate Master and Transfusion, the latter relegated to third place on countback.
Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, back at his first One Design competition since the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, in June, is keen to strike back this year. He has co-opted the services of two Olympians Bobby Wilmot, and Beijing Olympian Tom Slingsby, who walked away with the Laser trophy from the Sail Sydney Olympic and Youth classes regatta on Tuesday.
The Farr 40 fleet is littered with competitors and winners from Sail Sydney; Beijing 470 gold medallist Malcolm Page, will be aboard Estate Master, Canadian Laser Olympian Mike Leigh is sailing on Easy Tiger II and Nicole Douglass, who crewed with her father to two Tasar Worlds wins and sailed a Laser Radial at Sail Sydney, will call tactics on Edake.
Of the Sydney 38's, The Tavern is the only yacht in this year's fleet that made the podium last year, with a third place finish. A first place finish is the aim of the Guanarias this year. Geoff Bonus was on the start line last year too, and will be keen to sail a more consistent series this year, a win early on in the 2008 series did not reflect the rest of his regatta.
Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson, said today: “The plan is to hold all racing offshore on standard windward/leeward courses.”
Thompson says: “Looks like they'll get a nice little sou-easter. Saturday it's likely to blow from the north-east, then go back around to the south-east on Sunday. We're just hoping for good weather.” He will make a decision as to how many races are contested each day based on what the conditions are.
– Di Pearson, CYCA Media