Farr 40 fleet 'Pittwaterised' during One-Design Trophy racing

Most of the active Australian east coast Farr 40 fleet assembled at Pittwater today for the opening three races of the class’ One Design Trophy hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

Reigning Australian champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion sailing for Middle Harbour Yacht Club is this evening the lead boat, despite the crew being “Pittwaterised” in the opening race. The term came from Transfusion’s long time bowman Mitch White to describe the narrow waterway’s random nature that often strands the frontrunners and gives those out the back door a conveyer belt ride, and a fighting chance. Or the reverse can happen just as easily.

Transfusion’s crew backed up a fourth in race one with two wins to be ahead of Lang Walker’s Kokomo (CYCA) by three points at the series’ halfway point. Jeff Carter’s Edake (MHYC), with Evan Walker calling tactics, is third to Kokomo by a point.

Jordan Reece has been part of the Transfusion program for the past two years and today, Saturday December 6, 2014 he admirably filled very large shoes as tactician. The young Aussie is the sailing director for the Chicago Match Racing Centre and is home for Christmas and Farr 40 racing. “At least half the team is new and we are mixing people around and trying them in different positions,” said Reece. “I got the call up as Tom Slingsby wasn’t available. It was a good first day, though nerve-wracking at times. When we sailed our own race we came away with two bullets.”

Transfusion’s strategist Katie Spithill brought her handy knowledge of the haphazard section of water to the fore today.

Transfusion is a borrowed Kokomo as Belgiorno-Nettis’ F40 is still on a ship returning from the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in San Francisco.  It’s going straight to Melbourne for the next calendar event, the Aberdeen Asset Management Victorian State Title January 30 – 1 February, 2015.

Walker’s regular tactician Mal Page and many of the crew from his MC38 that raced on the same course area last weekend also fell flat in race one, then turned around their fortunes. “The boats we are sailing and the weather are totally different to last weekend,” said the Olympic gold medallist. “It took a while to adjust to sailing the Farr to its optimal speed. We felt better as the day went on,” Page added. Local sailor and Olympian Colin Beashel joined the Kokomo brains trust.

The light NNE breeze was reasonably consistent for the first two of three races completed to the north of Scotland Island by Principal Race Officer Steve Merrington. Then mid-way through a longer final race it shutdown entirely for a stretch, drawing the course time out to just over an hour whereas the earlier races were around 40 minutes each.

Tropical conditions including severe afternoon thunderstorms and lightning are hanging around Sydney this week and Merrington was mindful of getting the fleet, with their carbon masts, ashore reasonably early.

Three of the four season newbies – Bob Bennett and Enigma (RPAYC), Carl Russett and Windy Too (RPAYC) and Rod Jones and Kindergarten (MHYC/MYC, previously Sputnik) – made their class debut today.

Etchells sailor Bucky Smith on Kindergarten said “We chose a pretty young crew to start a fresh program aiming for the Farr 40 worlds in Sydney in two years’ time. Today was our first race as a new team and being peaceful made it the perfect first outing.” As the gun went for one start a bunch of kayakers from the local youth hostel paddled unsuspectingly right into the danger zone and Kindergarten politely tacked off.

Bob Bennett’s Enigma sailing for the home club and with RPAYC youth development graduate Max Voss calling the shots is the top-scoring Corinthian Farr 40 so far. For them “it’s all about being out there and learning,” said Bennett, adding “we got better with each race”.

Fourth overall was Gordon Ketelbey and Zen with tactician Sean Kirkjian making a class comeback after a seven year hiatus and Darren Jones, “the Minister for speed” as Kirkjian refers to him, combining well to be just one point out of the top three.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for south to sou’easterly breezes 10-15 knots in the morning decreasing to around 10 knots in the middle of the day. Racing is due to start at 11am and three races are scheduled to complete the weekend series.

Farr 40 One Design Trophy Pittwater 2014

Updated:  6/12/2014 2:48:41 PM

Series Results [OD] up to Race 3

Place

Ties

Sail No

Boat Name

Skipper

From

Sers Score

Race 3

Race 2

Race 1

1

 

AUS6422

TRANSFUSION

Guido Belgiorno

MHYC

6.0

1.0

1.0

4.0

2

 

AUS8883

KOKOMO

Lang Walker

CYCA

9.0

2.0

2.0

5.0

3

 

007

EDAKE

Jeff Carter

MHYC

10.0

4.0

5.0

1.0

4

 

64221

ZEN40

Gordon Ketelbey

MHYC

11.0

5.0

3.0

3.0

5

 

5868

KINDERGARTEN

Rod Jones

RSYS

13.0

7.0

4.0

2.0

6

 

6151

ENIGMA

Robert Bennett

RPAYC

15.0

3.0

6.0

6.0

7

 

6024

WINDY TOO

Carl Russett

RPAYC

20.0

6.0

7.0

7.0

 

By Lisa Ratcliff/Australian Farr 40 media

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