Plenty wins the Sydney Open ahead of Farr 40 Worlds

The 2014 Farr 40 world champion Plenty (Alex Roepers, USA) today won the Sydney Open; a nine-race warm-up series for the Rolex Farr 40 world championship to be conducted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Tuesday.

Plenty led the three-day regatta from day one and today, in perfect 12-14 knot northeast conditions on the offshore Manly Circle, sealed victory by winning the first two races before finishing fourth in the last race, recovering after being buried in the pack on the starting line, for 24 overall points.

Second was Estate Master (Martin Hill) from the Sydney fleet, with 37 points (6-2-2 placings today) followed by Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany), 42 and another Sydney boat Transfusion (Guido Belgiorno-Nettis) 48.

Winner of the Corinthian division, which limits the professional members of the crew to two, compared to four in the open division and has tighter limits on new sail purchases, was another Sydney boat, Jeff Carter's Edake, which finished eighth on the overall scoreboard.

Winning owner/skipper Roepers said dockside: “It was a fantastic warm-up for the worlds and I am very happy with the way we are sailing. After two bullets, we had enough distance on the scoreboard to win but we wanted to go out in the last race to consolidate it. And we did. We had a terrible start in the last race, dug ourselves a hole and had to tack out but we came back from 10th or 11th to finish fourth.”

Martin Hill was happy to finish second after conceding Plenty had an edge in upwind speed. “In the Farr 40 class you become so critical of yourself; so I was still thinking of all the mistakes we made and you look at the scoreboard and we are second. We are very pleased. We have been working on our upwind speed; the boat is going very fast upwind, but Plenty has the legs so we have still got more work to do for the worlds to close that gap.” 

Belgiorno-Nettis winner of the world championship when it was last sailed in Sydney in 2011 was happy with his fourth overall after having to return from a premature start in the last race. “We started dead last and came back to finish fifth, which is not bad. We were very happy to come back from the deep.”

Corinthian division winner owner/skipper Jeff Carter says its rules have helped keep him in the class for the past ten years. 

“The idea of the Corinthian division is to keep the overall cost within limits, he said. It means we have to manage our sail wardrobe probably a lot more because open division owners can use more sails per year. It allows them to get a brand new set every year where I manage my program with three new sails per year.”

Edake finished seventh in the open fleet and was very competitive, said Carter. What we do for the budget we have; you look at bang for the buck and you are beating world champions at the top mark in the last race and pacing them; I am pretty happy with that.

“They have some of the best pros on the planet and having those two more pros on the boat gives that bit of extra oomph.”

Carter who joined the class in 2006, said: “I've been sailing for 45 years and I've stayed in this class for ten years because they are a fantastic boat to sail.” 

– Bob Ross

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