Representing 10 nations (AUS, DEN, FRA, GBR, GER, GRE, ITA, SUI, UKR, USA), 26 Farr 40s are ready for the start of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS). Racing will take place from June 24-27 with a maximum of 10 races scheduled for this highly competitive class in which victory often hangs on a team’s performance in the final race of the series.
Vincenzo Onorato, winner of the last three Farr 40 World Championships, will certainly be a frontrunner in the fleet. Onorato fields a long-standing team on Mascalzone Latino (ITA), which includes veteran America’s Cup sailor Adrian Stead (GBR) on tactics, 2007 match race champion Matteo Savelli (ITA) and Whitbread sailor Gerry Mitchell (GBR). The Italian contingent also includes Giovanni Maspero’s Joe Fly with two-time America’s Cup veteran Francesco Bruni (ITA) calling tactics.
The majority of the Farr 40 fleet has been in Porto Cervo for several days giving owners and teams a chance to eyeball the competition during practice sessions. Reigning champion Onorato was cautious: “The statistics are against us: we have won three world titles in a row, this never happened before and we know that it can’t last forever! This will be an interesting worlds for us, a very competitive world championship, but if we have a Mistral wind, tactically it will be simple and this means that a lot of boats can come through. On the water in these past few days I have seen that the Australians are very good, also the new team, Transfusion: they are very fast.”
Aside from Transfusion, which has 2008 Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) calling tactics, a number of strong international participants will be vying for victory. Australian entries Estate Master, owned by Lisa and Martin Hill, and Lang Walker’s Kokomo both have strong teams. Estate Master boasts 2008 49er World Champion Nathan Outteridge (Wangi Wangi, AUS) and 2008 470 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page (Sydney, AUS), while Kokomo can call on the expertise of tactician Colin Beashel (Sydney, AUS), 1983 America’s Cup winner with Australia II and 1998 Star World Champion. Jim Richardson (Newport, R.I.), President of the Farr 40 class and two-time winner (1998, 2004) of the Farr 40 World Championship, is competing aboard his Barking Mad (USA) with tactician Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.), the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow 24th June at 11 am. Mistral winds of 15 to 18 knots are forecast for the early afternoon which should build later in the day.