For the past three Farr 40 seasons the skipper of Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, and his rival tactician from Voodoo Chile, David Chapman, have been enemies on the water.
At the class’ 2015 Australian Championship back in March the opposing teams finished first and second, the Taswegians on Voodoo finally taking the trophy off the Australian Italian skipper after three years of trying.
Today Guido and ‘Chappo’ combined superbly at the Farr 40 Australian Open Series, the opening event of the class’ 2015-16 season, to produce three wins from four starts on Sydney Harbour, and give themselves a seven point advantage going into day two.
“David Chapman was sailing with us then defected to the ‘Tasmaniacs’ and has been doing a good job for them,” Belgiorno-Nettis said dockside this afternoon. “He’s now with our program until Christmas then we’ve got John Kostecki joining us from the New Year leading up to the worlds in Sydney in February.”
Kostecki is a leading tactician from the USA who was on the winning Farr 40 at the most recent Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
“It was good to race against some different boats out there, there’s a nice mixture of new and old faces,” Belgiorno-Nettis added.
Chapman said the fresh faces among Transfusion’s crew did a top job today, and he enjoyed being on the same boat as his uncle, Bobby Wilmot, and his cousin Ryan, something grandma has been trying to engineer for some time. “I’ve got a three year winning streak racing out of Middle Harbour in the Farr 40s, MC38s and Melges 32s. It’s the Wilmot home-ground,” Chapman noted.
After a perfect Sydney spring day that brought 10-12 knot nor’easterlies to the course laid by Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s PRO Phil Yeomans between Sow & Pigs mark and North Head, Team Transfusion leads the new Australian Class President, Rod Jones and Kindergarten sailing for both Middle Harbour and Mooloolaba yacht clubs. Third by a point is Stephen Barlow’s Forty, in what was Barlow’s first Farr 40 competitive experience.
The new skipper was really pleased with their performance, commenting: “We have some good guys … Joe Turner, Billy Sykes and Seve Jarvin calling tactics. It’s hard not to do well with them on board. We are building a good nucleus as we work towards the worlds. We’ll be sailing in the Corinthian division and we will be as serious as we can be in terms of our preparation and results.”
Class newcomers Exile (Rob Reynolds) and Joe De Kock with Good Form both recorded a second today.
Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s current national champion Voodoo Chile is missing the Australian Open Series due to storm damage and Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master is on a ship returning from the world title hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club in southern California late September.
Four final races are due to commence from 1100hrs tomorrow, Sunday October 25, 2015. For full results click here.
– Lisa Ratcliff