As one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world, established in 1869, Chicago Yacht Club is the embodiment of tradition as demonstrated by the red carpet welcome the competitors at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship have received. The club's Monroe Harbor Station, where the regatta is headquartered from September 17-20, is ideally situated just a short distance from the Magnificent Mile, the main link between Chicago's business district and its exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood, making it the perfect venue in which to bond business relationships through sporting competition.
Eric Mergenthaler (Mexico City, Mexico), chief executive with Active International Mexico, is no stranger to competing at the elite level having represented Mexico in the Finn class at three consecutive Olympic Games ('84, '88, '92). Three years of involvement in the Farr 40 class have led him to compete in the world championship for the first time this week. "The experience in Chicago has been fantastic," he said before the start of the first race aboard Flojito y Cooperando. "The venue, the atmosphere, the organization has been really good. Our goal is to finish in the top 50% of the fleet. It is an extremely competitive fleet, so if we finish 10 or above that would be a very good result for us."
As he was leaving the dock, defending champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis of Sydney, Australia, was feeling prepared and quite ready to go racing aboard Transfusion. Noting that there were seven top boats who could easily take the prize, Belgiorno-Nettis predicted an interesting week of sailing. His win of the first race of the series, followed by a fourth-place finish propelled Transfusion to the top of the overall standings, leaving no doubt he is looking to repeat as world champion. Along with Transfusion, three other boats were all very impressive in their consistency: Enfant Terrible with finishes of 3-3; Flash Gordon 6 with 2-6; and Charisma with a 4-5.
"We salvaged two very fair races out of a day that quite easily looked like it could have had none. All in all, it was a good day to get behind us," said Farr 40 class manager Geoff Stagg of the mixture of clouds and sun which killed the breeze and temporarily postponed the start of racing. "We're hoping for three races tomorrow as good breeze is coming in…we'll have plenty of action tomorrow."
Racing resumes Tuesday, September 18, at 11:00 a.m. and continues through Thursday, September 20, 2012, when winner of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will be crowned.
2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results; Total Points
Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, Sydney, NSW, AUS, 1-4; 5
Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Ancona, ITA, 3-3; 6
Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill., USA, 2-6; 8
Charisma, Nico Poons, Monaco, MON, 4-5; 9
Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA, 5-7; 12
Inferno, Philip Dowd, Chicago, Ill., USA, 6-11; 17
PLENTY, Alexander Roepers, New York, N.Y., USA, 9-9; 18
Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneburg, GER, 18-1; 19
Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes, Ada, Mich., USA, 19-2; 21
Pendragon, Brian Jackman, Barrington Hills, Ill., USA, 11-10; 21
Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, Istanbul, TUR, 14-8; 22
Virago, Stuart Townsend, Chicago, Ill., USA, 8-15; 23
Honour, Alek Krstajic, Toronto, Ont, CAN, 10-13, 23
Provezza 8, Ergin Imre/Onur Erardag, Istanbul, TUR, 7-19; 26
Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, Md., USA, 15-14; 29
Flojito y Cooperando, Eric Mergenthaler, Mexico City, DF, MEX, 12-18; 30
Norboy, Leif Sigmond/Marcus Thymian, Riverwoods/Chicago, Ill., USA, 20-12; 32
Kokomo, Lang Walker, Sydney, NSW, AUS, 13-20; 33
Hot Lips, Christopher Whitford, Chicago, Ill., USA, 17-16; 33
Barking Mad, James Richardson, Boston, Mass., USA, 16-17; 33