London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page will join the already elite crew of Lang Walker’s Kokomo for this weekend’s inaugural Queensland Farr 40 class championship.
Page will be tactician to experienced international owner/skipper Lang Walker as he helms Kokomo in the two-day, six-race series on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.
“We have a solid crew for Kokomo, and Malcolm will not only add his skills as an Olympic gold medal winning sailor, but will bring to the boat his very positive attitude to the sport, which will reflect on the entire crew,” senior crew member Richard Allinson said today.
Kokomo is one of three Sydney-based Farr 40s contesting the championship, the others being Martin Hill’s Estate Master and the 2011 world champion boat Transfusion, skippered by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis.
The Queensland championship is expected to attract a strong spectator fleet, with Farr 40 racing epitomising the very best in one-design yacht racing where superb helming, fine tactics and fast crew work in tacking, spinnaker sets and gybing are the keynotes to success.
Winning margins in Farr 40 championship race are usually just a matter of seconds and racing of this weekend should be extremely close between the rival New South Wales and Queensland boats.
Malcolm Page’s gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, sailing with Matthew Belcher in the 470 class, has made him the first Australian to win two Olympic sailing gold medals, having also won gold at the Beijing 2008 Games, sailing with Nathan Wilmot.
In addition, Malcolm has won seven world championships and most other major regattas in the 470s, making him the most successful 470 sailor in the 49 year history of the class.
The Queensland Farr 40 state championship marks renewed enthusiasm for the high performance, owner/driver class for internationally experienced Sydney-based yachtsman Lang Walker.
“Lang has had a quiet year in sailing, returning to the sport internationally at the recent Farr 40 worlds in Chicago,” Richie Allinson explained.
“After a couple of races on Lake Michigan he said to me ‘I really have missed this great racing’; he clearly has a renewed interest in the Farr 40 class.
“We finished 9th overall, but that reflected the fact that we were all a bit rusty at this level of competition,” Alison added. “We are confident we will be back to our best with Kokomo this weekend.”
The Queensland 40 championships is the first of four major regattas for the prestige Farr 40 class, all sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
The Queensland regatta will be followed by the inaugural Tasmanian championship on Hobart’s Derwent River in early January and in late February the New South Wales championship and the Australian championship for the John Calvert-Jones Trophy will be sailed in Sydney. -- Peter Campbell