Big Breeze, Big Action

The action on Rhode Island Sound was fast and furious on the penultimate day of the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Newport, R.I., as the 15 teams contesting the 16th edition of this championship were challenged by three races sailed under a low cloud ceiling. The first race started in 12 knots of steady breeze from the north-northeast, which increased over the three races to 17 knots.

“We did a lot of back and forth before the start to get our rig tuned properly and we think that helped us a lot,” said Kevin McNeil (USA) who stands first overall with his team on Nightshift after finishes of 2-5-3 today for 26 cumulative points with two races to go in the series. “We got pinned a little when the Italians [Enfant Terrible] came over and tacked on us and pushed us out. Strategically it was the right thing to do as they pushed us back a little bit and got another boat in front of us. We hung in there. We’ll just continue doing what we’re doing. Everybody is tuned in and doing their job, and they’re doing a great job. I’m just the jockey; they [the crew] really pull it off. We had good clean starts today, which were helpful. The boat was going really well. We went fast upwind and downwind. We had a couple of little mistakes, but all in all it turned out pretty well. So we’re very happy, but we’re cautiously optimistic.”

2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Results
Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Country, Results; Total Points
 1. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 2-8-3-1-2-2-5-3; 26
 2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 5-5-8-3-1-1-2-5; 30
 3. Barking Mad, James Richardson, USA, 4-3-6-2-6-9-1-1; 32
 4. Charisma, Nico Poons, MON, 1-1-1-11-9-16/DSQ-4-2; 45
 5. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 7-2-2-9-8-6-13-4; 51
 6. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, TUR, 9-7-4-4-4-5-14-9; 56
 7. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, DEN, 6-6-7-14-7-4-9-6; 59
 8. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 13-10-5-5-3-13-7-8; 64
 9. PLENTY, Alexander Roepers, USA, 3-9-12-13-5-11-3-11; 67
10. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 11-4-11-7-11-10-6-7; 67
11. Endorphin, Erik Wulff, USA, 8-12-9-12-13-7-11-10; 82
12. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA, 12-15-13-8-12-3-8-12; 83
13. Flojito y Cooperando, Bernard Minkow/Julian Fernandez, MEX, 15-11-15-6-14-12-10-13; 96
14. White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, USA, 10-14-14-10-10-14-12-14; 98
15. Oakcliff Racing, Seth Cooley, USA, 14-13-10-15-15-8-15-15; 105

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Coming Out Of The Fog A Winner

When light air and fog delayed the start of racing for day two of the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, the race committee took the 15-strong fleet up Narragansett Bay in search of wind. Their patience was rewarded with sunshine and good breeze -- for race one of the day -- before the fog caught up to the racers and things got complicated.

“The conditions for the first race were great; we did a really good job, had a great start and led to the top mark,” said Jim Richardson (USA), who, in 1998 in Miami, won the first-ever Farr 40 World Championship title -- the first of his three class world titles (‘98, ‘04, ‘09).

Richardson’s Barking Mad wound up between Nightshift and Enfant Terrible. “We were in the middle and eventually had to decide which side we wanted to lose to. We ended up beating Enfant across the line, but Nightshift won the race. Second race we made a tactical error and started too far down the line and everyone to the right of us was ahead. We did a good job fighting back and gained boats around the course and then the fog rolled in and made things intense – where the buoys were, where the competition was, and where the wind was coming from.” With finishes of 2-6 today, Richardson’s Barking Mad moved from fourth to second in the overall standings.

2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Results

Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Country, Results; Total Points
 1. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 2-8-3-1-2; 16
 2. Barking Mad, James Richardson, USA, 4-3-6-2-6; 21
 3. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 5-5-8-3-1; 22
 4. Charisma, Nico Poons, MON, 1-1-1-11-9; 23
 5. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 7-2-2-9-8; 28
 6. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, TUR, 9-7-4-4-4; 28
 7. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 13-10-5-5-3; 36
 8. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, DEN, 6-6-7-14-7; 40
 9. PLENTY, Alexander Roepers, USA, 3-9-12-13-5; 42
10. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 11-4-11-7-11; 44
11. Endorphin, Erik Wulff, USA, 8-12-9-12-13; 54
12. White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, USA, 10-14-14-10-10; 58
13. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA, 12-15-13-8-12; 60
14.  Flojito y Cooperando, Bernard Minkow/Julian Fernandez, MEX, 15-11-15-6-14; 61
15. Oakcliff Racing, Seth Cooley, USA, 14-13-10-15-15; 67

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Precise Timing And Exact Teamwork – The Keys To Success

Newport, RI, USA: Precision: “the quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate.”
Precision is the key to success in all sport. The faultless golf swing, the perfect line in motor racing, serving an ace in tennis: each requires absolute accuracy. In a team sport such as sailing individual and collective precision is paramount especially when competing with a crew of ten in one of the most aggressive and competitive classes in yacht racing.

The fifteen crews competing at the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) in Newport, United States, are well aware of what it takes to succeed in this competition. Perfect timing and teamwork go hand in hand. The four days of intense racing are fast-paced and everyone on board needs to know exactly what to do and exactly when to do it.

The races are run on short windward/leeward courses that require a lot of manoeuvres and look fairly simply to the untrained eye, but require a great deal of coordination and talent. Although a crew of ten might seem quite large on a 40-ft yacht, no one is idle at any moment of the race. Before leaving the dock, the crews are already at work getting the boat ready for racing - checking and loading sails and gear. Then it’s time to talk about the course, the weather conditions, the forecast, navigation, strategy and tactics. The “start” of the race begins well before the gun is fired. Coaches are busy checking the starting line and taking their teams through practice drills, race officials have their hands full with measurements and course settings.

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