Marina del Ray, Calif. (July 20, 2015) - Competition in the Cal Cup got off to a rousing start with strong winds and sunny skies combining to produce superb conditions and allowing organizers with the Farr 40 class to get off three starts on Quantum Race Day.
In typical Farr 40 fashion, the on-course action was extremely tight and the depth of the fleet was evidenced by the fact three different boats won races.
"It was an absolutely beautiful day of sailing. Sunny southern California lived up to its reputation," Estate Master skipper Martin Hill said.
Enfant Terrible, which captured the Midwinter Championship and the West Coast Championship, has continued its momentum in this third event on the 2015 International Circuit. Skipper Alberto Rossi steered the Italian entry to victory in Race 1 then tacked on a pair of seconds to take the early lead with a low score of five points.
"It was a really good day for our boat. We had two really good starts and the crew was very efficient," Rossi said. "This is only the first day of a long regatta. In the Farr 40, everything can change in one day. We are happy to be in the top position at the moment and feel good because we are quite fast."
Veteran tactician Vasco Vascotto made a terrific call in Race 1, taking the right side on the second upwind leg and passing Estate Master as a result. Enfant Terrible then made a tremendous comeback in Race 3 after hitting the mark during the second upwind rounding. A penalty turn dropped the Italians to fifth, but they found a way to pass three boats on the final leg and steal second.
"We took the left and found more pressure and were able to pick up three positions," Rossi said of the remarkable recovery.
Australian skipper Martin Hill and the Estate Master team posted a strong score line of 2-4-3 on the opening day of the Farr 40 Cal Cup, being hosted by California Yacht Club.
Estate Master showed its capability at the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship with an impressive runner-up result. Hill and crew have carried over the confidence they gained into this season, placing third at the West Coast Championship in May.
The Australian entry continued to display outstanding boat speed on Wednesday with a strong score line of 2-4-3. Five-time world match racing champion Ian Williams is calling tactics aboard Estate Master, which trails Enfant Terrible by four points and leads third place Voodoo Chile by just one point.
"We got good starts in each race, which was wonderful. We knew we had to go right off the line and were able to do that," Hill said. "It is unfortunate that we lost a couple places on the course in the second race. There is something with the current that we are not reading correctly. All things considered, we are pleased to hold the second spot after a very good day of racing."
Andrew "Dog" Palfrey is coaching the Estate Master crew and Hill was anxious to get his thoughts after the opening day. Jason Currie of Quantum Sail Design Group is serving as offside trimmer and has been giving Hill and Williams good feedback out on the water.
"We feel very good about the direction of the program. We still have some things we need to work on, but we have an excellent crew that works hard and always wants to improve," Hill said.
Voodoo Chile, another Australian entry, also got off to a good start with skipper Andrew Hunn closing the day by taking line honors in Race 3. It was the first win on the International Circuit for Hunn as a driver. Voodoo Chile won a couple races last season, but with Hunn's boat partner Lloyd Clark at the helm.
Tasmanian skipper Andrew Hunn earned his first victory as helmsman on the Farr 40 International Circuit on Wednesday. Voodoo Chile went from fourth to first on the final leg.
"We went from fourth to first on the last run. We took the right angle and got good pressure," Hunn said. "It's a great feeling to win a race against competition of this caliber. It gives us some encouragement to keep pushing."
David Chapman is tactician on Voodoo Chile, which is racing for the first time since March. It didn't take long for the crew to shake off the rust. After finishing sixth in Race 1, the Tasmanian boat improved to third in Race 2.
"We need to work on our upwind speed. We are a little bit off the pace on that point of sail. We have to find another click in order to stay with the faster boats," Hunn said.
Santa Barbara skipper John Demourkas steered Groovederci to victory in Race 2. Tactician John Kostecki called for the right side off the line and it paid handsomely for Groovederci, which led at every mark rounding despite being pushed hard by Estate Master then Enfant Terrible.
Rick Goebel and the Insanity team continue to set the standard in the Corinthian division. The San Diego boat captured Corinthian honors at both the Midwinter Championship and West Coast Championship and now has taken the early lead at the Cal Cup. Goebel steered the boat to a solid line of 8-5-7 and that is good enough for a three point advantage over Twisted (Tony Pohl) among the seven Corinthian boats.
The Farr 40 class would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support: Race Day sponsors Quantum Sail Design Group, Hotel MdR and California Yacht Club; Official Beer supplier Coronado Brewing Company; Graphics provider North Sails Graphics as well as beverage sponsors Shellvack Rum and Gallo Wines