Farr 40 NSW State Title action fast approaching

Voodoo Chile - Farr 40 Tasmanian State Titles
Dane Lojek
The Australian Farr 40 class will gather in Sydney this weekend for the penultimate event of their 2012-2013 season, the Aberdeen Asset Management NSW State Title, February 15 - 17.

Traditionally keelboat racing has been conducted outside Sydney Heads due to harbour congestion. This weekend 10 Farr 40s representing three Australian states will showcase their grand prix rank and vie for regatta points while dodging ferries, jet cats, container ships, other race fleets and recreational boaties.

The three active Farr 40 fleets will be represented at the state title, including David Lambourne’s Lambourdini from Queensland and Lloyd Clark’s Tasmanian crew of Voodoo Chile.

Voodoo Chile went dangerously close to knocking class heavyweight Transfusion off in the recent Tasmanian state titles. A countback decided those state results in favour of Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, the three-time national and one-time world champion collecting yet another prized ornament for the mantelpiece.

On an open field a betting person might put short odds on Belgiorno-Nettis and his champion Transfusion crew from Sydney taking out their third consecutive state title this weekend, however, given the busy summer traffic on the harbour all crews have the potential to make their mark on the final pointscore.

As well as the harbour obstacle course creating opportunities for gains, Voodoo Chile’s results in Hobart and the overall calibre of the competing crews means the field is wide open.

'This weekend will be a great opportunity to get interstate and local boats out following the successful state championships held in Brisbane in October last year and Tassie last month,' said Belgiorno-Nettis, Farr 40 Australia Owners Association president.

'Two successive events, the state titles and John Calvert-Jones Trophy, our nationals to be staged the following weekend, will give the public and clients of our class sponsor Aberdeen Global Asset Management a unique opportunity to experience one-design racing at its best,' he added.

The owner driven Farr 40s are all about sustainable racing and in line with this philosophy offer two categories of entry; professional, which allows four professional sailors per boat and Corinthian, with a cap of two pros.

Key individuals making their run for the major prize on behalf of the owners they are crewing for include 470 gold medallist Tom King, tactician on Sputnik, Olympic and round-the-world sailor Adrian Stead, tactician on Kokomo, Canadian Olympic 470 sailor Mike Leigh on Transfusion and Olympic Laser bronze medallist Michael Blackburn sailing with his parents-in-law, Lisa and Martin Hill, on Estate Master.

Yachting Australia president David Gotze will drive Enigma while the International Farr 40 Class President Martin Hill will steer Estate Master.

Estate Master - Farr 40 Tasmanian State Titles
Dane Lojek

Friday’s twilight invitational race out of host club, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, will precede two days of boat-on-boat action starting off Kirribilli. Principal Race Officer Rob Ridley suggests forecast south easterly breezes will favour a Rose Bay top mark rounding. Should winds tend more easterly, the challenge for the race committee and competitors will be a further squeeze on space given other events going on on the harbour this weekend.

Up to eight windward/leeward races will comprise this weekend’s Aberdeen Asset Management NSW State Title pointscore with racing for the usual combination of colourful owners due to commence daily on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th from 11am on the northern side of Sydney Harbour.

Best vantage points for spectators include Bradleys Head and on the southern side of the harbour, Darling Point and Point Piper.

Aberdeen Asset Management has come on board as major sponsor of the Farr 40 Australian class for three years. Internationally the global investment management group recognised its principles are a good match with the sport of sailing some time ago, signing a multi-year deal to be title sponsor of the UK’s famous Cowes Week in 2011.
Entries for the Aberdeen Asset Management NSW State Title;

1. Edake – Jeff Carter (Middle Harbour Yacht Club)
2. Enigma – David Gotze (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia)
3. Estate Master – Martin and Lisa Hill (MHYC)
4. Forty – Sam Hill (Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron)
5. Impi – Ivan Resnekov (RSYS)
6. Kokomo – Lang Walker (CYCA)
7. Lambourdini – David Lambourne (Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron)
8. Sputnik – Ivan Wheen (RSYS)
9. Transfusion – Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (MHYC)
10. Voodoo Chile – Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark (chartering a Kokomo boat) (Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania)

Farr 40 sailing is a contest between evenly matched 40-foot racing boats, helmed by their skilled and competitive amateur owners and guided by world-renowned tacticians.

Australian Farr 40 website