Sailing news from the Whitsundays

Farr 1104 Bobby D
Ian Grant
Internationally acclaimed naval architect Bruce Farr has perhaps forgotten the time when he traced the lines of the popular club cruiser racer classes.

The New Zealand born designer first made his mark with his superfast 18ft skiffs before progressing to ocean racing classes, including The Whitbread globe race, the Volvo Race and the Americas Cup.

He left a legacy to the sport with his folio of small fast and relatively competitive yachts most notably the less expensive Farr 10.20 which continues to remain popular on the Australian club and offshore racing circuit.

Every Farr owner understands the respected pedigree which continues to retain a special bond with skippers and crews from year to year.

Both age and ocean racing miles never seem to be a problem with the older Farr’s showing they can still sail to their handicap rating against their modern rivals.

Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Ross Winterbourne is one proud Farr owner who has retained his 27 year old sloop Bobby D in ‘mint’ condition.

Ross Winterbourne has sailed many memorable nautical miles in Bobby D and has never accepted that the ‘Old Girl’ is in the fleet to make up the numbers.

They proved this with a special class win in the 2010 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week where the Bobby D skipper and crew outpaced the high performance New South Wales yachts Flying Cloud (Howard Piggott) and Zen(Gordon Ketelby) to win the shorten course Molle Island race.

Bobby D is expected to become one of the early nominations for the 2011 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week and her recent form in club point score and fun race events on Pioneer Bay suggests she will be a serious contender in her 28th season of racing.

Earlier this month the Bobby D crew added a bottle of rum to the liquor locker following their win in the Abel Point Yacht Club hosted Sorrento’s Restaurant and Bar twilight rum race series.

Naturally a proud Ross Winterbourne was happy to accept the prize on behalf of the crew saying –'The course was interesting and challenging'.

Bobby D noted for setting the pace on the downwind sailing angles produced unmatched speed under spinnaker leaving her rivals to play catch up as the crew firmed their grip on the trophy.

As expected Ross Winterbourne was delighted with the result which he hopes to repeat when the fourth race of the series is decided on Pioneer Bay this Friday.

However while the win has proved that Bobby D is on the pace they can expect to be challenged for sea room and clear wind when the sails are tensioned on Pioneer Bay later this week.