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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Flawless First Day

While the weather was a mix of contrasts for the opening day of the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, hosted from the Harbour Court club house of New York Yacht Club in Newport, R.I., the results on the water were anything but.  With light wind predicted, race organizers delayed the start an hour which allowed the rain to move out of the area while leaving behind dramatic clouds and patches of blue.  Once racing was underway, Dutch-born Nico Poons sailed three flawless races on Charisma – leading the fleet around the course at all but the first two mark roundings.  In fact, Poons went from strength to strength as the fleet followed in hot pursuit, evidenced by all 15 boats crossing the finish line of race two in under three minutes.  In the third race of the day, Poons rounded the windward mark 15 seconds ahead of defending champion Helmut Jahn of Chicago, at the helm of Flash Gordon 6, and by the finish had increased the spread to 30 seconds.

Results after three races:

Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Country, Results; Total Points
1. Charisma, Nico Poons, MON, 1-1-1; 3
2. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 7-2-2; 11
3. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 2-8-3; 13
4. Barking Mad, James Richardson, USA, 4-3-6; 13
5. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 5-5-8; 18
6. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, DEN, 6-6-7; 19
7. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, TUR, 9-7-4; 20
8. PLENTY, Alexander Roepers, USA, 3-9-12; 24
9. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 11-4-11; 26
10. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 13-10-5; 28
11. Endorphin, Erik Wulff, USA, 8-12-9; 29
12. Oakcliff Racing,  Seth Cooley, USA, 14-13-10; 37
13. White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, USA, 10-14-14; 38
14. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA, 12-15-13; 40
15. Flojito y Cooperando, Bernard Minkow/Julia Fernandez, MEX, 15-11-15; 41

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Fair, Fast And Fearless

 

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Click to enlarge.
It's time to deliver. After two days of racing at the pre-worlds, fifteen crews from eight countries are ready to fight for the coveted title of Rolex Farr 40 World Champions. The venue is spectacular and historic, the boats are the thoroughbred of world-class one-design racing and the competition is top-notch.

 

The 16th edition Rolex Farr 40 World Championship is hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) at Harbour Court in Newport, RI. Racing starts tomorrow, August 27, and runs through Friday August 30, with a maximum of 10 windward/leeward races. "The New York Yacht Club is pleased and honoured to welcome the Farr 40 class, and title sponsor Rolex, back to Newport. We wish for fair winds, great competition on the water, and enjoyment of our warm hospitality ashore at our Newport home," said NYYC Commodore Thomas J. Harrington. The Farr 40 Class, which requires an amateur owner to helm the boat and allows only up to four professional sailors among the crew, is a premier international one-design class: "More than 100 years ago the New York Yacht Club played an important role in the birth of one-design keelboat racing with the creation of the NY-30 class, and has remained committed to one-design racing ever since," added Commodore Harrington.

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Open Field: Rolex Farr 40 World Championship

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Defending champion Flash Gordon 6. Photo By: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo. Click to enlarge.
Newport, RI, USA: Fifteen Farr 40 yachts from eight countries and territories will contest the 16th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. Racing commences next week, Tuesday 27 August.

Hosted for the third time in Newport, Rhode Island, the crowning event of the Farr 40 season always reserves fierce competition as rival teams vie for supremacy. Hitting the water fully focused is crucial. Over four days crews take on up to ten intense races where timing is paramount and mistakes mercilessly punished.

The defending champion is Helmut Jahn’s Flash Gordon 6 which won last year’s title in home waters on Lake Michigan, Chicago. Seven times in its 16 year history, the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds has been won by a boat competing in its native country or waters: a statistic that will inspire the seven-strong United States contingent. Equally, it will not deter the eight international challengers. Jahn and professional tactician Bill Hardesty are aiming to become the first crew to retain the championship since 2008.

The change of environment from Chicago to Newport ensures this year’s Championship will require a different tactical approach. “Moving from fresh water to salt water and a different wave action will be a factor,” explains Geoff Stagg, Farr 40 Class Manager. “We are delighted to be back in Newport. It is an iconic location and we are looking forward to working again with the New York Yacht Club.”

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