The breeze that usually makes San Francisco such a popular place for sailors was noticeably absent for the penultimate day of competition at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. A low pressure system had siphoned most of the air off the Bay, and with the fleet drifting around on the Berkeley Circle for several hours, the Race Committee took the decision to abandon attempts to run a race.
“Basically the breeze didn’t cooperate,” said Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. “We had a fairly nice forecast for the day of a southerly between 8-12 knots. We got out there for a noon start and waited around until about 1:30-2:00 p.m. and we finally got what looked like a nice sea breeze, a nice little westerly. It filled in for about 35 minutes and we started to set up a course and as we were doing that the breeze died and the Bay went back to glass. We brought the boats back up to the west of Alcatraz hoping that if the sea breeze came in later in the day we’d at least be closer to it.”
The ripple effect is that the starting time for the final day of racing, Saturday, October 18, has been pushed forward an hour to 11:00 a.m. Regatta organizers hope to run three races before the 3:30 p.m. cutoff time after which a race cannot be started per the sailing instructions. New York’s Alexander Roepers, on Plenty, goes into the final day of the championship with a 1-1-1-6-4-1 scoreline for 14 points, and an almost unassailable 18-point lead on his closest competitor, Australia’s Martin Hill on Estate Master.
Italy’s defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, Alberto Rossi on Enfant Terrible, is third overall with 33 points, followed by Andrew Hunn on the Australian-flagged Voodoo Chile, with 34 points. With 39 points, three-time Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I. and Boston, Mass., rounds out the top-five in the 19-strong international at the helm of the Australian-flagged Kokomo.
The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship concludes on Saturday, October 18, when a champion will be crowned at the conclusion of racing.