Success often follows success, and that was never truer than today as racing for the coveted Rolex Farr 40 World Championship title got underway on San Francisco Bay. There are 19 international teams vying for the championship crown, but the dominating performance on the opening day of the championship series was turned in by New York’s Alexander Roepers, on Plenty, with three wins in as many races run on the Berkeley Circle. The consistency exhibited today by the crew on Plenty only adds to the luster of a standout year: having been second at Cabrillo Beach in March, the team went on to win the Rolex Farr 40 North Americans in May, the Cal Cup in June and the Rolex Big Boat Series which was sailed in San Francisco just last month.
Roepers gave credit to the crew when asked about the team’s performance: the four professional sailors, Terry Hutchinson (tactician), Skip Baxter, Morgan Trubovich and Greg Gendell, along with Ted Hackney, Scott Holmgren, Matt McDonough, Dimitri Simons and Jennifer Wulff.
“I’ve sailed with Terry and Greg before,” said Roepers who noted that he had been trying to get Hutchinson to be his tactician and to run the team for quite some time. “Everything is coming together this year, particularly with him, and with the crew we’ve pieced together. Hopefully we are not peaking, but we need to win a world championship; that’s what I’ve been after for a long time and hopefully this is the year.”
The breeze ranged from eight to 11 knots over the course of the day, with a few subtle shifts. While the water was relatively flat, there was a little bit of current that built up, flooding towards the third race. That created problems at the first mark rounding [of the day’s final race] when several boats were short of the layline because of the current, which resulted in mixing up the fleet.
Plenty leads the overall standings with three points, followed by 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis on the Australian-flagged Transfusion which posted finishes of 3-2-4 for nine points. The two other Australian teams in the fleet are next in the standings: Lisa and Martin Hill, on Estate Master, finished 4-3-8 for 15 points and third place in the overall standings; while Andrew Hunn, on Voodoo Chile, went 9-6-3 for 18 points to stand fourth. Tied for fourth is the defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Alberto Rossi, on the Italian-flagged Enfant Terrible, with finishes of 5-7-6.
Racing resumes tomorrow, October 16, and concludes on October 18, when a champion will be crowned.