While some may claim beginners luck, the first place team, Far Niente, of the 2019 Farr 40 World Championship earned their win with an amazing team and by going back to the fundamentals.
Brand new to the Farr 40 class, Vince Brun and Drew Freides, Far Niente co-owners, have only been sailing in the fleet for 10 days prior to taking the win in Long Beach, California this week from Wednesday, October 2 to Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Drew Freides commented on their win. “It was a learning experience the entire way. This was the 10th day we’ve sailed the boat and we’re sailing against guys who have been sailing these boats for over 10 years. We put together an amazing team with some of the best including Vince Brun and Eric Doyle, focused on the fundamentals, tried to get good starts, sail smart and sail clean.”
Closely behind Far Niente was 2018 World Champion Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje Light, finishing with 36 points, only three points behind Freides/Brun. In third was Jeff Carter’s Edake with 41 points.
The regatta took place in the waters off Long Beach, generally south of Alamitos Bay Harbor. On Wednesday, the sailors embraced the 20 knot conditions. As the regatta carried on, the average breeze filled in at 10-12 knots daily.
While the scoresheet generally stayed pretty consistent, Friday’s racing allowed for Far Niente to really pull ahead and claim their win. “We were on fire,” Freides started. “Some of our closest competition struggled a bit, whether it was the kelp or just bad luck. We got off the line really well and controlled our own destiny.”
Schaefer and his crew spent day three of the regatta struggling in the Southern California kelp, allowing Far Niente and several other boats to make their gains. Even with five bullets in their scoresheet, the conditions were not on their side.
“We had some unfortunate luck yesterday with the kelp. One race we had to completely stop the boat and get in the water to remove it. Some things happen and you can’t do anything about it! But, we finished second and that’s ok for us. Vince Brun and Drew Freides, who won the regatta, are really good guys,” said Schaefer.
Other noteable boats on the water were Rob Davis’ Nutcracker, who came in fourth, and Rick Goebel’s Insanity. Both teams were kept in the top of the fleet, taking several seconds, thirds and fourths. Goebel even took a bullet in race 7.
Jeff Carter, skipper of Edake and now two-time Corinthian World Champion, acknowledged the dedication and commitment of his crew from Australia and congratulated the Long Beach Yacht Club and Farr 40 Class for an amazing event. Carter also congratulated Brun and Freides on their well-deserved World Championship title. “The Farr 40 Class in Australia is looking forward to returning the same amazing hospitality provided by all the teams and LBYC in November 2020 in Sydney,” said Carter.
After each day of racing, the sailors celebrated camaraderie and amazing hospitality at Long Beach Yacht Club. After the final day, the teams celebrated another successful Worlds event, with 14 boats from 5 countries, while enjoying the hospitality and views of Long Beach Yacht Club.
“We might have to go to Sydney now and try to win again. The fleet is great and the boat is fun. It was a pretty tough competition. It kept us honest and kept pushing us and making us better and better,” finished Freides.
1. Far Niente, Drew Freides / Vince Brun, USA, 33.0
2. Struntje Light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 36.0
3. Edake (Corinthian), Jeff Carter, AUS, 41.0
4. Nutcracker (Corinthian), Rob Davis, AUS, 46.0
5. Insanity, Rick Goebel , USA, 49.0
6. Easy Tiger (Corinthian), Chris Way, USA, 60.0
7. Blade 2 (Corinthian), Mick Shlens, USA, 65.0
8. Skian Dhu (Corinthian), Martin Meerhoff, URU, 94.0
9. Dark Star (Corinthian) Farr 40 Steve Brown, USA, 98.0
10. White Knight (Corinthian), Zoltan Katinszky, USA, 112.0
11. Wild Thing (Corinthian), Yon Belausteguigoitia, MEX, 114.0
12. Foil (Corinthian) , Gordon Leon, USA, 129.0
13. Taurus (Corinthian), Barrington Darcy, GBR, 139.0
14. Katana (Corinthian), John Seit, USA, 149.0