Farr 40s head for the Med
A new circuit for the Farr 40 class is to be held in the Mediterranean this summer. The President of the Farr 40 Mediterranean fleet association, Alberto Signorini, and Geoff Stagg, President of Farr International, announced that they have secured sponsorship from Deutsche Bank Private Banking and property investment company Deutsche Bank Fondimmobiliari for a three event circuit starting in April 2002.
Attracting key players from all over Europe, it is hoped that the Farr 40 Deutsche Bank Trophy 2002 will have an entry list bigger than the 2001 Farr 40 Worlds. Two American owners have committed to shipping their boats over for the circuit, while up to nine British boats have expressed an interest in taking part.
The first Mediterranean Championship event runs from 18-21 April in Naples, with 'tune up' events over the weekends of 23-24 March and 13-14 April.
On 16-19 May the circuit moves to the Porquerolles islands, opposite Hyeres, while the third in the series will be held form 27-30 June at Porto Rotondo, Sardinia. These three events culminate in the Farr 40 European Championships that commence the following weekend (4-7 July) at Porto Cervo.
Tom McWilliam, who sails on board the Farr 40 Warlord, believes that the Med series will give Farr 40 sailors the opportunity to raise their game. "Last year there was so much quality racing for the Farr 40s. The Admiral's Cup trials meant that everyone became very enthusiastic about the racing, while lots of people bought boats inspired by the America's Cup and because the Farr 40 Worlds were held in Cowes. I think that the Med circuit will sort out the people who want to continue to race at that high level, from the people who are happy to continue racing at home. It will be a great opportunity to have a real competition coupled with great racing."
McWilliam thinks that of the possible British contenders, A Bit of a Coup, Warlord and Victric, will certainly be taking part, while Too Steamy, 2XL and A Bit of a Fling, are likely to stay at home. "The Spanish have a fantastic IMS fleet and racing circuit, so I think it's unlikely that there willl be many Spanish entries."
Mike Richards, crewman on board Tony Buckingham's Bit of a Coup,said he was thrilled at the interest it has already created. "At last year's Worlds in Cowes we had 24 entries. It looks as though this event will have as many if not more, and in the sunny warm waters of the Med."