Goombay the class act

William Douglass' crew take Rolex Farr 40 North Americans

Thursday November 27th 2008, Author: Dana Paxton, Location: United Kingdom
Goombay Smash, the Farr 40 owned by William Douglass (New York, N.Y.), won the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, held November 21-23 in Miami Beach, Fla. Eight teams representing Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the U.S. competed for the title. In fact Douglass’ team’s performance was so consistent that they finished in the top three in nine out of the 10 races run on the Atlantic Ocean by the Storm Trysail Club lead by Principal Race Officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio. At the awards ceremony held at Monty’s, Douglass was presented with a commemorative Rolex timepiece by Farr 40 Class Secretary Bunny Wayt.

“This regatta represents a big improvement for us,” said Douglass, noting that his last regatta finish was a second at the Class’ East Coast Championship in August. “We were fast and our crew work was sufficient to get us around the course. It’s great to be sailing against very well sailed boats. Nerone and Barking Mad have been doing this a long time, and they set a very high bar. I’m pleased we could improve a lot. We are by no means perfect.”

Going into the final day of racing, it was Douglass’ regatta to lose as he led former world champions Nerone, owned by Massimo Mezzaroma & Antonio Sodo Migliori (Rome, Italy), and Barking Mad, owned by Jim Richardson (Boston, Mass. /Newport, R.I.) by four and five points, respectively.

“We said ‘Don’t be overconfident going into the final day’,” said Douglass of his team’s strategy on the final day. “We wanted to go sail our races. We are working on some experiments with our sails and we wanted to sail well. Although the fleet wasn’t large, it was very competitive.”

Goombay Smash finished the final day’s races with scores of 2-3-2 to clinch the championship and be named boat of the day for the second day in a row.

Within his first year of campaigning Goombay Smash, Douglass won the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-Worlds in Miami Beach last April. This was his first win with tactician Morgan Larson, who last served as substitute tactician on the first day of the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship for eventual winner Vincenzo Onorato on Mascalzone Latino. Goombay Smash finished the Worlds in 14th.

“We take wins like that with a grain of salt,” continued Douglass. “Things can change as we learned at the Pre-Worlds. We have done alright and it helps when you have good sailors on board. We always have a good time. Morgan is terrific; we have great crew members.”

He went on to note that although the crew for this regatta was mostly new to the boat, the team will remain the same for this winter’s Key West Race Week and Miami Grand Prix, before heading to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in June.

Barking Mad, with tactician Terry Hutchinson, finished in second place, tied on points with Nerone in third. Vasco Vascotto served as tactician on Nerone, which won the Farr 40 Match Race Invitational, held earlier in the week, November 18-19, in Miami Beach.

Title sponsor of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship is Rolex Watch U.S.A. with support from SLAM and Harken as well as Edgewater Boats and Southern Spars, both divisions of North Sails.

2008 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship
Preliminary Results (8 boats)

1. Goombay Smash, Doug Douglass, New York, N.Y., 3-2-4-1-1-3-1-2-3-2, 22
2. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I., 1-5-3-3-3-1-4-7-1-1, 29
3. Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma /Antonio Sodo-Migliori, Rome, Italy, 2-1-1-2-5-6-2-3-4-3, 29
4. Plenty, Alex Roepers, Greenwich, Conn., 4-6-2-4-6-2-6-1-5-6, 42
5. Convexity, Donald Wilson, Chicago, Ill., 5-3-6-5-2-7-5-5-2-7, 47
6. Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., 7-7-5-6-4-5-3-4-7-4, 52
7. Oz, Sedat Gulcaglayan / Haluk Babacan, Istanbul, Turkey, 8-4-7-8-7-8-7-8-6-5, 68
8. Nanoq, HRH Crown Prince Frederik, Denmark, 6-8-8-7-8-4-9(RAF)-6-8-8, 72

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