Farr 40's - Start Your Engines

Ever wondered what you do if not invited to sail in Auckland, well you go and stand at the back of a Farr 40 in the Bahamas.

Wednesday November 6th 2002, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: United States
The 2003 Farr 40 Worlds start next Wednesday in Paradise Island, Bahamas. You may think that the entry list is a little weak with only 24 (at this time) boats entered, but think again it really is a case of quality versus quantity in this most popular of Grand Prix / Owner Driver Classes.

In the (tough, windy) Solent last year, the winner of the worlds was none other than Ernesto Berterelli. He and his crew led by Russell Coutts have got a bit more on their plate this year and will not be attending to defend their crown.

Of the entry list it is not a clear cut choice as who is favourite to take Ernesto’s crown, with several strong teams from both the US and Europe.

This weekend sees a warm up regatta taking place on Paradise Island, the so-called Mees Pierson Bahamian Championship. A two-day affair, this will gives the crews an opportunity to bed those nice shiny new sails in. As with all Farr 40 Class racing it will be held on straightforward windward leeward courses and will give us an indication of which boats out of the fleet are on the pace.

Boston’s Jim Richardson, owner of Barking Mad, will be up for his third Rolex watch. His first won the worlds in 1998, before Rolex were involved and so far this year has scooped the New York Yacht Club's Race Week at Newport and the St. Francis Big Boat Series. Jim is excited about continuing his success to date:

“You bet! I’m going for my third watch. But the team wants that World Cup, too. Everything we’ve done has been in preparation for winning this championship. We’ve had a very good year, winning a half dozen regattas on both coasts and competing in several more.”

Two boats represent Britain; Assegai owned by Chris Hunt and Leonidas Christianakis and Katanga owned by Hamptons International boss, Robin Paterson. Paterson’s crew looks the stronger with Ben Vines, Mel Coleman and Ian Tillet signed on as amateurs and Ossie Stewart, ‘Shredder’, and the newly crowned Star World Champion, Iain Percy taking home the dough.

Both owners, are however, reasonably new to the fleet, and will find it difficult to match the consistency needed in results, that other more experienced owners can handle.

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