Friday, February 22, 2013

Wild Day For Farr 40s - John Calvert-Jones Trophy/Australian Nationals - Sydney Harbour - Day 1

The Ten Farr 40 crews had their stamina tested on the first day of the John Calvert-Jones Trophy, the class nationals being contested this weekend on Sydney Harbour.
Transfusion Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Last weekend’s Aberdeen Asset Management NSW State Title seems a distant memory with a polar opposite set of conditions blowing across the race course today. Crew overboard, spinnaker wraps and rips, Chinese gybes and round-ups, bumps and bruises and delaminating sails were all part of the opening day.

After four races starting off the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Guido Belgiornio-Nettis’ Transfusion is the leading point scorer thanks to their three wins and a fourth to end the day on seven points.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“We love the pressure. Considering some are still getting their teamwork together, I thought everyone sailed really well today,” Belgiornio-Nettis said.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Second, third and fourth places are tied on 13 points, Lang Walker’s Kokomo leads Lisa and Martin Hill’s Estate Master and Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s Tasmanian entry, Voodoo Chile.Voodoo Chile’s tactician, Sydney based David Chapman said apart from a tear in the mainsail they came through today unscathed.

“Today was very different to last weekend,” said the young champion match racer. “We saw great boat handling from the Transfusion boys, and it’s nice to be within striking distance of them.”
Sputnik Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Not so lucky was the crew on the second Tasmanian boat, Sputnik (chartered by POW), with the bow person twice falling overboard in wipe-outs in race four, the boat subsequently retiring from that race.

Prior to the 11:00am scheduled start time the breeze was still flicking around 35 degrees. It settled in at 17-18 knots out of the ESE with gusts up to 23 knots. Over the afternoon the breeze climbed up to a 22 knot average, gusting up to 28 knots.

The course axis was 110 degrees and leg lengths 1.3 nautical miles and the top mark and offset mark were laid between Shark Island and Point Piper. Three races of three laps and one of two laps were completed.

The closest finish on corrected time was in race four, Kokomo getting the better of Estate Master by just eight seconds over a 56 minute harbour dash.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for easterly 25 to 30 knots tending east to northeasterly 15 to 25 knots in the middle of the day then tending northwest to northeasterly and easing. The talk among the yachties is that they may not get a start in, at least until later in the day. A class upper wind limit may decide whether racing goes ahead.

Day one results here.

Lisa Ratcliff

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