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Monday, October 28, 2013

Voodo Chile Sings From The Rooftops and Wins Farr 40 2013 Queensland State Championships

The farthest team that travelled to Queensland surprised even themselves when they claimed top honours at the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Queensland State Titles.
Photo: Pete Bowden
Tasmanian owners Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark and crew on Voodoo Chile crossed three state boundaries to take up the reins on a Farr 40 not their own. Given the one design 40-footers are near to identical, the crew of eight Tassie born and two from Sydney quickly made themselves comfortable. Very comfortable.
Photo: Pete Bowden
Voodoo Chile, named after the 1968 Jimmy Hendrix track, dominated the three day series from the outset. On board the Farr 40 chartered from Lang Walker they racked up six wins from 10 races, sometimes only seconds separating them from the highly credentialed Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and Transfusion or Walker’s Kokomo.
Photo: Pete Bowden
“We had a good tussle with Transfusion, it was real nip ‘n tuck with them,” said Hunn, a Hobart based neurosurgeon after wrapping up the series yesterday, Sunday 27th October.

With a 10 knot average sou’easter blowing on a gorgeous spring Queensland day, the final two races ran as per the schedule on a course outside Moreton Bay’s Green Island. Voodoo Chile closed out the Australian Farr 40 class’ season opener on 11 points, Transfusion on 16 points and Kokomo on 21 points.

Crewman David Chapman granted Voodoo was lightning quick, and says this made his job as tactician much easier, “It was handy being fast, tactics are easier when you are going quickly”. He paid tribute to trimmers Mal Parker (main) and Richard Howard (headsail) for making him “look good”.

“Everyone is stoked, we didn’t expect to take out the regatta,” Chapman admitted. “We were punching above our weight against two multiple Farr 40 title holders. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

He praised the combination of co-owners Clark and Hunn, “They have different styles but between them they create a fun, family oriented team. If the results come, they come.” Clark came late to the sport and Hunn has sailed since he was 12. Between them they’ve formed a successful seven-year partnership.

Hunn said the inaugural state win had given them plenty of confidence going into the next event on the calendar, the One Design Trophy on November 30th and December 1st 2013, at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.

Clark will steer Voodoo Chile at the next two regattas when a larger one design fleet is expected and Hunn warns, “Lloyd’s got form”.

Hunn has owned many boats and each have been christened with a rock‘n'roll name; Chicago, Foreigner, Yes, Voodoo Lounge.

The weekend victory was one highlight for the triumphant skipper, another was the presentation of trophies at host Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron by his childhood hero, the 1972 Australian Olympic gold medallist at Kiel in the Dragon class, John Cuneo.

“As a child I knew John from reading yachting magazines and I always looked up to him. It was a big thing having him present our trophies.”

Meeting Cuneo and reflecting on his own sailing background Hunn offered this sentimental pearl last night, “Sailing it still as fascinating to me as it was when I was a kid.”

Lisa Ratcliff

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