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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Transfusion On Top at Aberdeen Asset Farr 40 NSW Championship - Day One

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis started his Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 NSW State Title run in punchy fashion, his Transfusion team winning two races on Sydney Harbour yesterday and another in the protest room.
Photo: Saltwater Images/ www.saltwaterimages.com.au
Blows were traded among the seven starters throughout the four races, angry flags flying and penalty turns taken. The lead changed regularly but it was the Australian Farr 40 President who trumped the opening day in the exciting one-design class.
Photo: Saltwater Images/ www.saltwaterimages.com.au
Transfusion’s two bullets on the water and a protest win against Voodoo Chile for a windward/leeward incident has them in the pointscore lead with six points. The jury decided in the Sydney Farr 40’s favour and disqualified the Tasmanians from race one, bundling them out of the top three finishers.
Photo: Saltwater Images/ www.saltwaterimages.com.au
This is an early blow for Voodoo Chile’s co-owners Lloyd Clark and Andrew Hunn in a no drop series. Voodoo Chile is also on top of the season leaderboard after two of the five scheduled events that make up the class’ 2013-14 summer calendar.

Lang Walker’s Kokomo (NSW) moved up to second with 12 points when the results were shuffled and Stephen Boyes’ Wired (TAS) into third with 15 points.

“It was great sailing and conditions were fantastic,” commented Belgiorno-Nettis. “The breeze was soft in the first race then the wind built to 10-18 knots and averaged 10-12 in the later races. He didn’t
escape the intensity on-water either, completing a penalty turn in race three.

“The team we have on the boat is the one I’m taking to the Farr 40 Worlds in San Francisco this year.
We are using these states to train together. My team was fabulous today, everyone worked hard and
Tom’s doing a great job.”

As the executive director of Transfield Holdings Belgiorno-Nettis knows how to build a high performance squad. For the current Farr 40 season he’s reunited with former tactician Tom Slingsby who was a fresh-faced Laser world champ back when they first paired up for the 2009 Farr 40 Worlds. These days Tom comes with a lot more street cred as an Olympic Laser gold medallist, America’s Cup winner and big boat sailor.

On the state title opening day Slingsby said, “It was a pretty nice nor’easter but quite tricky on the  harbour with the traffic. It was a good day for us and we came away with a handy scorecard.This was our first race with the crew for the worlds at San Fran at the end of the year. Everyone gels well and the communication is good.”

After a short delay while the morning sou’east breeze clocked left, Principal Race Officer Rob Ridley got the first race away. The ENE winds built steadily on the harbour throughout the afternoon and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s race management team completed three more races in quick succession.

The first was a three lapper (1.2nm legs) followed by three two lappers (0.9nm legs) from Mosman’s
Taylor’s Bay up to the windward mark in Watson’s Bay on the eastern foreshore.

“It was a bit of a mixed bag and it was certainly competitive close racing,” said Ridley. “No-one was off the pace.”

The Farr 40 class has bumped the NSW state program to four races per day to make it a more challenging schedule and to test crews’ endurance over a range of conditions.

Today’s forecast is for NNE 10-15 knots decreasing in the afternoon.

Lisa Ratcliff

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