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Monday, February 17, 2014

Estate Master Wins Farr 40 Tasmanian Title

The Sydney team of Estate Master has made an impressive return to one design competition bytaking out the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Tasmanian State Title in Hobart. Two local boats, Voodoo Chile and Wired, made sure the remaining podium places went to the home side.
Estate Master Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Results were upturned after today’s two light air races on a calm Derwent River. The Lloyd Clark steered Voodoo Chile jumped from sixth yesterday to finish second overall and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion dived from first to equal fourth place alongside Jeff Carter’s Edake.
Stu James with Martin and Lisa Hill Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
For years an underweight keel has plagued the Hills when the breeze tipped over 18 knots. It was discovered by chance and this summer has been corrected by McConaghy Boats while a new paint job has lifted morale and broadcasted Estate Master’s confident comeback to the Farr 40 circuit.
Fleet downwind Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Estate Master hasn’t won a Farr 40 regatta since before the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“Winners are grinners. It’s nice to get that feeling back,” Martin Hill said.

“Today was tricky. We started the last race with a large lead but here the breeze can clock 90 degrees mid-race. It’s hard to know which boats to cover. The nice thing about coming to Hobart is it feels like we are on holiday.”

The couple are building a team for this year’s Farr 40 Worlds in San Francisco in October.

“We are putting together a crew passionate about the boat and the team. It’s very important to get that team spirit and vibe of a happy crew. We are now on a mission to improve for the worlds,” said Hill.

On board Estate Master for the two Tasmanian series are seasoned salts Hamish Pepper as tactician and Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones on main. Harry Bethwaite, son of the famous Australian designer Julian Bethwaite and with a proud sailing heritage attached to his name, and youth match racer Max Voss bring a different energy to the team.

“There are many friendships on board. We are in a good place, and it shows,” forewarns Hill.

In two days the fleet will reconvene for the season climax, the John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals.
Class forefather and the first Australian Farr 40 world champion, John Calvert-Jones, will attend the regatta named in his honour.

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Voodoo Chile has moved into the professional division which means club mate Stephen Boyes and his Wired crew are the state title Corinthian division winners. Voodoo’s tactician David Chapman said skipper Lloyd Clark’s forte is driving in light air and that the local hotelier made today’s two race wins look a cinch.

“We were very happy with today,” said Chapman. “The crew did a great job and trimmer Mal Parker earned his money. Congratulations to the Estate crew, they were consistent and quick.”

While his crew celebrated at the official trophy presentation at RYCT Chapman made an unscheduled visit to the local hospital emergency ward after puncturing his knee on a bolt in the final race five.

A nippy 10 degree morning greeted the eight crews. The race management team scoped the course and called the fleet out with the intention of starting a race soon after 11am. Three hours later race four commenced in a six knot easterly before a massive 50 degree shift forced a course change.

Principal Race Officer Nick Hutton just squeezed a final race in before the time limit, making another adjustment thanks to a 40 degree shift to the south.

A false start was just one of Transfusion’s woes on a day that reminded all teams how easy it is to go from famous to forgotten in this exciting and close one design fleet. “It’s nice to share the love around,” said Belgiorno-Nettis.

Teams have two days to train, buy thermals for Thursday’s expected cold snap and enjoy some sightseeing before the season finale, the John Calvert-Jones Trophy nationals commencing Wednesday February 19th and running for four days.

Lisa Ratcliff

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