Plenty Wins Farr 40 European Championship
Published on July 9th, 2016
Ancona, Italy (July 9, 2016) – Alberto Rossi invited the Farr 40 Class Association to his hometown for the first time and delivered an experience that was positively splendid. This seaport in the Marche region of central Italy proved an ideal venue for the Farr 40 European Championship.
Rossi, one of the most respected owners in the class and the 2013 Rolex World Champion, made sure the organization on and off the water was di prima qualita – top notch. La Marina Dorica served as a fabulous facility, the Ancona Yacht Club provided impeccable race management while the Adriatic Sea delivered fantastic conditions.
“This regatta was a spectacular success on every level. Alberto was an incredibly gracious host and every element was well-planned and perfectly executed,” said Geoff Stagg, manager of the Farr 40 Class Association. “I can safely say that all the owners came away very impressed. We will most certainly be back here in the future.”
Skipper Alex Roepers and the Plenty team clicked on all cylinders in leading the four-day regatta from start to finish and capturing the Ancona Farr 40 European Championship by a comfortable margin. World-renowned professional Terry Hutchinson called tactics for Roepers, who steered Plenty to victory in five of 11 races.
Skip Baxter (main trimmer), Morgan Trubovich (headsail trimmer) and Greg Gendell (bow) were the other professionals aboard Plenty, which displayed tremendous consistency in placing second or third in five other races. The United States entry worst result was a fourth that came in Race 1.
Now the New York owner-driver has a European Championship to go along with the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships he captured off San Francisco in 2014 and Sydney earlier this year.
“We had a fantastic performance in Australia and we brought the same team here. Everyone was extremely focused from the outset and we did a superb job of controlling all the things we could control,” Roepers said. “We set ourselves up for success by paying attention to detail with regard to sail development, rig tune, boat preparation and crew practice.”
Talented amateur sailors Mark Langford (offside trimmer), Nate Reynolds (pit), Fletcher Sims (grinder), Emil Wester (mast) and Jennifer Wulff (pit assist) completed the crew on Plenty, which was able to rely on superb boat speed.
“We go into each race looking to sail relatively conservatively. We do not take risks because we are confident we can make up ground on the race course. We give up places at times in order to avoid the costly mistake,” Roepers said. “If you ask the competition, I think they would say our upwind speed is outstanding. Our starts were always around an eight or nine on a scale of 10 and Terry does an amazing job of calling the shifts and making sure we are on the right side of the course. I am very fortunate to have one of the best in the business on my boat.”
Plenty’s low score of 21 points was 22 better than runner-up Enfant Terrible, the Italian entry skippered by Rossi. Enfant Terrible was without regular tactician Vasco Vascotto while Flash Gordon 6 and Struntje Light, the other stalwart professional entries on the International Circuit, both had some new sailors aboard.
“Our team has been together for three straight years and that makes all the difference. Our group of pros is unmatched while we are fortunate to have a very motivated team of amateurs,” Roepers said. “Enfant was without Vasco, which is a big loss. Flash and Struntje also had some crew changes. Our consistency of crew was a big advantage in this regatta.”
Enfant Terrible had to muster a strong final day in order to put pressure on Plenty, which would have needed to stumble in order for the gap to tighten. It was not to be as Roepers strung together three second place results on Saturday while Rossi posted an 8-6-5 score line.
Owner-driver Hasip Gencer and the Asterisk BSC crew finished strong, winning Race 10 after posting a second and third in the previous starts to pull within five points of Enfant Terrible. Taking third overall in the tough 10-boat fleet was an encouraging result for the Turkish boat.
“Our goal was to finish in the top three and my team worked very hard to make that happen,” Gencer said. “We were quite motivated going into today and our overall performance was quite good.”
Asterisk placed ninth at the 2015 Rolex World Championship and was Corinthian Division champ at the 2014 event. “We are climbing in this class, which I love so much. We are getting better and plan to continue progressing,” Gencer said.
Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the regatta was the collective strength of the Corinthian fleet, comprised of four Italian boats and one Croatian entry that are all new to the International Circuit this year.
“I think everyone was quite surprised by just how good the Corinthian teams were,” Stagg said. “Corinthian boats won three of the 11 races, which is unheard of in this class. They need to work on consistency, but that will come.”
Rush Diletta, owned by another Ancona resident in Mauro Mocchegiani, emerged from the fray to capture the Corinthian crown. Tactician Tommaso Chieffi, a veteran pro with vast America’s Cup experience, was one of two pros aboard as Rush Diletta totaled 55 points and placed fifth in the overall standings.
“We are feeling very, very good and I have a big smile on my face,” Mocchegiani said through an interpreter. “This is the second time in a row so there is great satisfaction. Our crew was excellent and the boat was quick, not only among the Corinthian teams, but in the overall fleet as well.”
Rush Diletta, which had previously topped the Corinthian Division at the D-Marin Sibenik Regatta held in April off Croatia, sent a strong message about its capability by winning Race 1 here in Ancona. MP30+10 and Pazza Idea both made strong pushes, but Mocchegiani and crew never relinquished the Corinthian lead.
“Always concentrating on what we were doing and never giving up even when we were in bad spots,” Mocchegiani said when asked what his team did well during the regatta. “Tommaso was very solid with the tactics and the whole crew worked well as a unit.”
Skipper Pierluigi Bresciani steered Pazza Idea to victory in Race 8 on Thursday while owner Luca Pierdomenico led MP30+10 to line honors in the last race of the series. Mocchegiani admitted that Rush Diletta felt some pressure down the stretch.
“MP30 and Pazza sailed very well and put up good results toward the end,” Mocchegiani said. “Those two boats were always in contention and we went into today knowing we had to finish strong.”
Having such a competitive core of Corinthian boats bodes well for the future of the European fleet moving forward. The International Circuit will return to the region again in 2017 with the Rolex World Championship being held in Porto Cervo.
“We have a group of very serious, highly engaged Corinthian owners,” Stagg said. “Most importantly, they are having a fantastic time and are so pleased with the level of competition they have found in the Farr 40 class. At the end of the day, we do this to have fun.”
Rossi made sure the shore-side social activities were first-class and all those in attendance were wowed by the owner’s dinner held at Passetto on Thursday night and sponsored by Minoan Lines. “The party was absolutely exquisite and featured the finest in Italian food. Just top end in every respect and very memorable,” Stagg said.
It was the first trip to Ancona for Roepers, who has built a strong friendship with Rossi over the years. Roepers, like all the other owners, had nothing but positive reviews for the city.
“It’s a fantastic venue. The marina is beautiful, the organization is tip-top, the town is very nice, the restaurants are terrific and the Adriatic Sea is gorgeous,” he said.
The Farr 40 Class would like to thank our fabulous title sponsor, La Marina Dorica, and our race day sponsor, Quantum Sails.
Next stop on the International Circuit is Croatia for the Zadar Farr 40 Regatta, being held Sept. 21-24.
Final Standings (10 boats; 11 races)
1. Plenty, Alex Roepers , USA – 4 -1 -1 -3 -1 -1 -1 -3 -2 -2 -2 ; 21
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi , ITA – 3 -2 -2 -4 -2 -3 -3 -5 -8 -6 -5 ; 43
3. Asterisk BSC, Hasip Gencer , TUR – 6 -3 -4 -6 -4 -7 -6 -2 -3 -1 -6 ; 48
4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut and Evan Jahn , USA – 2 -4 -3 -1 -5 -4 -4 -8 -9 -9 -3 ; 52
5. Rush Diletta, Mauro Mocchegiani , ITA – 1 -6 -6 -5 -6 -6 -8 -4 -6 -3 -4 ; 55
6. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer , GER – 5 -9 -5 -7 -3 -8 -5 -6 -1 -5 -9 ; 63
7. MP30+10, Luca Pierdomenico , ITA – 9 -5 -7 -2 -10 -2 -7 -7 -5 -10 -1 ; 65
8. Pazza Idea, Bresciani Pierluigi , ITA – 7 -7 -8 -8 -8 -5 -2 -1 -7 -7 -7 ; 67
9. Sempre Avanti, Carlo Naibo , ITA – 8 -10 -9 -9 -9 -9 -9 -10 -10 -4 -8 ; 95
10. Damaco, Berislav Vranic , CRO – 10 -8 -10 -10 -7 -10 -10 -9 -4 -8 -10 ; 96
Source: Farr 40 class