Bluebird weather for Farr 40 North Americans

Published on May 15th, 2014

Long Beach, CA (May 15, 2014) – The second day of the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 North Americans could not have asked for more, as warm temperatures and a moderate seabreaze allowed for three races to be held for the 19 boats.

Unlike day one when Santa Ana conditions led to a dramatic wind direction shift, today locked in to the typical SW direction, slowly building through the day to about 14 knots. Mixing in shifts with a light swell offered opportunity for the cream to rise.

Winning the day was Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje light, posting a 1-2-3 to pull the team up from fourth to second overall.

“There was no drama today, with each race beginning with clear lanes off the start line,” explained Struntje light tactician Morgan Reeser. “We could choose our first tack and we had good speed to lead the group. Not having people tack on you makes a difference, and it allowed us to be consistent today. It was a team win, with great crew work around the track.”

Alexander Roepers’ Plenty came into the day with a four point lead, and while still on top after posting a 9-1-1, the margin has now narrowed to two points. “It wasn’t the best start to the day,” noted Roepers, after the team missed a shift off the start line. “We slipped to 15th, and spent the race getting back to 9th, so we were quite happy with that. And then we followed that with two good starts, and with our speed, we were able to get to the front and convert them into wins. But it was never easy.”

Racing continues Friday and concludes Saturday. Eleven races with no discard is scheduled.

Day 2 Results (Top 10 of 19; 6 races)
1. Plenty, Alexander Roepers, USA – 2, 5, 1, 9, 1, 1; 19 points
2. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER – 6, 2, 7, 1, 2, 3; 21
3. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA – 4, 4, 4, 4, 7, 2; 25
4. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA – 1, 1, 10, 6, 3, 11; 32
5. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA – 7, 8, 2, 2, 4, 9; 32
6. Dark Star, Jeff Janov, USA – 5, 3, 8, 5, 8, 4, ; 33
7. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA – 8, 6, 6, 3, 5, 7; 35
8. Flojito y Cooperando, Minkow/Fernandez, MEX – 3, 16/ZFP, 3, 8, 9, 10; 49
9. Blade 2, Michael Shlens, USA – 11, 9, 5, 10, 6, 17; 58
10. JoAnn, Steve Murphy, USA – 13, 11, 14, 7, 14, 5; 64

Complete results: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=976
Class website: http://www.farr40.org
Photos: https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2014/05/16/photos-2014-rolex-farr-40-north-americans

Report by the event…
As temperatures in Southern California soared to record highs, the 19-strong fleet competing in the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 North Americans took to the Pacific Ocean for three races on day two of the championship series. The competitors had been postponed ashore while the breeze worked into race-worthy condition, but by 1230 racing was underway through the flawless teamwork of the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) Race Committee led by John Busch.

“We had three nice starts, and that helps a lot,” said Germany’s Wolfgang Schaefer on the docks after racing. In the first race of the day Schaefer’s Struntje light led the fleet at the second mark and kept that position to cross the line first, ahead of Annapolis’ Kevin McNeil at the helm of Nightshift and Chicago’s Helmut Jahn and his team on Flash Gordon 6.

“We are probably one of the crew with the most miles on our flight tickets to come here, because eight of 10 [of the crew] came from Europe,” continued Schaefer. “That means the investment – time-wise, commitment-wise – for us is very high. But, we all agree that this investment was fantastic.”

Schaefer has been in the class since 2000 and currently serves as its vice-president, while also serving as vice-president of the ORC (Offshore Racing Congress), giving him unique perspective on the sport. “I must say the Farr 40 class is extremely good. The boat is good. The guys that are sailing with these boats are some of the best in the world. And I know from my country the guys are looking to the Farr 40. The reason is the boat is good, but the key point is the class is fantastic. The owners are absolutely great and the leadership in the class is good, and I can say that because I am not the President. The class holds up perfect: we have restricted sails and restricted professionals, and most of all we have the owner-driver rule.”

New York’s Alex Roepers, who has been racing the Farr 40 since 2007 had started the day leading the overall standings, only to finish ninth in the first race of the day. For the subsequent two races, however, the fleet’s view of PLENTY was primarily of her transom.

“We’re winning more races,” said Roepers when asked about the season thus far. “Obviously with Terry [Hutchinson] we’ve stepped it up a bit, and we’ve also grown in experience, I think. Better boat, better sails and the crew we try to improve all the time and I think Terry as tactician helps a lot. When Terry came onboard I gave him free reign on the crew. I’ve known Terry for 17 years. I know his style, and he knows my style, and he and I clicked right away.”

Roepers allowed that his style is disciplined and very focused. “No gibberish on the boat; just really doing our jobs. I stick to what I need to do which is drive the boat fast, and I delegate full responsibility for the boat to him. What he demands from people on the boat is strong, and I encourage that. He does it in a way where he is respected but still tough. I like that kind of program. It works for me.”

Roepers continues to hold the lead in the overall standings with 19 points after six races. By adding two second-place finishes to his win of the day’s first race, Schaefer moved from fourth to second overall, trailing Roepers by just two points. Chicago’s Helmut Jahn on Flash Gordon 6, the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, retains third overall with 25 points after finishes of 4-7-2 in today’s races. 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Alberto Rossi, on the Italian-flagged Enfant Terrible, dropped from second overall to fourth with finishes of 6-3-11 and is tied on points (32) with Annapolis’ Kevin McNeil, on Nightshift, who posted finishes of 2-4-9 today.

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