Farr 40: Standing tall among the Redwoods

Published on July 14th, 2014

A strong fleet of 15 boats is entered in the Farr 40 West Coast Championship, being held July 16-19 in Santa Barbara, CA. An influx of Australian entries will add spice to the fourth stop on the International Circuit, which culminates with the Rolex Big Boat Series off San Francisco in early September.

The finale for 2014 will be the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, being held October 15-18 out of St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

Amid this fleet of elite professional sailors and highly organized programs is a tier competing in the Corinthian division, where the rules limit sail purchases and encourage amateur crew. Owner Ray Godwin and the Temptress team are the Corinthian circuit leaders among entries.

“We’re somewhat amazed to be in first and know it will be difficult to hold on till the end,” said Godwin, a Huntington Beach resident who owns United Flight Accessories of California. “There are some real strong Corinthian teams on the circuit. Whoever wins will have really accomplished something.”

Godwin sails with zero professionals aboard Temptress, which he has owned since 2007. Tactician Randy Smith is in real estate while other key crew members such as trimmers Mark van Gessel (jib), Stacy Straw (spinnaker) and Bob Zellner (main) also hold full-time jobs.

Godwin, who previously owned a Santana 35 and Schock 35, has learned quite a bit during his first foray on the International Circuit. “It has really been quite eye-opening. It’s amazing to see the speed some of these boats have developed. We are watching the top boats very carefully and asking a lot of questions in order to pick up tips that could help us improve.”

Consecutive victories at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and the California Cup have given skipper Alex Roepers and the Plenty team a comfortable 35-point lead in the overall 2014 International Circuit standings. Roepers must miss the West Coast Championship due to business commitments, but will try to sew up the circuit title at the Rolex Big Boat Series.

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