Farr 40: Competing for the Cal Cup
Published on July 20th, 2015
Marina del Ray, CA (July 20, 2015) – For the second straight year – and sixth time overall – the Farr 40 class has been chosen to compete for the Cal Cup.
Established by the California Yacht Club in 1963, the Cal Cup has been contested in the 12-Meter yachts that were once a staple of the America’s Cup as well as the 70-foot maxi sleds that were designed for doing the Trans-Pacific Race and other West Coast distance events.
“This is our most prestigious trophy and our second oldest trophy,” said California Yacht Club commodore Rick Turner said. “This has always been and will continue to be a major event for our club. We are thrilled the Farr 40 class has once again decided to participate in this great regatta.”
A strong fleet of 13 boats has arrived in Marina del Ray to do battle in the Cal Cup, being held Wednesday through Saturday (July 22-25) on the Pacific Ocean. This is the third stop on the Farr 40 International Circuit as the chase for the season championship heats up.
Turner said California Yacht Club will once again clear out a prime section of dockage right in front of the clubhouse to showcase the Farr 40s. Turner said members are looking forward to viewing the typically tight racing while meeting the participating sailors, some of whom are among the world’s most renowned professionals.
“The Cal Cup is an iconic event with so much history and tradition. It is quite an honor to be selected to compete for this wonderful trophy,” said Geoff Stagg, manager of the Farr 40 class. “California Yacht Club is absolutely beautiful while the venue off Venice Beach is simply spectacular.”
The Italian entry Enfant Terrible, skippered by Alberto Rossi, leads the International Circuit after winning both the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship in San Diego and the West Coast Championship off Cabrillo Beach.
Enfant Terrible captured the Farr 40 World Championship in 2013 after having previously claimed the circuit crown. However, Rossi and company relinquished both titles to skipper Alex Roepers and the Plenty team in 2014.
“Alberto has been on fire so far this season. It is clear that he is very motivated to win the world championship again,” Stagg said.
Rossi admitted he was disappointed to finish as runner-up on the International Circuit and third at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship a year ago. Coming up just short prompted some changes within the program aimed at improved performance.
“Plenty prepared very well and sailed very well last year. Alex and his crew were very deserving champions,” Rossi said. “We came back this year very determined to do better. We made some changes from last year because we did not do as well as we had hoped. Based off the first two regattas, I would say we are headed in the right direction.”
The Enfant Terrible team comes into the Cal Cup with confidence, having recently captured its third ORC World Championship, one of which came in Rossi’s Farr 40. In addition, tactician Vasco Vascotto just led Azzurra to the TP52 World Championship. It was the 25th major world championship for Vascotto, who called the tactics for Rossi when Enfant Terrible won the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds.
“This team has been sailing together for several years and has really grown up during that time,” Rossi said. “The crew has done a fantastic job so far this season, but we must continue to improve in order to reach our ultimate goal.”
Plenty, which stands second in the circuit standings, is sitting out the Cal Cup since Roepers has business commitments. Plenty has totaled 85 points – 11 astern of Enfant Terrible. That provides an opportunity for other contenders to make a move with Flash Gordon 6 (Helmut Jahn, Chicago) holding third place with 97 points – just three better than Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneberg, Germany) and Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA).
Demourkas and the Groovederci crew have been performing quite well ever since renowned professional John Kostecki came aboard as tactician. Schaefer and the Struntje Light team will welcome a new tactician for this regatta as Francesco Bruni replaces Ray Davies, who is honoring his America’s Cup commitments.
“Helmut has Flash Gordon 6 going very, very well while Johnny D has really come on strong. Of course, Wolfgang is always lurking about,” Stagg said. “We’ve seen very competitive racing so far and I expect things to heat up considerably from here. This is the third of five events so the circuit picture will become a bit clearer after this regatta.”
Estate Master, skippered by class president Martin Hill, placed third in San Diego after finishing as runner-up at the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. Stagg include Estate Master when stating that any of six boats could win the Cal Cup.
Joining the fray for the first time this season is Voodoo Chile, skippered by Andrew Hunn of Hobart, Australia. Voodoo Chile took top honors in Corinthian Division at both the West Coast Championship and the Rolex Big Boat Series in 2014. Hunn steered the boat while David Chapman called tactics as the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania entry finished fifth at the worlds.
“We’ve been sailing in the class for seven years, but only recently stepped up to a higher level,” Hunn said. “We gradually climbed to the top of the Australian fleet and that encouraged us to try our luck on the International Circuit. We’ve put together a real strong core crew and are not that far away from being able to win these major regattas.”
Insanity, under the leadership of San Diego skipper Rick Goebel, has been the class of the Corinthian division so far this season. Insanity finished first among Corinthian entries at both the Midwinter Championship and the West Coast Championship and has 157 total points, 24 better than second place Temptress (Ray Godwin, Huntington Beach, CA).
Goebel is brand new to the Farr 40 class and is a bit surprised by his immediate success. He credits longtime rigger Will Van Cleef with getting the boat properly set up and credited veteran tactician Greg “Twister” Tawaststjerna with helping the crew overcome the learning curve that comes from jumping into the highly-competitive Farr 40 class after previously racing a J/105.
“We have a strong team with some outstanding sailors, but I did not expect to do this well right out of the gate. We were hoping to just not embarrass ourselves,” Goebel said with a chuckle. “Everyone in the class has been helping us. The Quantum loft in San Diego has done a great job with our sail package while some of the big-time pros like Terry Hutchinson and Bill Hardesty have been very kind in terms of giving us advice and tips.”
2015 International Circuit
March 4-7: F40 Midwinter Champ – San Diego, CA
May 27-30: F40 West Coast Championship – Cabrillo Beach, CA
July 22-25: California Cup – Marina del Rey, CA
August 19-22: Rolex North Americans – Santa Barbara, CA
September 24-27: Rolex World Championship – Long Beach, CA
Click here for full 2015 calendar.