Tight at the top of Rolex Farr 40 North Americans

Published on August 21st, 2015

Santa Barbara, CA (August 21, 2015) – Patience was required on the third day of the 2015 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, but sail-able conditions arrived by mid-afternoon to allow for three more races.

Alex Roepers’ Plenty team won the day with a 6-1-1, but Helmut Jahn’s Flash Gordon 6 was steady at 4-6-3 to remain in the lead as the fleet advances to the final day of racing on Saturday.

Additional details from Media Pro:
Like the history behind the Rolex timepiece that will be presented to the winner of 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, event host Santa Barbara Yacht Club has a long and celebrated history. As the second oldest yacht club on the west coast, SBYC has been a central figure on the waterfront of this “American Riviera” while contributing to the growth of the sport in California.

For the penultimate day of the championship, action was delayed for the third consecutive day as the grey marine layer kept its hold on Santa Barbara for most of the day. The 15-strong fleet was restrained until a six knot breeze finally materialized, and three races were held as the velocity continued to build to 10 knots for races two and three of the day.

Chicago architect Helmut Jahn, the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, started and finished the day with the lead in the overall standings. Driving Flash Gordon 6, Jahn posted finishes of 4-6-3 to end the day with 31 points. Alberto Rossi’s Italian-flagged Enfant Terrible is second overall on 34 points after a win of the day’s first race was followed by a 7-2, while Germany’s Wolfgang Schaefer, on Struntje light, finished 2-4-5 for third overall on 36 points.

“This competition here is very good,” said Schaefer. “We love to come here [California] every time; it’s our fourth regatta and we are coming back in a couple of weeks for the world championship in Long Beach, especially because it’s a Rolex regatta. For me when it’s a Rolex regatta, it’s mandatory… I have to come! Winning a Rolex is a goal. But the top level of the class is extremely high. If you look around, it’s a who’s who of tacticians. Everyone who has a name is here, and it is very hard to beat them.”

Schaefer quantified what he is looking for from tactician Francesco Bruni, veteran America’s Cup and match racing competitor, with whom he is sailing for the second time: “There is space for improvement. There is a lot to learn, but the biggest goal is to improve the communication as quick as possible, because communication is 50% of the whole thing. It doesn’t help if the tactician has a good idea, he must explain it and he must be sure that the crew is able to follow. The communication must be really quick and there must be no delay on it. That is a key point. And the really good guys know that.”

Alex Roepers, the defending Rolex Farr 40 North American Champion, currently stands fourth overall with 38 points. While he has won three races thus far in the series, a port-starboard incident in race three – in which he had finished second – resulted in Plenty being disqualified and receiving 16 penalty points.

“If there is a setback or something that doesn’t go so well, we subscribe to [tactician] Terry Hutchinson’s mantra of mental toughness; we believe in ourselves and we just come back. That’s how we operate,” said Roepers.

“I think that Rolex represents excellence and the fact that they sponsor so many phenomenal sports events around the world and have chosen to sponsor the one and only one-design class in yacht racing, which is Farr 40, is a tremendous compliment to what Farr 40 is,” he added. “I am very happy that Rolex is doing this and in fact it’s a very big reason for me to participate in this racing. So then to win an event that Rolex sponsors – that is a Farr 40 event with all these great competitors – is a huge deal. I’m very lucky that as a result of last year I won three. I’m getting addicted to it and I’d love to win the one tomorrow.”

Australia’s Martin Hill, on Estate Master, posted finishes of 3-2-10 and is stands fifth overall with 46 points.

Standings – Day Three (15 boats; 9 races)
1. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn , USA – 10 -3 -1 -1 -2 -1 -4 -6 -3 ; 31
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi , ITA – 9 -4 -2 -2 -3 -4 -1 -7 -2 ; 34
3. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer , GER – 6 -1 -4 -4 -5 -5 -2 -4 -5 ; 36
4. Plenty, Alex Roepers , USA – 3 -5 -16 -3 -1 -2 -6 -1 -1 ; 38
5. Estate Master, Martin Hill , AUS – 4 -7 -5 -5 -4 -6 -3 -2 -10 ; 46
6. Voodoo Chile, Lloyd Clark , AUS – 2 -2 -8 -9 -13 -3 -5 -3 -7 ; 52
7. Groovederci, John Demourkas , USA – 8 -11 -3 -6 -7 -11 -10 -5 -6 ; 67
8. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil , USA – 1 -8 -6 -13 -11 -8 -12 -9 -4 ; 72
9. Insanity, Rick Goebel , USA – 5 -9 -9 -7 -8 -9 -7 -11 -12 ; 77
10. Temptress, Ray Godwin , USA – 7 -10 -12 -8 -6 -10 -11 -8 -14 ; 86
11. Blade II, Michael Shlens , USA – 12 -6 -7 -10 -14 -13 -14 -10 -9 ; 95
12. Twisted, M. Tony Pohl , USA – 11 -12 -10 -11 -9 -14 -9 -13 -8 ; 97
13. White Knight, Zoltan Katinszky , USA – 15 -14 -13 -15 -10 -7 -8 -12 -13 ; 107
14. Foil, Gordon Leon , USA – 13 -13 -11 -12 -15 -12 -13 -15 -11 ; 115
15. Flyer, Stanford Shaw , USA – 14 -15 -14 -14 -12 -15 -15 -14 -15 ; 128

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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.

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