Blind Worlds: Farrar crowned champion

Published on September 14th, 2015

Chicago, IL (September 13, 2015) – With weather conditions causing races to be abandoned for half the event, it was a wonder that four races took place on the final day of the IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship, presented by Wintrust. “Today was very tricky. When the wind shifted more than 90 degrees at 1:15 P.M., and subsequently shut down, it was over,” said Chicago Yacht Club On the Water Director and Principal Race Officer Jay Kehoe.

Howard Hughes (USA) traveled north from Texas to compete in the event, and ended up taking the win in the Blind 3 Section aboard the TOM28s. Hughes explained that his team is used to the chop, but the shifts were challenging. “When it’s shifty like this, you gotta keep watching the course or have people with better eyes than I looking the course over,” said Hughes. “Several times we made calls to tack too early, had to short-tack and got pinched.”

This was Dave Allerton’s (NZL) fourth Worlds appearance, and his first gold medal in the Blind 2 Section. Allerton’s team practices in all conditions around New Zealand to prepare for the event, so he wasn’t thrown off by Sunday’s oscillating winds. “We try to train in all conditions – practice, practice, practice. When it comes down to race day, it’s just another practice,” said Allerton. “But that piece of sea out there is more than just a lake – you could fit the whole country of New Zealand in there.”

Duane Farrar (USA) and his team, Wind Whisperers, are the new Blind 1 World Champions, but the title was not easily earned. “The Canadians were very competitive and we started the day in a virtual tie with them. Before we got enough races for a drop, we were just about a point apart,” said Farrar. “We smoked the fleet in what turned out to be the last race of the day. We really needed that race to solidify our position.”

There was not much movement in the top of the rankings from Day Two, which secured the Squadron Cup for Team Great Britain. The Squadron Cup is a perpetual trophy awarded to the country with the lowest cumulative scores across all three sections. This is the fourth time that Great Britain has won the Cup in 18 years. Lucy Hodges (GBR), who was on the team the last time they won in Japan, said, “It was a very close running this time around – USA put on a really great performance. It will be great to take this Cup to Houston for the next running of the Cup in 2017.”

Additional information: www.chicagoyachtclub.org/blindworlds2015

Report by Morgan Kinney, Communications Director, Chicago Yacht Club
Howard Hughes USA - Chicago Yacht Club

Duane Farrar USA - Chicago Yacht Club

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