Jabin leads Farr 30 Worlds
Published on October 14th, 2015
Seattle, WA (October 14, 2015) – The opening day of the Farr 30 World Championship completed three races for the 14 teams, with Rod Jabin (USA) and his Ramrod team dominating the day with a 1-2-1 to take the early lead of the four day series. Local Chris Tutmark’s Patricia follows in second by three points, with Canadian Andrew Hamilton six points off the lead in third. Eleven races are scheduled for October 14-17.
Report by Joe Cline, Editor, 48° North:
The Farr 30 World Championship 2015 kicked off with a steel gray color palette and fresh breeze. Hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle, race organizers sent the fleet a mile north of the yacht club into the steady northerly and building chop on the Puget Sound. The forecast called for 10-20 knots, and the breeze hovered at the top end of that range all day. CYC’s race committee got off the three scheduled races, and the fleet enjoyed tight competition in beautiful and technically demanding racing conditions.
Racing got underway after a brief postponement. The flooding current was not enough to push the boats back from the line in the first sequence, and the general recall was obvious fully 15 seconds before the gun. A second starting attempt saw the AP back up a few seconds before the start. We didn’t see a shift, so we’re guessing there was a dragging mark. The third time was a charm, and the Z-flag kept the fleet significantly more conservative than they’d been in the first two sequences. All clear was the call, and we’ve got ourselves a World Championship.
The day’s breeze kept shifts to a minimum. From my vantage point on the photo boat, it looked like the kind of day where boat speed trumped tactics, though in talking to renowned Seattle sailor, Bob Pistay, there were some shifts to be had. Bob, in fact, noted one particularly gutsy dig to the west by the top Seattle boat in the standings after day one, Chris Tutmark’s Patricia. The risky call by tactician Jason Rhodes paid off as the westerly shift they found helped pick off a couple of boats in that race and keep all their finishes in the top three. Impressive on day one, Tutmark’s Patricia sits three points back, in second place overall.
Third after day one is last year’s North American Champion, Andrew Hamilton on Through. Sailing fast and smart, the Vancouver-based boat took a bullet in race two and captured two other top-five finishes. To me, they seemed to be maintaining a constant angle of heel on the weather legs better than anybody else. Their speed and local rockstar tactician, Dalton Bergan, helped them claw back a number of boats after a mid-fleet position part way through race one. Through was absolutely launched on the start on the race they won, confirming what every one design racer already knows…starts matter. A lot. However, with the technical nature of the Farr 30, there are some clear speed advantages on display from the top tier.
The two boats visiting from Annapolis, Rodrick Jabin’s Ramrod and Kevin McNeil’s Seabiscuit, have the most Farr 30 Class experience in this Worlds fleet. Their savvy and speed showed, especially at the starts. Both boats started cleanly, and seemed to be up to speed and always in the top group within a few minutes of the gun. Their top-drawer tacticians, Chris Larson on Ramrod and Seattle-great Jonathan McKee on Seabiscuit, surely helped with that, and pointed them the right way, too. Seabiscuit is currently in fourth, tied on points with Through. But, Ramrod was the story of day one, going 1-2-1 and sitting solidly in first place.
The Farr 30 fleet in the Seattle and Vancouver areas has grown steadily over the last few years, with some of our top sailors enthusiastically jumping into the fleet. But, Bob Pistay told me that all the local boats feel that the level of competition has reached a new height. There was tight racing, wipeouts, and a collision – all of which are indicative that the teams are pushing it to the max at every opportunity.
It will be interesting if local knowledge plays a bigger role as the breeze backs down into the 5-15 knot range on day two, and the Seattle steel gray overcast gives way to some rich autumn sunshine to go with that lighter-but-still-steady-northerly.