2018 Farr 40 Circuit Schedule Announced
Published on September 28th, 2017
(September 28, 2017) – Chicago Yacht Club is hosting the Farr 40 North American Championship September 28 – October 1, 2017 on Lake Michigan. It turns out this regatta is serving as a tune up for the ultimate event as Chicago has been selected as site of the 2018 World Championship. Chicago Yacht Club will welcome the class from October 3-9, 2018, marking the second time the Windy City has hosted the Farr 40 World Championship.
Leif Sigmond, a Farr 40 owner since 2010, newly elected class president and current commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club, was thrilled that class management elected to come back to the city.
“We hosted the 2012 Farr 40 World Championship and thought it was a great event, not only for participants, but for club members in general,” Sigmond said. “It was a great opportunity for our members to watch a grand prix racing class right off our shores. So the club is very excited to roll out the red carpet for an iconic class.”
Conditions at the 2012 Worlds did not disappoint. Longtime Chicago resident Helmut Jahn capitalized on his crew’s local knowledge to capture the 2012 World Championship, which attracted 20 entries. It remains Jahn’s greatest victory in the class and was extremely fitting since he is also a Chicago Yacht Club member.
“I think what stands out about Chicago is the backdrop is spectacular. I cannot think of many venues in the world in which can you sail up close to a major metropolitan skyline,” Sigmond said. “Obviously, conducting a world championship in fresh water is rather unique for this class. In 2012, we had heavy air for two of the four days and the sailors really enjoyed it. I predict we will have terrific conditions against next year. Chicago tends to experience lots of big breeze during the month of October.”
Sigmond added that it has not been determined whether the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship will be based out of Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe (downtown) or Belmont (north shore) clubhouses. What is certain is that a strong local fleet will provide a solid foundation for the event, which will feature two days of racing in the pre-worlds followed by four days of racing in the actual world championship itself.
“We have a very active fleet here in Chicago that is quite competitive and there are a couple more Farr 40s across the lake that we hope will come over,” Sigmond said. “I think it’s important to hold the world championship in an area where the class has a strong foothold. I would expect we will get a strong turnout from the immediate area.”
The Great Lakes Farr 40 organization annually participates in such events as the Chicago NOOD (June), the Chicago-Mackinac Race (July) and the Verve Cup (August). Those events will provide a steady buildup to the worlds.
In fact, the Farr 40 Class Association has decided to include the Verve Cup as part of the International Circuit, which was also announced. There will be two events in California with Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club hosting an invitational regatta (March 21-24, 2017) and Long Beach Yacht Club welcoming the Farr 40 North American Championship (May 9-12, 2017).
“Our owners had an outstanding experience on the West Coast when we went there for the 2014 and 2015 circuits and there was a lot of sentiment to return,” said Brady Stagg, who has taken over as manager of the Farr 40 class. “Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club have been tremendous hosts in the past so we look forward to working with them again. There is a very healthy Farr 40 fleet on the West Coast so we anticipate those two regattas will be well attended.”
The International Circuit will then move to Chicago Yacht Club for the remainder of the season with the Verve Cup (August 9-12, 2017) serving as an ideal warm up for the worlds.
“Chicago is a venue that has long been associated with the Farr 40 class and the sailors always enjoy going there. Chicago Yacht Club does an incredible job of running regattas and has been very good to the class over the years,” Stagg said. “Our Great Lakes fleet has been very vibrant for many years and that is a big attraction as well.”
Alex Roepers has skippered Plenty to consecutive world championships and is already focused on a three-peat. Plenty placed sixth at the 2012 Farr 40 Worlds and is excited about going back to Chicago for the class’s signature regatta.
“I remember the Chicago worlds very well. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the result, but it was a wonderful experience and the Chicago Yacht Club provided superb hospitality,” Roepers said. “Without question, it’s an awesome backdrop for sailboat racing with the famous skyline. Lake Michigan can get crazy in a hurry with high winds and heavy seas. I remember we sailed in 25 to 30 knots of breeze and there were tons of wipeouts. It’s called the Windy City for a reason. When you go there in early October it’s bound to be wild.”
Roepers, a New York City resident and founder of Atlantic Investment Management, has won three of the last four world championships – claiming titles in San Francisco (2014), Sydney, Australia (2016) and Porto Cervo, Italy (2017). Plenty will return the core of its crew in 2018 led by renowned tactician Terry Hutchinson along with trimmers Skip Baxter and Morgan Trubovich.
“We are keen to win another world championship and we like our chances given the crew we have and the preparation we always do,” Roepers said. “We know there is a target on our stern and that our competition is not far behind. We have been in the position of being hunted before and know how it feels.”
There was much advance discussion about the 2018 International Circuit among owners of the traveling boats that have been committed to the class for many years. Roepers said Alberto Rossi (Enfant Terrible), Wolfgang Schaefer (Struntje Light) and Helmut Jahn (Flash Gordon 6) were in agreement about the venues.
“I’m excited about 2018. I think it’s a very good circuit with a dual purpose of reigniting interest in racing at a high level in the local fleets of southern California, where there is a preponderance of good boats,” Roepers said. “Of course, Chicago has a very active, well managed fleet so it makes a lot of sense to bring the worlds there. I really think it’s a great season on tap.”
Roepers is positive about the direction of the Farr class, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down.
“It is still the most well managed one-design class for a boat of this size and the racing remains extraordinarily, very close and intense,” he said. “We expect double digit numbers in California and definitely 12 to 15 boats for the worlds. So the class is alive and well.”
Credit for the longevity and staying power of the Farr 40 goes largely to Geoff Stagg, who conceived of the design and expertly guided the class for two prosperous decades. Stagg, whose vision and attention to detail were crucial to the boat’s success, has announced his retirement.
“Geoff was the founder of this class and has been an exemplary leader for a long time. Without him, the Farr 40 would never have risen to the level it did as the world’s most iconic racing class,” Roepers said. “All the biggest names in sailing with regard to owners and professionals have participated in the Farr 40 class at some point. My hat is off to Geoff for always maintaining the standards of the class and constantly moving it forward.”
2018 International Schedule
March 21 -24, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club
May 9 – 12, North American Championship, Long Beach Yacht Club
August 9 – 12, Chicago Yacht Club Verve Cup
October 3-9, World Championship, Chicago Yacht Club
2017 – 18 Australian Schedule
September 22 Season Launch RSYS
September 23-24 Farr 40 Social Regatta MHYC
October 21-22 Mhyc One Design Trophy MHYC
November 25 – 26 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (Ssorc) MHYC
December 9 – 10 Newcastle One Design Trophy NCYC
January 20 – 21 Mhyc/Pittwater One Design Trophy MHYC/RPAYC
February 3 – 4 Nsw State Title MHYC
March 3 – 4 Sydney Harbour Regatta MHYC
March 16 – 18 National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy RSYS
2018 Great Lakes and California Schedule
To Be Determined
Source: Farr 40 Class Association