Transfusion’s fifth Farr 40 trophy triumph - Voodoo Chile - finals day
Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion team has pulled off a trifecta of Australian titles and claimed a record five National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy crowns since the series’ inception in 2000.
An OCS in the penultimate race 11 on a fickle Derwent River in Hobart wasn’t enough to slow the New South Welshmen’s march. They played the Joker card, took the right hand side of the course and won.
The title was in the bag but still they pushed on, finishing second in the final race 12, another three-lapper in the sou’wester averaging in the high teens with bursts over 25 knots and down as low as seven knots at times.
Lloyd Clark and Andrew Hunn’s Voodoo Chile (TAS) opened the Farr 40’s 2013/14 season in dominating form, claiming the Queensland state title last October and the One Design Trophy in December.
Transfusion owned the NSW state title and Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master (NSW) took out the Tasmanian state title earlier this week.
All three professional campaigns were worthy of nabbing the major trophy. Transfusion proved the most worthy and effectively road blocked the other two with consistency at the highest level. A third was their worst result over 12 races in the no discard national series that wrapped up today.
Voodoo Chile slipped into second overall by eight points thanks to today’s fourth then a bullet. The Hills moved into third, a seventh and a fifth taking them out of silver medal contention.
Belgiorno-Nettis, the Australian Farr 40 class president, gathered a remarkable crew for the Aussie summer and the class’ world championship later this year.
Pre-season the crew worked on the mechanics of getting manoeuvres right in different modes, and put time into sail trim. Reuniting with tactician Tom Slingsby brought the next level of skill.
“Tommy was brilliant,” praised Belgiorno-Nettis. “He doesn’t go the Casino and take a bet; he works it out slowly and patiently and backs his intuition. He’s a wonderful addition to the team.”
On having the Transfusion name engraved five times on the silverware he said, “It feels great. It’s nice to finish the season on a high note and good to see everyone was challenged over the entire summer.”
“Here in Hobart we just kept the boat on its feet. I would have to say the Derwent is probably the most challenging waterway I’ve sailed on. Today we had crazy wind shifts of 60 degrees and breeze 7 to nearly 30 knots.”
Transfusion was the reigning Farr 40 national champion. The crew also reached the pinnacle in 2012, 2010 and 2009.
First Corinthian boat, which means a cap of two professional sailors versus four, was Stephen Boyes’ Wired from the host Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. “The deserved winner won without a doubt, they were just so consistent,” acknowledged Boyes.
Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot made a noticeable difference to Wired’s overall season performance. “It’s been different having Nathan sail with us, he’s been a real asset,” said the skipper this afternoon as the Farr 40s docked and crews packed up for this afternoon’s official trophy presentation at RYCT.
Aberdeen Asset Management managing director Brett Jollie was on the Derwent River today, Sunday 22nd February, to see Transfusion become a five-time Farr 40 national champion.
“The national championship is the culmination of another fantastic season,” said Jollie. “One of the beauties of the year is the mixture of the results with a different winner of three state titles. It’s a fantastic outcome for everyone; owners, crews and spectators.
“In true style Transfusion took out the national title. Congratulations to them and all the crews for a very competitive summer.”
Two years into a three-year partnership Aberdeen Asset Management is enjoying the relationship with the class association and the owners and crews.
“We had fantastic days out with clients and guests and we look forward to doing it again next summer,” Jollie added.
Belgiorno-Nettis recognised and thanked Aberdeen for their ongoing partnership as major class sponsor. He also acknowledged Jennie Hughes for her work as administrator, “Jennie does a lot of important work behind the scenes, and we couldn’t do it without her”.
Finally the class president thanked RYCT and its race officers and other volunteers for doing a fantastic job this week under trying conditions and lastly, the crew of Voodoo Chile and Estate Master for the excellent competition they provided.
Photo : Dane Lojek