Hobart hosts final Farr 40 grudge match - Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Tasmanian State Title & John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals
The Australian Farr 40 fleet is two regattas off declaring its national champion for 2013-14 and the season-long grudge match between defending title holder Transfusion and Voodoo Chile is set to peak in Hobart.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Tasmanian State Title comprising a twilight race this Saturday evening, February 15, then two days of up to four windward leeward races per day on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th on the Derwent River.
Crews will have a day to catch their breath before the series climax, the John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals, February 19-22, 2014.
It will be a battle to the end for the two top of the points table teams, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion from Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney and the local favourite, Lloyd Clark and Andrew Hunn’s Voodoo Chile representing RYCT. The Taswegians led the series until the feisty NSW State Title in January when the scales tipped in the Sydney crew’s favour.
A third generation Victorian dairy farmer and his family make up one of three late joining Farr 40 teams signed up for the penultimate regatta and final play-off.
Local Mocean from Royal Geelong Yacht Club is the sole Victorian Farr 40 competing in one design configuration and about to size up against an impressive New South Wales and Tasmanian fleet in the class’ state and national title.
Trevor’s son Steven caught the sailing bug as a child windsurfing on the dam at the family farm on the Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong.
Rather than the traditional pathway via junior club programs sailing dinghies and on to keelboats, all the Richardsons arrived on the scene later in life. First they crewed with others then joined the A-league when they purchased Local Mocean, formerly Easy Tiger II, two years ago.
The family cut their teeth club racing and this weekend will throw themselves into their first one-design competition against the best in the business including two Olympic gold medallists, Transfusion tactician Tom Slingsby and Wired tactician Nathan Wilmot, and POW’s tactician Rob Brown, 1983 winning America’s Cup crewman among other career highlights.
“If we come second last I’ll be happy,” said Trevor, the straight shooter. “These people are professionals, we are amateurs.
“We’ve imported a tactician from Hobart for his local knowledge and also picked a couple of local crew. We’ll meet the new guys and have a play this Friday. We are pretty raw.”
On owning a Farr 40 Richardson adds, “It’s quick and user friendly and I have two boys who have helped stimulate the appetite. Our lives have been consumed by work so at this late stage I decided it might be time to have some fun.”
Steven is skipper and assists with tactics and his younger brother Stuart is mastman. Steven’s 15 year-old daughter Chloe will most likely be ‘sewer rat’ with the unenviable job of pulling the huge spinnaker inside the boat, a job that requires strength and feeling cosy rather than claustrophobic in tight spaces.
Tasmanian Farr 40 fleet captain Wayne Banks-Smith has chosen his locally hosted series to join his classmates at the end of the season with War Games, as has Michael Cooper, Craig Clifford and Richard Fader, co-owners of POW.
Banks-Smith says February to March offers yachties ideal conditions, 15-18 knot sou’easterly sea breezes and an average and very pleasant 23 degrees during the day.
On the flipside he reminds that “Tasmanian weather can be pretty fickle. No two days are the same so crews should pack for a range of conditions. We are praying Hobart will offer some beautiful weather.”
War Games went head-to-head with Voodoo Chile in Monday’s club race and copped a pasting. “They are a superior crew; hopefully we can lift our game before Sunday,” added Banks-Smith.
He’s pleased with a starting list of eight, understanding that the tyranny of distance makes it challenging for the Queensland and NSW teams to transport boats, gear and people across Bass Strait.
Aberdeen Asset Management is major partner of the Australian Farr 40 class and will be in Hobart for the last two regattas supporting the crews and entertaining clients and guests.
Managing director Brett Jollie said, “The Farr 40 titles provide a thrilling atmosphere not just for competitors, but also for spectators. We have high hopes that the Tasmanian events, the culmination of a great series, will produce some close racing and an exciting experience for our guests.”
Entries for the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Tasmanian State Title:
1. Edake – Jeff Carter, Middle Harbour Yacht Club
2. Estate Master – Lisa & Martin Hill, MHYC
3. Local Mocean – Trevor & Steven Richardson, Royal Geelong Yacht Club
4. POW - Michael Cooper, Craig Clifford and Richard Fader, RYCT
5. Transfusion – Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, MHYC
6. Voodoo Chile – Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark, RYCT
7. War Games – Wayne Banks-Smith, RYCT
8. Wired – Stephen Boyes, RYCT
Photo : Dane Lojek