Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - All Risk

Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational - Close finishes on final day

by Bill Wagner on 17 Mar 2013
Skipper Wolfgang Schaefer and the Struntje Light team celebrate their victory back at the dock. - Miami Beach Invitational William Wagner
Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational 2013 - Most Farr 40 regattas comes down to the last leg of the last race on the last day. This one was even closer than that!

The Miami Beach Invitational was decided by two incredibly close finishes that happened just seconds apart. First, Enfant Terrible edged Plenty by a bow length in the battle for first. No sooner had those boats crossed the line than Struntje Light nipped Flash Gordon 6 by less than half a boat length in the fight for third.

Those two results made all the difference as skipper Wolfgang Schaefer and his team on Struntje Light scored a narrow one-point victory over Plenty. Had either of those two head-to-head battles gone the other way, skipper Alex Roepers and the boys aboard Plenty would have been the overall winners.

'That is exactly the way we like it. Very close, very exciting racing,' said Schaefer, who earned his first Farr 40 class victory since the 2010 Sardinia Cup.

It was an impressive performance by Struntje Light, which led at the end of racing all four days of the regatta. Peter Holmberg called tactics as Schaefer steered the German entry to a pair of first place finishes and three runner-up results in the 10-race series to post a low score of 31 points.

'It feels great. We are very, very happy,' said Schaefer, a surgeon who resides in Lueneburg, Germany. 'We were a little bit worried because we had old sails, but we had good speed downwind and Peter did a tremendous job the whole regatta. We also have very good trimmers and they make life easy for me.'

Schaefer’s crew includes five Italians in Massimo Bortoletto (main trimmer), Cesare Bozzetti (jib trimmer), Francesco Coari (mast), Lorenzo de Felice (downwind trimmer) and Matteo de Luca (foredeck). Angela Schaefer served as navigator for her husband while Daniel Zenker is the other German aboard.

'It was a hard-fought win and those always taste the best,' said Holmberg, a veteran professional from the U.S. Virgin Islands. 'We had very tricky conditions out there all week. I think the key was to get a feel for what the wind was doing on a particular day. It required a loose style of sailing and be ready to make adjustments because things could change from one leg to the next.'

Holmberg praised Schaefer for his steady hand on the helm, saying 'Wolfgang did a great job. He has that surgeon’s style on the tiller – very precise, very focused.'

Making victory even sweeter was the fact Schaefer shared the experience with his wife, whom he called a terrific sailor.' The couple has been sailing together for 45 years and has won all sorts of major events such as the Sydney-Hobart Race and the Fastnet Race to name a few.

It was a tough outcome for Roepers and the Plenty team to swallow as they were oh-so-close to winning the regatta. Plenty had a tremendous final day with results of second and third, but will regret getting caught and passed by Enfant Terrible at the very end. Plenty rounded the second windward mark about a boat length ahead of the Italian entry, but the two boats split on the run and when they converged at the finish the positions had switched.


'It was very difficult to lose the regatta in the final 100 yards. I really thought we had it, but Peter Reggio told me that Enfant Terrible beat us by four feet,' said Roepers, referring to the principal race officer who had to call the remarkably close finish.

Plenty won three races and finished fourth or better in five others in totaling 32 points. A runner-up finish was rather impressive considering the team had not sailed together since the 2012 World Championships in mid September. Annapolis-based pro Chris Larson called tactics for Roepers, who sailed under the banner of his Atlantic Investment Management.

'We feel good about the boat and the new sails. The whole crew came together and competed hard all week,' Roepers said. 'This is a good start to the season. We are looking forward to Annapolis and trying to build on this.'


Enfant Terrible was the clear-cut Boat of the Day with bullets in both races. Skipper Alberto Rossi and tactician Vasco Vascotto sorted out a rig tuning issue that led to some poor placements the first two days of the regatta, allowing the reigning world champions to finish strong by winning three of the last four races.

'We are really happy because we understand what the problem was with the boat. We solved the problem and came back to sail fast,' Rossi said. 'The crew worked really hard and really well. In my opinion, we were the fastest boat today.'

The Farr 40 class will reconvene for its next event the weekend of May 13-16 in Annapolis with competition being held on the Chesapeake Bay.

Miami Beach Invitational Standings:
1, Struntje Light, Wolgang Schaefer, Germany, 1-2-1-2-7-5-4-2-4-3=31
2, Plenty, Alex Roepers, New York, USA, 7-1-3-1-4-4-6-1-3-2=32
3, Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Italy, 4-5-7-5-2-6-1-3-1-1=35
4, Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, USA, 3-3-5-6-1-2-7-7-2-4=40
5, Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Newport, USA, 6-6-4-3-3-1-2-4-7-7=43
6, Charisma, Nico Poons, Monaco, 2-7-2-4-6-7-3-6-6-5=48
7, Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, USA, Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Phuket Raceweek 2016 660x82T Clewring AC72Guy Nowell - Red 660