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New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta - Barking Mad leads Farr 40 entries

by Tink Chambers on 12 Jun 2013
Skipper Jim Richardosn and his crew aboard Barking Mad lead the Farr 40 Internatiional Circuit Championship after three events. Richardson will be sailing out of his home port of Newport, RI in the 159th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. Lillo Mazzetti
Farr 40s are set to take part in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta with Jim Richardson and the Barking Mad crew being amongst the leading entries for the class. Jim Richardson has enjoyed tremendous success competing in Farr 40 events out of Newport, RI. Richardson and his crew aboard Barking Mad captured the class North American Championship last year on the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Richardson also counts a couple Newport Gold Cup and New York Yacht Club Race Week regattas as victories. Richardson, who lists Newport as home port and maintains a vacation residence in the historic seaport, will try to take advantage of his local knowledge when the Farr 40 class gathers for the 159th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. 'This is our home port and we have done pretty well here over the years. It's not the most straight-forward place to sail, but we think we've developed a pretty good feel for the conditions off Newport,' Richardson said. Newport served as home for the America's Cup throughout the years the Auld Mug was held by the New York Yacht Club. As one of the premier sailing venues in the United States, Newport has hosted countless major regattas and will serve as lone United States stopover port for the next Volvo Ocean Race. 'I think the best part about Newport is that it's such a great location to go sailing. It's a beautiful harbor and the scenery out on the water is spectacular,' Richardson said. 'In many ways, Newport is to sailing what Augusta National is to golf. There is such a tremendous sense of history here because so many great regattas have been held and so many famous sailors have passed through.'

This is the fourth event on the Farr 40 International Circuit Championship and Barking Mad maintains a tenuous one-point lead over Enfant Terrible. Richardson steered his boat to victory at Quantum Key West 2013 and most recently placed third at the East Coast Championship off Annapolis. 'We have looked at the season as a process. Our goal is to continue to learn and improve at each regatta with the goal of peaking in August for the world championship,' Richardson said. 'We did not sail very well in Miami, but I thought we performed much better in Annapolis. We just need to keep making progress.' Richardson said renowned tactician Terry Hutchinson is regaining his touch aboard a Farr 40 after spending almost two years sailing catamarans as part of Artemis Racing, Challenger of Record for the America's Cup. Hutchinson most recently called tactics for Quantum Racing, which won the Barcelona stop of the 52 Super Series. 'Terry is quickly reacquainting himself with our class and monohull racing in general. With each regatta, he is regaining a feel for the time, speed and distance of the boats,' Richardson said. Skipper Alberto Rossi and his team aboard Enfant Terrible come into Newport on a bit of a roll. The Italian entry finished strong to place third at the Miami Beach Invitational then sailed brilliantly in capturing the East Coast Championship. America's Cup veteran Vasco Vascotto did a good job of figuring out the tricky conditions of the Chesapeake Bay as Enfant Terrible placed first or second in seven of 10 races in posting a low score of 26 points. Groovederci owner-driver John Demourkas was thrilled to place second in the East Coast Championship after finishing fifth in Key West and seventh in Miami. Demourkas and tactician Cameron Appleton were in sync while the overall boat speed was improved. Groovederci enters the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta tied with Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) with 124 total points for the season. 'We are looking to build off what we accomplished in Annapolis. We are anxious to see if that was a fluke or a sign that things are moving forward,' said Demourkas, a resident of Santa Barbara, CA. 'I've always enjoyed sailing out of Newport. The Narragansett Bay can be tricky in terms of shifts and currents while the ocean course is challenging because of the sea state. We are excited to be here and looking forward to sailing in a great venue.'

Defending world champion Flash Gordon 6 rejoins the fray after sitting out the East Coast Championship. Skipper Helmut Jahn and crew are very much in the mix for the circuit championship after placing second in Key West and fourth in Miami. Geoff Stagg, Farr 40 class manager, said the standings will shuffle following the NYYC Annual as each owner will be allowed to drop a regatta. 'This is certainly a pivotal event as we've got a great battle going on between Barking Mad and Enfant Terrible while Struntje Light, Groovederci and Flash Gordon are all lurking,' Stagg said. 'There is a lot of pressure on this regatta and I expect it will be a defining moment as we set up for the final event at Edgartown.' Next up is the Farr 40 North American Championship, being hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club (Mass.) from July 24-27. That regatta will complete the circuit championship in advance of the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, being held Aug. 27-30 off Newport, RI. There will be two days of buoy racing for the Farr 40 class in advance of the NYYC Annual Regatta. After fighting it out on Narragansett Bay on Thursday and Friday, the Fabulous Forties will compete on the same course as several other one-design classes as part of the Annual Regatta on Saturday and Sunday. 'It's an interesting dynamic as we'll be sailing by ourselves for a couple days then with a much larger fleet over the weekend,' Richardson said. 'We'll be sailing upwind and downwind through other classes once the Annual Regatta begins and that certainly factors into the strategy. You have to manage boat traffic a lot more, which means you might tack or jibe at times that you might not normally do so.'

Nightshift (Kevin McNeil, Annapolis) will compete in its second straight regatta while Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) returns to action after missing the East Coast Championship. Flojito y Cooperando, a Mexican entry co-owned by Bernardo Minkow and Julian Fernandez, will make its season debut after last appearing at the 2012 World Championship in Chicago. Rounding out the nine-boat Farr 40 fleet is newcomer Oakcliff-Farr 40-1, skippered by Seth Cooley. That entry will be crewed almost entirely of current or former students with Oakcliff Sailing, a high-performance racing school dedicated to building American leaders through sailing experiences. 'Our goal is to transform these youngsters into elite sailors and there is no better training ground than the Farr 40 class,' said Jay Kehoe, who will be aboard the Oakcliff boat as coach.

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