Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Tough

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

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring - GenericNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Six months suspended sentence sought against top multihull sailor
A hearing in the Lorient Criminal Court has heard the Prosecution call for a six month suspended sentence A hearing in the Lorient Criminal Court has hear the Prosecution call for a six month suspended sentence against Yann Guichard (FRA) after an accident on June 16, 2015 at the restart of the Volvo Ocean Race in Lorient. Guichard, one of the world's most experienced multihull sailors was skipper of Spindrift 2, formerly Banque Populaire V, and at 131ft or 40 metres is the world's largest racing m
Posted today at 6:40 am
26 boats ready to set sail for Transat Québec Saint-Malo Ocean Race
Things are heating up at the port of Québec and the Quai Paquet wharf across the river in Lévis Things are heating up at the port of Québec and the Quai Paquet wharf across the river in Lévis, with just days to go until the festivities commence for the lead-up to the ninth edition of the prestigious Transat Québec Saint-Malo ocean race, presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis.
Posted today at 3:03 am
National birthdays & sailing—Sailing news from North America & beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 28 Jun
The Extreme Sailing Series™ heads for Madeira
The Act in Madeira, the 2015 “World’s Leading Island Destination” replaces Istanbul as the Host Venue for Act six. The Act in Madeira, the 2015 “World’s Leading Island Destination” replaces Istanbul as the Host Venue for Act six, originally planned for the same dates and will be run in partnership with Madeira Tourism and the Regional Sailing Association.
Posted on 28 Jun
Provezza’s pair of threes trumps 52 Super Series fleet in Porto Cervo
Ergin Imre’s team bounced right back today opening the race with a nice pair of solid third places to lead the regatta. After two good races, Porto Cervo delivering a consistent 9-11kts of NNW’ly breeze and warm sunshine, and Provezza leads Rán Racing by two points. Niklas Zennström’s crew finished second behind Bronenosec in the first race and sixth in the second race which was won by Quantum Racing.
Posted on 28 Jun
Iffy day for Azzurra at Settimana delle Bocche
It was iffy day for Azzurra who ended at first day of racing event that is also the second stage of the 52 Super Series After the strong north westerly Mistral winds that kept the fleet of twelve TP52s at port yesterday and eliminated the chances of a practice race, today there were lovely conditions in the Costa Smeralda with north westerly breezes at eight to 12 knots.
Posted on 28 Jun
TP52 Super Series Porto Cervo – Races one and two images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races one and two
Posted on 28 Jun
A Q&A with Simon Parker about the Clipper Race and trans-USA cycling
Sail-World.com talked with Simon Parker to hear about his audacious sailing and cycling adventure with the Clipper Race. Few adventures top crossing oceans, unless one also involves a multi-sport element such as climbing mountains. Simon Parker, a British journalist, raced across the Pacific Ocean with the Clipper Round The World Race, followed by a transcontinental bike ride, before rejoining his mates aboard Garmin for a transatlantic race. Sail-World.com recently caught up with him to learn more.
Posted on 28 Jun
Mixed fortunes for Clipper Race fleet as Atlantic High causes pain
The frontrunners have managed to escape the grasp of the light winds associated with the ridge of the Azores High As the front of the fleet heads north the wind has been building, and the battle for positions is intense at the make or break stage of the race with roughly 1300 nautical miles to go until Derry-Londonderry.
Posted on 28 Jun
Volvo Ocean Race 'back on track'
Cape of Good Hope and Australia to port Not since the 2005–06 Volvo Ocean Race has the fleet roared east from the tip of South Africa across the Southern Ocean, but the course now described for the 2017-18 edition has returned the race to its roots.
Posted on 28 Jun