Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - RG

Key West 2013 - Farr 40 Friendly competition

by Bill Wagner on 1 Feb 2013
Farr 40 fleet at Key West 2013 © Enfant Terrible/ZGN
Key West 2013 not only provided Farr 40 sailors with platform for competition but reasons to mingle with friends at the dock after an intense week of racing.

When it was all over, after a wild and windy week at Quantum Key West 2013, Jim Richardson bought a mudslide for John Demourkas and two veteran owners discussed another regatta filled with close competition.

Such is the nature of the iconic Farr 40 class, which features heavyweight fights out on the water and a Corinthian spirit back at the dock. Barking Mad and Groovederci were docked just a few slips apart at The Galleon and it was a daily occurrence to see the two crews mingling after racing. Richardson and Demourkas exchanged congratulations when warranted while rival tacticians Terry Hutchinson and Cameron Appleton compared notes about decisions made out on the course.

'What makes this class so special is the camaraderie that exists among the owner-drivers. They are fierce competitors, but also true gentlemen,' said Geoff Stagg, longtime manager of the Farr 40 one-design fleet.



'Things can get quite heated and intense on the race course, but that never carries over to the dock because of the respect these owners have for each other.'

Richardson and his crew aboard Barking Mad came out on top after a typically back-and-forth week of racing. America’s Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson called tactics for Richardson, a Newport (RI) resident who has now captured Key West on three occasions.

'It’s always special to win at a venue like Key West. This is a world renowned regatta and the conditions are always very dynamic. Between the currents and the shifts, it is extremely challenging,' Richardson said. 'Our goal was to stay consistent and not make any major mistakes. We did not try to hit many home runs.'

Barking Mad took the lead in the six-boat fleet on Tuesday and held it the rest of the way despite stiff competition from runner-up Flash Gordon (Helmut Jahn, Chicago) and third-place Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneburg, Germany). Volvo Ocean Race veteran Rob Salthouse trimmed the jib while two other pros – main trimmer Skip Baxter and bowman Bernard Labro – played key roles as Barking Mad won two races and placed second or third in six others in totaling 21 points. However, Richardson said a pair of fourths may have proved decisive as Barking Mad finished five points ahead of defending world champion Flash Gordon.

'Fighting back when you’re in a bad situation is huge because every point counts in this class. There were a couple races when we could have easily finished last, but fought back to fourth,' he said.

Linda Lindquist-Bishop (pit), John Dolan (downwind trimmer), Ted Hackney (offside trimmer), Lindsay Bartel (sewer) and Chris Fortin (mast) completed the crew aboard Barking Mad, which earned the Lewmar/Navtec Boat of the Day honor on Tuesday. Hutchinson, who rejoined the program after a year layoff, was proud the team closed the regatta with consecutive seconds on Friday.

'Jim sailed his best day of the entire week. He was really on his game today. As a team, we sailed to win, sailed with conviction,' Hutchinson said. 'I’m not surprised at all. We have a good team with really good sailors. Our expectations are to always win.'

It was incredibly close racing with all six boats routinely rounding the first windward mark within 30 seconds of each other. Remarkably, the boat that rounded the top mark in first place ultimately did not win in eight of the 10 races held. 'It was very tough to hold a lead because you just got pounded into submission by the trailing boats,' Richardson said. 'All the boats are so well sailed. There could not have been any closer racing.'



Groovederci opened with a pair of seconds on Monday to take the early lead and Demourkas was still in second after six races were completed by Wednesday. However, the California entry suffered a pair of last place finishes on Thursday and that opened the door for others.

Flash Gordon got off to a tough start and stood in fifth place after two days of action. However, Jahn, with Ian Williams aboard as tactician, began a steady ascension that was aided by a strong Thursday that saw him post a 1-2 score line to take over second place, five points behind Barking Mad. Flash sailed well on Friday and won the last race, but was unable to cut into Barking Mad’s lead.

Jahn, a Chicago-based architect, was pleased with the runner-up result considering Flash Gordon had just four of its regular crew members for the regatta. Evan Jahn, who normally handles starts and upwind legs for his father, was unavailable as was tactician Bill Hardesty.

'We had a couple bad races early, but by Thursday and Friday we were coming on strong. I think if there had been one more day we might have won,' Jahn said. 'We improved our starts as the week went along, which was crucial in a six-boat fleet. We are the reigning world champion and I think we sailed like a world champion considering we had six new people on the boat.'

It was also a solid week for Struntje Light, which placed third with 35 points. The German entry won three races, but could not avoid those fifths and sixths that Richardson noted were so costly. Former Olympian Jonathan McKee was a late replacement as tactician and quickly developed a rapport with Schaefer.

'Key West was again a great event with fabulous weather conditions,' Schaefer said. 'This result is okay for us as we had nice boat speed and our positioning on the race course was decent. On the down side, we had some problems with our starting procedure that gave us some disadvantages. We know where we had our problems and are sure we will have solved very soon.'



Charisma, skippered by Nico Poons with Morgan Reeser as tactician, finished fourth – just two points behind Struntje Light and four ahead of Groovederci. The Farr 40 class will gather again in Miami the weekend of March 13-16 with nine boats expected on the start line.

'These owners and crews are all good friends and you can feel every time that they like to race together,' Schaefer said. 'This spirit is exceptional and I personally haven’t seen such camaraderie and high level competition anywhere else in our sailing Farr40 Key West 2013

North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Key West 2013 - Melges 24 - Third time a charm
Brian Porter steers Full Throttle to third Melges 24 championship in Key West Race Week Key West Race Week 2013. Brian Porter and his team comprised of tactician Andy Burdick, Sam Rogers and Matthew Woodsworth steered Full Throttle to excellent racing all week to win the Melges 24 crown over runners-up Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog and Bora Gulari aboard West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. This is Porter's third victory ever in Key West.
Posted on 26 Jan 2013
Key West 2013 - Melges 32 - Tie-breaking end
Andrea Pozzi's Bombarda held steadfast and true to win, and now proudly wears the title of Melges 32 Key West Champion Key West 2013 delivered spectacular sailing conditions throughout the week, allowing the crew of the Melges 32 fleet to showcase their true racing skills. After ten races, Andrea Pozzi’s Bombarda captured the crown after winning the tiebreaker over Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca, which also collected 37 points.
Posted on 26 Jan 2013
Key West 2013 - 52 Super Series - Italians deliver at right time
Azzurra TP52 wins once again on American waters thirty years after her debut in Newport, Rhode Island Key West Race Week 2013 has seen a neck-to-neck battle between Azzurra and Ran Racing over the first four days of racing until the crew of the Italian boat picked things up at the right time. Azzurra TP52 bagged the first leg of 52 Super Series after collecting 24 points while Interlodge nabbed second place with 29 points. Ran Racing collapsed on the final day, taking the third spot on the podium.
Posted on 26 Jan 2013
Key West 2013 - Weeklong Epic
Key West Race Week 2013 drew to a close on Friday with smiles on the faces of every participating sailor Key West Race Week 2013 drew to a close on Friday with smiles on the faces of every participating sailor following a spectacular week of racing off the coast of Miami.
Posted on 26 Jan 2013
Key West 2013 - Day of Champagne Sailing
Key West 2013 has already completed four days of spectacular racing off the beautiful beaches of Miami Key West 2013 has already completed four days of spectacular racing off the beautiful beaches of Miami, producing action-packed races and tight finishes across different classes.
Posted on 25 Jan 2013
Key West Race Week 2013 – 52 Super Series - Tight till the end
The current neck-to-neck battle between 52 Super Series leaders Azzurra and Ran Racing is simply exceptional Key West Race Week has seen a number of tight finishes over the years, but the current neck-to-neck battle between Azzurra and Ran Racing is simply exceptional. After four days of racing, the top two boats remain in a deadlock on 21 points each while Quantum Racing still within striking distance on 22 points.
Posted on 25 Jan 2013
Key West 2013 – Melges 32 - Excellent racing on Day 4
Key West 2013 completed another day of racing for Melges 32 fleet with Bombarda still lording on top of the standings Key West Race Week 2013 completed another day of racing for the Melges 32 fleet with Andrea Pozzi’s Bombarda still lording on top of the standings while Keisuke Suzuki’s Swing and Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca found themselves in ideal position for a podium finish after 10 races.
Posted on 25 Jan 2013
Key West Race Week 2013 - Heavy air overwhelms 'Moving Day'
Key West Race Week 2013 has already reached its halfway mark on Wednesday Key West Race Week 2013 has already reached its halfway mark on Wednesday, which brought the strongest winds so far of the five-day regatta.
Posted on 24 Jan 2013