Owner/skippers and the crews of the elite Farr 40 keelboat class this weekend are racing on Sydney Harbour and the River Derwent in their final preparations for what promises to be a spectacular interstate regatta in Hobart on January 4-6.
Farr 40s crossing tacks on the River Derwent
Four prominent Sydney Farr 40s, including the 2011 world champion boat, Transfusion, will be sailed down to Hobart later this month to take on the locals in the inaugural Tasmanian championship for the one-design class.
In Sydney this weekend, five Farr 40s are contesting the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Trophy one-design regatta while in Hobart on Saturday another five Farr 40s will be racing in the final pre-Christmas Hobart Combined Clubs harbour series.
Among the fleet racing in Sydney, Transfusion (Guido Belgiorno-Nettis), Estate Master (Martin and Lisa Hill) and Edake (Jeff Carter), along with Sam Hills’ Forty, will be setting sail for Hobart to contest the Tasmanian championship. They are also expected to race in the King of the Derwent on January 2.
Transfusion will be heading south to Hobart
Bellerive Yacht Club will conduct the Tasmanian Farr 40 champion on the broad reaches of the River Derwent between Howrah and Taroona.
BYC is also hosting tomorrow’s Combined Clubs racing and expects all five local Farr 40s to line-up for two back-to-back races, although Stephen Boyes’ Wired dominates the pointscore in the Combined Club series. Out of 11 races sailed so far this summer, Wired has won seven, while Voodoo Chile (Lloyd Clark) has won two, War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith) and Tilford Auto Group (Hughie Lewis) one each.
Tomorrow’s racing will be the decider in all other fleets with just a handful of points separating the top-placed boats. In fact, in Group 6, Don’t Bug Me (Peter Bugg) and Kaiulani (Malcolm Cooper) are equal on 20 points with Another Toy (Greg Rowlings) on 22 points. Only five points separate the top seven boats on the scoreboard.
In Group 1, different boats head the pointscores in the three handicap categories going into the scheduled two final races.
Under PHS scoring Paul Boutchard’s J35 Mem is a clear leader on 10 points from Don Calvert’s Castro 40 Intrigue and Sally Rattle’s Archambault 35 Archie which are both on 19 points. The Farr 1104 Invincible (Darren Clark) heads the AMS scoring on nine points from Intrigue on 16 points and Archie on 20 points.
Under IRC scoring in Group 1, Intrigue has nine points, Invincible 11.5 and Martela (Tony Williams) 13.5 points.
After eight races only half a point separates the Lexcen 35 Hot August Night (Nat Morgan) on 15.5 points and Jigsaw (Neil Snare), 16 points in Group 2, with Trouble (Dave Willans) a close third overall on 17.5 points. Group 2 will also sail two races tomorrow to complete the series
In Group 4, after four races, John Lewis’ S111, Chicas, heads the leader board with 16.5 points from Justin Barr’s Rumbeat on 21 points, close followed by the SB20 Balios (Peter Langford) and Miss Conduct (Brian Fleming) on 25 points and Serica (Charles Peacock) on 25.5 points.
Group 4 also runs AMS results, with Rumbeat, six points, leading from Rod Viney’s Prion on 11 points and Robin White’s Xcite on 13 points going into the final races.
Fresh to strong northerly winds up to 20 knots are predicted for tomorrow afternoon’s racing, providing testing conditions for the final Combined Clubs racing before Christmas.