New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta for the Farr 40 Class concluded in New York today. There's a lot of history in the Farr 40 class. None is grander than the time-honored tradition that almost every regatta comes down to the last leg of the last race on the last day. It happened again at the 159th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, presented by Rolex. Enfant Terrible and Barking Mad were tied on points as the two boats sailed to the finish line under spinnaker out on the Atlantic Ocean. Enfant Terrible needed to hold second place in order to win the regatta. Meanwhile, Barking Mad had to pick off one boat and move into fourth place to pull out the victory.
Skipper Alberto Rossi (far right) and the Enfant Terrible crew celebrate their dramatic victory in Farr 40 class at the 159th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, presented by Rolex - Farr 40 Class New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
Enfant Terrible did its job by crossing the line just behind first place Charisma. Skipper Jim Richardson and his crew aboard Barking Mad gave a great effort, but came up a couple boat lengths short of passing Groovederci and had to settle for fifth.
Those finishes gave Enfant Terrible, the Italian entry skippered by Alberto Rossi, its second straight comeback victory in the highly-competitive class. Enfant Terrible won the tiebreaker with Barking Mad based on more second place finishes during the four-day regatta. It was an incredibly close event as third place Charisma, skippered by Nico Poons of Monaco, finished jsut one point behind Enfant Terrible and Barking Mad.
Rossi, tactician Vasco Vascotto and crew pulled a similar magic act at the East Coast Championship in May - jumping from third to first on the final day.
'For as long as I have been sailing in this class, it seems like regattas are always decided by two points or less. It's a tough, tough class and I've been on both sides of it,' Vascotto said. 'Our crew had a never-give-up attitude. We said last night and again this morning that we could win this regatta. I'm very proud of what we did because we performed when the pressure was on.'
Enfant Terrible entered the final day of racing in third place, five points behind Barking Mad. The Italian contingent posted a pair of seconds on Sunday while the Newport entry put up a fourth and a fifth. Both boats had one bullet in the series so it came down to number of seconds and Enfant Terrible won that battle, five-two.
'It was a fantastic day, a fantastic week,' Rossi said. 'We started from behind and had to battle back. Day by day, we became more consistent. This class is so close and so competitive. It's so hard to stay ahead, so easy to lose positions. To win a regatta in this class is always a fantastic accomplishment.'
Owner driver Jim Richardson and his crew aboard Barking Mad increased their lead in the 2013 Farr 40 International Circuit by placing second overall at the NYYC Annual Regatta - Farr 40 Class New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
Barking Mad led at the end of racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but not on the day that really mattered. Richardson, a part-time Newport resident and New York Yacht Club member, said he was caught off-guard when Enfant Terrible got on the tail of Barking Mad during pre-start maneuvers for Race ten.
'Obviously, we're disappointed about how things turned out. We sailed well all week and sort of faltered on the final day,' Richardson said. 'I wasn't completely expecting the match racing game we had during the start. Enfant started chasing us around and things got a bit confused. We started on the wrong end of the line and that put us behind the eight ball.'
Barking Mad moved from ninth to fifth during the first upwind leg, but could not pick up the one additional place it needed to avoid the tiebreaker situation with Enfant.
'It was our best regatta of the year in many respects. Everyone on the boat hates to lose, but there are still a lot of positives we can take away from this,' Barking Mad tactician Terry Hutchinson said. 'We sailed well enough to win the regatta, but things just didn't go our way. We're working toward August, and I'm very optimistic on that front.'
Barking Mad did increase its lead in the 2013 Farr 40 International Circuit after four events. Going into the Rolex North American Championships (July 24-27, Edgartown, Mass.), Barking Mad has 91 points while Enfant Terrible has 93. Richardson said winning the season would be nice, but the ultimate goal is to capture the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, being held Aug. 27-30 back in Newport.
'That is somewhat of a consolation,' Richardson said of the circuit standings. 'The real consolation will come in August. That's the one we really want.'
Charisma, skippered by Nico Poons of Monaco, put forth an impressive performance at the NYYC Annual Regatta by winning five of the 10 races held in Farr 40 class - Farr 40 Class New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
Poons and his crew on Charisma turned in a terrific performance at the New York Yacht Club Annual regatta - winning five of ten races. Olympic gold medalist Morgan Reeser called tactics aboard Charisma, which displayed tremendous boat speed throughout.
'We are very, very happy. We were going fast and Morgan made some good choices as far as picking corners,' Poons said. 'Of course, this result gives the team a lot of confidence. However, we must take further steps in order to win a whole regatta.'
Poons and Reeser agreed that a pre-regatta training session with renowned sailing instructor Ed Adams was very helpful for the Charisma crew. 'A lot of good things came together this week. We got good starts and went the right way most of the time,' Reeser said.
Annapolis skipper Kevin McNeil posted his best finish at a major Farr 40 regatta, steering Nightshift to fourth overall. California owner-drive John Demourkas closed the series in positive fashion by winning Race nine and placing fourth in Race ten to move from sixth to fifth in the final standings.
Perhaps no boat gained more from four days of Farr 40 racing in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta than Oakcliff, a class newcomer skippered by Seth Cooley. That entry was comprised by current and former students of Oakcliff Sailing, a high-performance racing school dedicated to building American leaders through sailing experiences.
'I think the team got significantly better over the course of the regatta. This class is phenomenal for teaching these young sailors,' said Oakcliff Training Program Director Jay Kehoe, who was onboard in a coaching capacity. 'There is no other class in the world that helps our students learn the lessons we did during these four days. To have them mixing with the heroes of our sport such as Terry Hutchinson and Cameron Appleton is exactly what the Oakcliff program is designed to do so mission accomplished.'
New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
1, Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Ancona, Italy, 2-4-8-4-1-2-2-5-2-2=32
2, Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Newport, RI, 4-1-3-2-2-5-3-3-4-5=32
3, Charisma, Nico Poons, Monaco, 1-8-1-1-5/TL-7-1-2-6-1=33
4, Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, MD, 6-2-2-7-5/TL-1-6-4-3-6=42
5, Groovederci, John Demourkas, 3-3-5-3-5/TL-8-5-6-1-4=43
6, Struntje Light, Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneburg, Germany, 7-6-4-5-5/TL-3-4-1-8-7=50
7, Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, 5-5-7-6-5/TL-4-8-8-7-3=58
8, Flojito y Cooperando, Bernardo Minkow-Julian Fernandez, Mexico City, 8-7-6-8-3-6-7-7-5-8=65
9, Oakcliff-Farr 40-1, Seth Cooley, Oyster Bay, NY, 9-9-9-9-5/TL-9-9-9-9-9=86