2013 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship - Day two
by Farr 40 Class Association on 26 Jul 2013
2013 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, hosted by the Farr 40 Class and the Edgartown Yacht Club, kicked off yesterday in more brochure-like conditions but today tested heavy-air boat handling skills and shuffled standings behind leader Nico Poons (Monaco) and his Charisma team, which-as it did yesterday-sailed smartly, winning the first race and placing second in the following two.
2013 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Gloomy skies and strong northeast winds weren't exactly what the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce had in mind as a treat for island guests today, but at least 11 teams of sailors appreciated it, since it meant three excellent races could be added to their score lines at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship.
'Today was quite tough, especially with the small waves; we were struggling upwind sometimes with our speed, but we like medium to heavy wind,' said Poons, a Swan 42 world champion who is in his fourth season of Farr 40 sailing. 'We've started working with a coach to help us with a lot of settings for the boat. Coaches make you aware of things you don't see yourself.'
Poons called his start at the committee boat end in race one 'splendid' and said it allowed his team to lead by the top mark and for the rest of the way around the twice-around windward leeward course. His start was not as memorable in the second race, and Jim Richardson's (Boston, Mass.) Barking Mad got the advantage at the pin end and went on to win that race. In the third race it was Helmut Jahn's (Chicago, Ill.) Flash Gordon that won, but nevertheless, Charisma and Barking Mad were head-to-head in battle, with Charisma passing Barking Mad on the last run to take second, leaving third for Barking Mad.
'It was real thin on making the pin in the second start,' said Richardson, 'but we shot around it and then we were gone. We had the advantage of the left and could tack and cross the fleet.' Barking Mad, by the end of the six-mile course, led Charisma over the finish line by almost a full minute. 'There are some times when you get ahead in sailing that where you want to go is no longer dictated by the fleet but by the wind and tide.'
Both Richardson and Poons said they'd continue sailing their own races tomorrow and not worry just yet about the numerical span between their scores, even though Barking Mad's performance today allowed the team to mathematically leap-frog Kevin McNeil's (Annapolis, Md.) Nightshift and Wolfgang Schaefer's (Lueneburg, GER) Struntje Light on the scoreboard.
'Normally the gap we have (eight points) would be big enough, but you never know,' said Poons. 'We are only half-way in the racing.'
About his victory in race three today, Flash Gordon's Helmut Jahn, the class's defending world champion, explained that yesterday his team fouled other boats in both races (one incident resulting in a disqualification) and in today's first race they started prematurely and had to start again. 'We tried to do everything wrong,' he said with a chuckle, 'but today in race four (the second race of the day, in which they placed fifth) and race five (today's third race that they won), we finally got it together.'
Jahn added he is certain of a better performance at the class's world championships in August in Rhode Island. 'Better to do the mistakes now than in Newport,' he said.
Tomorrow's forecast is for 27-30 knots in the morning; therefore, the race committee has slated a one-hour delay in the start to 12:30.
Daily race reports and photos will be available online at the event website