The Australian Farr 40 class’ five-part 2013/14 series will commence this weekend with the Aberdeen Asset Management Queensland State Title, 24th-27th October.
There is no qualifying regatta for the hardy one-design crews. When they leave their winter hibernation for Queensland’s warm spring sun, past experience plus a raft of crew talent and each Farr 40’s training regime in the lead-up will make the difference.
Thursday’s twilight race precedes three days of stiff class rivalry on Moreton Bay off the host club, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, between six entries representing three states.
Howard and David Lambourne’s Farr 40 Lambourdini, Russell McCart’s Night Nurse and John Leman’s Bobby’s Girl make up a strong Queensland contingent looking to play the local edge.
Seasoned competitors and usually first or second on the points table is defending Australian champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion and Lang Walker’s Kokomo. Transfusion sailed north from Sydney while Walker chose the highway, trucking his two Farr 40s called Kokomo to Queensland for the opening round.
Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clarke’s Tasmanian entry Voodoo Chile is in fact Walker’s spare Kokomo chartered, saving the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania crew a logistical challenge transporting their 40-footer across four state borders.
Voodoo Chile’s co-owner Lloyd Clarke admits the crew enjoyed a spell over the cold winter months. The same team that contested the class’ national title back in February in Sydney, bar one newcomer, reunited last weekend in Hobart for a pre-season shakedown.
The close to seven-year partnership between Hunn and Clarke is a well-oiled program. The owners rotate helming duties, the other stepping off the boat when it’s not their turn. 'This helps us meet the maximum weight limit, and reduces the average age on the boat,' laughs Clarke. 'This is how we run the program; it stops us getting in the way of the young fellas running around.'
John Leman has owned RQYS based Bobby’s Girl for three years, joining the competitive side of Farr 40 racing prior to the last Queensland state title.
He plans to leave the rest of the series to his southern classmates and remains level-headed about his chances against the gun professional Sydney crews, even on home turf.
'It will be great racing against the interstate guys but I’m being realistic; I’m there to make up the numbers. I’ve got a 17 year-old boat, one of the originals out of the States.'
On the Farr 40 design he says, 'They are fantastic, you can race competitively in a mixed fleet and enter one-design events for sharpening skills. There are no excuses because they are all so similar. I’ve learnt a heck of a lot racing a Farr 40.'
Leman says the change of seasons usually delivers mixed conditions to the Bay. Hotter days typically mean a stronger NE sea breeze; otherwise the quality fleet can expect sou’easters at this time of year.
The long range forecast shows the most breeze on Friday with decreasing SE winds from overnight gusts of 30 knots.
Entries for the Aberdeen Asset Management QLD State Title:
1. Bobby’s Girl – John Leman (RQYS)
2. Kokomo – Lang Walker (CYCA)
3. Lambourdini – David and Howard Lambourne (RQYS)
4. Night Nurse – Russell McCart (RQYS)
5. Transfusion – Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (MHYC)
6. Voodoo Chile – Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark (chartering a Kokomo boat) (RYCT)
The 2013/14 Aberdeen Asset Management Australian Farr 40 Series comprises five events:
• QLD State Title: 24th – 27th October 2013, RQYS
• Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 One Design Trophy: November 30th and December 1st 2013, MHYC
• NSW State Title: ninth – 12th January 2014, RSYS
• Tasmanian State Title: 15th – 17th February 2014, RYCT
• John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals: 19th – 22nd February 2014, RYCT
Principal sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management is proud to be associated with the Australian Farr 40 class for the second of a multi-year agreement.
Managing director Brett Jollie says, 'We are looking forward to another strong season of competitive racing and we are very pleased to see new owners generating greater levels of participation.
'Aberdeen Asset Management is recognised globally as a strong supporter of sailing and in Australia we are enjoying a partnership with the Farr 40s that creates unique opportunities for our clients and staff.'
Winner of last season’s QLD state title was Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion, convincingly launching the season and continuing their dominant form to be crowned 2012/13 Australian champion.
Australian Farr 40 website
by Lisa Ratcliff / Farr 40 Media
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9:12 PM Tue 22 Oct 2013GMT
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