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Farr 40 European Championship - Australians place fourth

by Erin McKnight on 17 Oct 2011
Transfusion and Enfant Terrible - UNO Farr 40 European Championship 2011 Osman Ugur
UNO European Farr 40 Championship - Overnight the Australian Farr 40 team Transfusion have placed fourth overall. Former Farr 40 World Champion Jim Richardson and his Barking Mad (USA) crew claimed overall victory in the prestigious event, which saw all teams slip-up at some point in the testing conditions.

The regatta, held in Istanbul, Turkey was plagued with light winds and difficult wave conditions early on, until days three and four saw some exhilarating racing in fresh 20 knot Nor-Easterlies. Top teams representing Europe, USA and Australia competed in the event, with the Championship being the crown of the European Farr 40 Circuit.

Current Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and his crew aboard Transfusion peaked early, leading the regatta on equal points on day one with Enfant Terrible (ITA). However the light winds on day two took their toll on the Aussies, with Enfant Terrible consolidating their lead on the fleet, and Struntje Light (GER) propelling into second place. By day four, consistency paid off for Barking Mad who had averaged third place in most of the eight races, and finished with the lowest overall score to claim victory.

Of the conditions early in the series, Belgiorno-Nettis said 'The wave conditions were particularly tricky both upwind, on the starboard tack, and on the downwind run on port in terms of steering, so it was quite a challenge at the helm just to keep the boat moving the whole time. I personally like the challenge of stronger conditions…. but whatever is served up here we are going to enjoy it because we are in Istanbul which is a wonderful part of the world.'

Belgiorno-Nettis was recently announced as a finalist for Male Sailor of the Year, to be awarded later this month at the Australian Yachting Awards. He is joined by fellow Farr 40 sailors Malcolm Page, Nathan Outteridge and Tom Slingsby, who are also finalists for the Award, and Michael Blackburn who is nominated in the Sports Professional category. Nathan Outteridge has also been announced as a finalist for ISAF World Sailor of the Year.

The strength of competition within the Australian Farr 40 fleet is demonstrated by the high calibre of sailors currently involved in Farr 40 class racing. The friendly rivalry within the fleet will be put on display when the Australian Farr 40 season begins in two weeks, with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Farr 40 Mini Regatta on 29 Farr 40 Australia Farr 40 Class Association Farr 40 European Fleet website Farr 40 European Championship website
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