Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational - Close finishes on final day

by Bill Wagner on 17 Mar 2013
Skipper Wolfgang Schaefer and the Struntje Light team celebrate their victory back at the dock. - Miami Beach Invitational William Wagner
Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational 2013 - Most Farr 40 regattas comes down to the last leg of the last race on the last day. This one was even closer than that!

The Miami Beach Invitational was decided by two incredibly close finishes that happened just seconds apart. First, Enfant Terrible edged Plenty by a bow length in the battle for first. No sooner had those boats crossed the line than Struntje Light nipped Flash Gordon 6 by less than half a boat length in the fight for third.

Those two results made all the difference as skipper Wolfgang Schaefer and his team on Struntje Light scored a narrow one-point victory over Plenty. Had either of those two head-to-head battles gone the other way, skipper Alex Roepers and the boys aboard Plenty would have been the overall winners.

'That is exactly the way we like it. Very close, very exciting racing,' said Schaefer, who earned his first Farr 40 class victory since the 2010 Sardinia Cup.

It was an impressive performance by Struntje Light, which led at the end of racing all four days of the regatta. Peter Holmberg called tactics as Schaefer steered the German entry to a pair of first place finishes and three runner-up results in the 10-race series to post a low score of 31 points.

'It feels great. We are very, very happy,' said Schaefer, a surgeon who resides in Lueneburg, Germany. 'We were a little bit worried because we had old sails, but we had good speed downwind and Peter did a tremendous job the whole regatta. We also have very good trimmers and they make life easy for me.'

Schaefer’s crew includes five Italians in Massimo Bortoletto (main trimmer), Cesare Bozzetti (jib trimmer), Francesco Coari (mast), Lorenzo de Felice (downwind trimmer) and Matteo de Luca (foredeck). Angela Schaefer served as navigator for her husband while Daniel Zenker is the other German aboard.

'It was a hard-fought win and those always taste the best,' said Holmberg, a veteran professional from the U.S. Virgin Islands. 'We had very tricky conditions out there all week. I think the key was to get a feel for what the wind was doing on a particular day. It required a loose style of sailing and be ready to make adjustments because things could change from one leg to the next.'

Holmberg praised Schaefer for his steady hand on the helm, saying 'Wolfgang did a great job. He has that surgeon’s style on the tiller – very precise, very focused.'

Making victory even sweeter was the fact Schaefer shared the experience with his wife, whom he called a terrific sailor.' The couple has been sailing together for 45 years and has won all sorts of major events such as the Sydney-Hobart Race and the Fastnet Race to name a few.

It was a tough outcome for Roepers and the Plenty team to swallow as they were oh-so-close to winning the regatta. Plenty had a tremendous final day with results of second and third, but will regret getting caught and passed by Enfant Terrible at the very end. Plenty rounded the second windward mark about a boat length ahead of the Italian entry, but the two boats split on the run and when they converged at the finish the positions had switched.


'It was very difficult to lose the regatta in the final 100 yards. I really thought we had it, but Peter Reggio told me that Enfant Terrible beat us by four feet,' said Roepers, referring to the principal race officer who had to call the remarkably close finish.

Plenty won three races and finished fourth or better in five others in totaling 32 points. A runner-up finish was rather impressive considering the team had not sailed together since the 2012 World Championships in mid September. Annapolis-based pro Chris Larson called tactics for Roepers, who sailed under the banner of his Atlantic Investment Management.

'We feel good about the boat and the new sails. The whole crew came together and competed hard all week,' Roepers said. 'This is a good start to the season. We are looking forward to Annapolis and trying to build on this.'


Enfant Terrible was the clear-cut Boat of the Day with bullets in both races. Skipper Alberto Rossi and tactician Vasco Vascotto sorted out a rig tuning issue that led to some poor placements the first two days of the regatta, allowing the reigning world champions to finish strong by winning three of the last four races.

'We are really happy because we understand what the problem was with the boat. We solved the problem and came back to sail fast,' Rossi said. 'The crew worked really hard and really well. In my opinion, we were the fastest boat today.'

The Farr 40 class will reconvene for its next event the weekend of May 13-16 in Annapolis with competition being held on the Chesapeake Bay.

Miami Beach Invitational Standings:
1, Struntje Light, Wolgang Schaefer, Germany, 1-2-1-2-7-5-4-2-4-3=31
2, Plenty, Alex Roepers, New York, USA, 7-1-3-1-4-4-6-1-3-2=32
3, Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Italy, 4-5-7-5-2-6-1-3-1-1=35
4, Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, USA, 3-3-5-6-1-2-7-7-2-4=40
5, Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, Newport, USA, 6-6-4-3-3-1-2-4-7-7=43
6, Charisma, Nico Poons, Monaco, 2-7-2-4-6-7-3-6-6-5=48
7, Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, USA, Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational

Wildwind 2016 660x82InSunSport - NZNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug
Vendée Globe – Yann Eliès and his team relaunch 60-ft IMOCA in Lorient
Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses. Yann is now on the final stretch before the event and will be taking part in the three training courses organised at the Finistère Ocean Racing Centre in Port-la-Forêt (Brittany). He will also take part in the Azimut Trophy. Yann Eliès tells us about the work that has been done and what lies ahead in the final part of his preparation.
Posted on 26 Aug
Vendée Globe – A long trip between France and Iceland for Heerema
After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. After completing two solo transatlantic crossings in the spring, Pieter Heerema is currently on his third major trip. Thanks to this voyage from France to Iceland and back, the Dutch skipper is finding out more about No Way Back, the new generation IMOCA on which he will line up on 6th November
Posted on 26 Aug
Phoenix returns and Cayard is back for the TP52 World Championships
Richard Cohen will compete at the championships in Mahón, Menorca, with Phoenix, which will be skippered by Paul Cayard. The carefully assembled team includes a core group of sailors who have many years of experience in the class, but Cayard cautions that their initial objective is to learn and improve together in line with their long term goal, to be competitive on the 2017 52 Super Series.
Posted on 26 Aug
J22 World Championship - More Day 4 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 4 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 4 action.
Posted on 26 Aug
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 4 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 4 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 4 action.
Posted on 26 Aug