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Southern Spars

Farr 400’s sail to success on two different continents

by Victoria Low on 16 Mar 2013
2013 HPR class Midwinter Championships Miami - Farr400 Rick Tomlinson © http://www.rick-tomlinson.com
Farr 400’s sailed to victory at keynote regattas on two different continents over the past weekend. In Australia, Matt Allen and his crew of Ichi Ban topped the 18 boat PHS Division 1 by two points after the four races sailed over Saturday and Sunday at the regatta which is one of the biggest keelboat regattas in the country, attracting more than 200 boats.

In Miami, racing off South Beach and Key Biscayne over four days of competition and eight races Dee Smith skippered and steered Team Premier to second place at the inaugural HPR Midwinter Championship, finishing with a flourish, taking three bullets to finish just one point behind the Carkeek 40 Spookie, owned and steered by Olympic silver medallist Steve Benjamin. Ian Gordon and team on George Collins’ Chessie Racing finished third, only two points behind Team Premier.

'We had a great final day when things just clicked a bit better. I got more into the wind shifts, there were less holes and it was just a little more settled. We got to the shifts better and all sailed well as a group..' Dee Smith smiled on the dock at Miami Beach Marina.

'It’s kind of funny in a way because our worst score was a fourth, which we made when we lost third by one second, and if we had held that third we would have won the regatta on countback. So I guess you could say we were missed first by one second, but there was a also a race we lost by only 25 seconds, so in fact it was great racing and I do have to say that the best sailed boat, Spookie, won. They were the more consistent and deserved to win it.'

Over the eight races the Farr 400’s won six of the eight races, Chessie Racing sharing the early lead in the event which is sailed under the new High Performance Rule.

'In the end the rule is working well now. For sure the best sailed boats were winning races and it was close, down to seconds usually. I can’t remember a series being closer. The Farr 400 is competing well now under the rule, getting owners good racing against the Carkeek 40’s which were designed a couple of years later, to the rule, while the Farr 400 is a more economic proposition, costing probably 40% less.'

For Matt Allen it is Ichi Ban’s second big win in Australian waters after triumphing at Hamilton Island on the Farr 400’s debut in August.

The winning boat is on show this coming weekend March 16-17 at the Club Marine Pittwater Sail Exop at the Royal Prince Alfred YC.
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