After tearing up race courses on the East Coast for the past two years, there has been a change of scenery for the grand prix Farr 40s as action in the Northern Hemisphere has relocated to the west coast for 2014. The next chapter in the class' history will be written this week at the Rolex Farr 40 North Americans when the 19 registered owner-drivers go head-to-head over four days of racing (May 14-17) hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
To handicap the field, one needs look no further than the 2014 season opener held at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in March: Alberto Rossi and his Italian team on Enfant Terrible scored the first win of the season to pick up right where they left off last fall when they won the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Newport, R.I. Annapolis' Kevin McNeil at the helm of Nightshift, who was second at the worlds (after losing a tie-breaker to Rossi), finished behind New York's Alexander Roepers, on Plenty, to round out the top-three at the CBYC event.
Not to be undervalued are two class stalwarts: Chicago's Helmut Jahn on Flash Gordon 6, the2012 Farr 40 World Champion, or Wolfgang Schaefer on the German-flagged Struntje light. When you factor in the local threats, including Jeff Janov, who drove Dark Star to the Rolex Farr 40 North American title when it was last held in Long Beach, in 2011, the California tour is shaping up to be full of heated competition.
'It is really great to see the Farr 40s again sailing on the west coast of the US again,' said San Francisco's Norman Davant, tactician on Twisted. 'The boat is still today one of the best one-design platforms in the world to race and I look forward to getting back into the class. We are really looking forward to the summer of racing culminating in the Rolex Big Boat Series to determine the fleet champion, and then the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, both of which will be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club.'