Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Struntje Light leads strong fleet at Farr 40 East Coast Championship

by Bill Wagner on 15 May 2013
Struntje Light during the Farr 40 Miami Beach Invitational Sara Proctor http://www.sailfastphotography.com
Skipper Jim Richardson and his crew aboard Barking Mad captured Quantum Key West 2013 in convincing fashion. Owner-driver Wolfgang Schaefer and the Struntje Light team went wire-to-wire to win the Miami Beach Invitational.

Those two programs will continue their battle for the 2013 Farr 40 International Circuit Championship this week in Annapolis, MD. Barking Mad and Struntje Light headline a strong fleet of eight entries competing for the Farr 40 East Coast Championship, which is third event on the circuit and will be contested on the Chesapeake Bay.

Struntje Light, the German boat so capably steered by Schaefer, leads the circuit with 66 points after placing third in Key West prior to the victory in Miami. Barking Mad, always well driven by Richardson, is just two points behind with three events remaining.

'I think it’s going to be all on because this regatta will take us past the halfway mark of the circuit. Struntje Light and Barking Mad are setting the pace at the moment, but with three events remaining you cannot discount Enfant Terrible, Plenty and Flash Gordon,' Farr 40 class manager Geoff Stagg said.

This is the second straight spring the Farr 40 class has gathered in Annapolis, rather fitting since the historic sailing town is home to Farr Yacht Design and Stagg Yachts. Bruce Farr designed the boat with significant input from Stagg, who has managed the class since its inception.

'It’s always good to come back to where the class was created,' Stagg said. 'The Chesapeake Bay is a wonderful body of water on which to sail while the Annapolis Yacht Club has great facilities. We also have great nightlife in our town so I think the owners and their crews will really enjoy spending the week in Annapolis.'

Wayne Bretsch will serve as principal race officer with assistance from Dick Neville as the Annapolis Yacht Club committee seeks to complete 10 races over four days. Action begins Wednesday and concludes Saturday on the Chesapeake Bay, which is known for its shifty winds and strong currents.

'It is a tricky place to sail. Based on early forecasts, we will see a little bit of everything – northerly and southerly winds that could be quite strong and rather light. It should be a strong test of each team’s skill and versatility in a variety of wind and tidal conditions,' Stagg said.


U.S. Virgin Islands-based professional Peter Holmberg will once again call tactics aboard Struntje Light, which will bring the same crew it had in Miami to Annapolis. Schaefer’s multi-national team, which also features several Italians, led at the end of racing all four days off South Beach and hopes to carry that momentum over to East Coast Championship.

'Every win gives a confidence boost, which is always important for your next regattas. But in the Farr 40 class we must not overestimate such a win. The competition is very strong and nearly everyone can win,' Schaefer said. 'Reducing the number of mistakes is the key for any success. We figured out some weak points, which we will try to strengthen in Annapolis. But most important is that we always have great pleasure when we meet the other owners and crews and race against them. A win is only the whipped cream on top of that what you would like to have some times.'

Schaefer was not putting much stock into leading the overall circuit at this stage and said the focus for the Struntje Light program is to show improvement with each event.

'That doesn’t mean anything. Normally early leaders are the late losers. Of course the circuit is important as it says something about your consistency and learning curve. If we will have at the end a nice set of great regattas hopefully with a slight increase of performance then we would be happy about a great season,' he said.

Struntje Light placed third at the 2012 East Coast Championship, winning three races while also finishing eighth out of 11 boats in three others. Schaefer said the Chesapeake Bay is a tricky venue that can lead to up and down results.

'Racing in Annapolis is completely different as it is much more like lake sailing. It is light wind racing – very tricky, shifty and puffy. In Annapolis, we also have some difficult current situations. Local knowledge seems to be helpful,' he said.


World-renowned tactician Terry Hutchinson will be onboard Barking Mad, which will be looking to rebound from a rough outing at the Miami Beach Invitational. An injury to a crew member caused some last-minute shuffling and Richardson also felt there were some issues with rig setup.

'We have to take what we learned in Key West and Miami and keep working to improve our performance,' said Richardson, who just took first place in the Farr 30 class at the Annapolis stop of the National Offshore One-Design series.

John Demourkas will always hold a special place in his heart for Annapolis since it is where the popular California owner earned his first Farr 40 class victory. Demourkas steered Groovederci to a pair of bullets and six other top five finishes in the 10-race series to capture the 2012 East Coast Crown with a low score of 41 points, three better than Barking Mad.

'Annapolis was the site of our first big win in the class so it conjures up good memories. We’re looking forward to coming back to Annapolis and can only hope for a similar performance to last year,' Demourkas said.

Groovederci finished fifth in Key West and seventh in Miami, which has caused Demourkas and tactician Cameron Appleton to do some soul-searching. Demourkas is thrilled that veteran mainsail trimmer Andy Escourt will return to the team after missing the first two events of 2013.

'We’re kind of getting the band back together by bringing our old crew to Annapolis. Andy helps a lot because he keeps me focused on driving, which enables Cameron to keep his head out of the boat,' Demourkas said.

After experimenting with North’s 3DI sails, Demourkas said Groovederci will go back to the 3DL configuration that produced solid results in Annapolis and at the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 World Championships in Chicago.

'We kind of want to reboot our program and go back to square one. When the sail setup and rig tune aren’t in sync and the boat doesn’t perform on pace you start to question yourself,' he said.

Skipper Alberto Rossi brings the Enfant Terrible team back to Annapolis after placing fourth at last year’s East Coast Championship. The Italian entry stands fourth in the circuit standings after coming on strong toward the end to take third at the Miami Beach Invitational. Rossi and tactician Vasco Vascotto figured out some speed issues while in South Beach and had the boat going well down the stretch after finishing a disappointing sixth in Key West.

Owner-driver Alex Roepers and the Plenty team also figure to make some noise in Annapolis after making a successful season debut with a second place result at Miami. Annapolis-based pro Chris Larson will bring significant local knowledge to Plenty, which won three races off South Beach and came up just four feet short of capturing the regatta.

Ramrod, skippered by Rod Jabin with America’s Cup veteran Gavin Brady aboard as tactician, is one of two Annapolis entries. Annapolis Yacht Club commodore Kevin McNeil and the Nightshift team also join the fray. Neither boat competed in Key West or Miami, but both crews are comprised of sailors with years of racing on the Chesapeake Farr 40 website

Kilwell - 3Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr