Rolex Farr 40 Worlds 2011 - The grey matter and the muscle power are on par among the Farr 40 crews contesting their World Championship in Sydney this week. International and local business elite have joined hands with many of the world’s best sailors and among the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds crews there are at least four specialised medical practitioners enjoying some time away from the stresses of their profession.
Andrew Hunn, owner/helmsman of one of two Tasmanian entries, Voodoo Chile, is a Hobart neurosurgeon delving into the sphere of one design racing with his majority Tassie crew.
They finished seventh in last weekend’s national titles and on day two of the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds they are ninth after five races from a hot fleet of 20 Farr 40s representing five countries.
Scott ‘Doc’ Holmgren is the mainsail trimmer on the USA entry Plenty, owned by Alex Roepers. Hailing from the great Oklahoma plains, Holmgren is an oral maxillofacial surgeon, or in layman’s terms, he’s a facial trauma surgeon with 20 years under his surgical belt.
Over 25 years of sailing, 10 of those in the Farr 40 class, ‘Doc’ has treated numerous lacerations and fractures with the simple medical kit he carries to regattas, something that has become increasingly difficult given the tightening up of airport security in recent years.
On his first trip to Sydney Holmgren said today, 'Sydney was on my bucket list, the people are fantastic'. Speaking on the famous lumpy conditions off Sydney Heads he says he hasn’t been disappointed with a trip to the sauna after day one of the nationals, the only way to soothe the bumps from his experience in the 'washing machine'.
German husband and wife team of Wolfgang and Angela Schaefer, owners of Struntje Light met at Kiel Week as students some 40 years ago when Angela’s family boat caught Wolfgang’s eye.
These days the pair run a private hospital and practice at Lueneburg in northern Germany where she is a cardiologist and he is a gynecologist. They have also treated their share of injuries over the years, mainly stitching cuts.
The Schaefers, one of three husband and wife combinations racing this week, have contested at least six Farr 40 World Championships since 2001. With four of the 10 race series put to bed they are well placed in third on the pointscore and leading Corinthian entry thanks to their consistent three thirds and a 13th place.
On the boat’s moniker, Struntje, meaning ‘vagabond’, is also the name of their S & S 47. Light refers to the lightweight Farr 40 compared to the classic sturdy timber build of the Sparkman Stephens design. 'It’s not a beer,' laughs Angela, referring to the common assumption that the boat name relates to a low alcohol German brew.
The fleet of 20 Farr 40s are about to start race six. Two races are scheduled each day for the second half of the competition with the 2011 World Champion to be crowned Saturday afternoon. Currently Australia’s Guido Belgiorno-Nettis is leading the series results with Transfusion after race four, creating some breathing space between them and the second placed Estate Master, also an Australian entry.
Farr 40 Worlds results: click here
Farr 40 Worlds website: click here