The 20th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships in Porto Cervo concluded on 16 July after officially commencing on 13 July. The Worlds were hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of the title sponsor Rolex and the Farr 40 Class Association. Eights boats from various nations competed, including the Australian Corinthian team ‘Zen’ from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, helmed by RSYS Members Gordon Ketelby and with tactician, David Chapman.
The first day of racing was scheduled for 13 July but was unfortunately postponed due to strong winds, with gusts reaching over 30 knots. The weather was similar on the second day of racing, yet by the late afternoon it had calmed down enough for the race committee to get one race in to kick off the series. Nevertheless wind strengths were still being recorded in the 22-31 knot range during the race. Race one of the series was certainly exciting, with boats planing downwind at speeds just under 20 knots. ‘Plenty’ came out on top with the win for the day.
The third day of the regatta saw much quieter conditions, with 6-12 knots in wind strength throughout the day. The weather conditions allowed the race committee to get four races in, helping them catch up on the races missed from the first two days. ‘Plenty’, ‘Zen’ and ‘Flash Gordon’ all won a race on the day, yet the consistency of ‘Plenty’ was unbeaten, as they claimed: 2, 1, 2, 1 as their scorecard for the day, strengthening their lead going into the final day.
Gordon Ketelbey owner/helmsman aboard Zen commented: "It was superb to win a race today and we're really excited about that. Unfortunately, we got a penalty and had to some turns in the race after that and ended up at the back, but in the end it's OK. It was a good day of racing, wonderful, wonderful conditions, nice flat water and consistent 12 knots wind. I have been to Porto Cervo twice before cruising and I'm really enjoying racing here for the first time. It's a wonderful place to race for the conditions, wind offshore, flat seas... Unless you get the Mistral and you just have to live with that. As the top placed Corinthian team we have to make sure we keep our lead. So everyone to bed early tonight and no drinking!" he added.
The final day of the World Championship was suspenseful and exciting. Strong displays by ‘Enfant Terrible’ and ‘Flash Gordon’ in the first three races of the final day essentially evaporated ‘Plenty’s lead. But the experience and class of ‘Plenty’ prevailed in the end and they were able to defend their title to win the 2017 Farr 40 World Championship. ‘Pazza Idea’ also sailed well to edge ‘Zen’ out of the top Corinthian place in the final race of the day. Congratulations to ‘Plenty’ and ‘Pazza Idea’ for their respective division wins.
- Plenty – Alex Roepers – New York Yacht Club – 24 pts
- Enfant Terrible – Alberto Rossi – Circolo Canottieri Aniene – 27 pts
- Flash Gordon – Helmut and Evan Jahn – Chicago Yacht Club – 30 pts
- Pazza Idea – Pierluigi Bresciani – Yacht Club Hanniball – 42 pts
- Zen – Gordon Ketelbey – Middle Harbour Yacht Club – 48 pts
- Asterisk – Hasip Gencer – Yacht Club Team Ozonur – 49 pts
- Struntje Light – Wolfgang Shaefer – KYC- NRV – 51 pts
- MP 30 + 10 – Luca Pierdomencio – C.V. Portocivitanova – 54 pts
By Angus Olding
Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo