Following on from last year’s event hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, the annual Rolex Farr 40 World Championship continues its presence in California some 400 miles down the coast in Long Beach. An international fleet of around 20 yachts is expected to take part in the 18th running of the world championship, hosted from 24 – 27 September by the Long Beach Yacht Club. The event is the pinnacle of the Farr 40 racing season.
These popular 40-ft monohull racing boats have retained an enduring appeal, remaining at the forefront of the sailing world since their inception in 1997. The Farr 40 Class Rules are tightly drawn to create a level playing field. An amateur owner is required to helm the boat and only four professional sailors are allowed among the usual 10-strong crew. The competing yachts are identical, required to comply with strict one-design rules concerning the number and size of sails, safety equipment, deck hardware, boat and total crew weight. This is democratic sailing in the truest sense.
Fiercely contested, the event demands and rewards precise teamwork, consistency and determination. These attributes, together with the true sporting nature of the competition, align perfectly with the core values of Rolex, title sponsor of the event since 2001.
Plenty to come
Contrary to previous form, last year’s championship was dominated by one crew. Alex Roepers’ Plenty (USA) won four out of seven races to finish ten points clear of Martin Hill’s Estate Master (AUS). In an edition characterized by light conditions, Plenty – led by tactician Terry Hutchinson – produced a master class in Farr 40 sailing. In such a highly competitive series, it is rare for one boat to prove so dominant.
As defending champion, Roepers’ crew will start off as the team to beat. Competition will be provided by some recent winners including Helmut Jahn’s Flash Gordon 6 (2012, Chicago) and Alberto Rossi’s Enfant Terrible (2013, Newport, RI) in addition to last year’s runner-up from Australia. This regular changing of hands demonstrates how difficult the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship is to win. Only one team has successfully defended the crown, Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA), a feat achieved in both 2007 and 2008.
Consistency is a quality all crew’s aspire to. “It’s not so much the races you are in the lead, it's the races you are in tenth or eleventh at the top mark that you turn into a fifth or a sixth,” reveals Hutchinson. “It’s an 11-race series, and the first half of the event is purely survival and working for consistent finishes. That to me is the best part about it.”
Other confirmed entrants include Hasip Gencer’s Asterisk (TUR), John Demourkas’ Groovederci (USA), Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje Light (GER) and Andrew Hunn’s Voodoo Chile (AUS). The aim for all crews will be to win the coveted Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Trophy and a Rolex timepiece.The programme is for up to 11 relatively short windward/leeward races to be contested over four days. This is high-pressure sailing of the highest pedigree. The race start is particularly tense, as crews must time their arrival on the start line to perfection. Too early and they must restart. Too late and they face an uphill battle to stay in contention.
The 2015 event will mark the end of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship’s four-year tour of the United States with the 2016 event due to be held in Sydney, Australia, and a year later it will return to the Mediterranean where the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will host for the third time at their base in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.
Further information about the 2015 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and the history of the competition can be founded here.
A dedicated video preview explores the longstanding appeal of Farr 40 racing.
Tuesday - Wednesday 22-23 September
Thursday 24 September
Friday 25 September
Saturday 26 September
Sunday 27 September
Final Prize Giving
ABOUT THE ROLEX FARR 40 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Further information on the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds can be found at: www.farr40worlds.com.
For details about the hosting yacht club please visit www.lbyc.org
ABOUT ROLEX & YACHTING
Comprehensive information about Rolex’s long and proud association with the sport of yachting can be found here