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12 January 2011, 12:23 pm
Rolex Farr 40 Worlds Fleet Heads Down Under
Farr 40
Heading Down Under

Farr 40
Sydney, Australia

An international Farr 40 fleet is gathering in Sydney, Australia to contest the 14th Rolex Farr 40 World Championship next month.
Twenty boats have entered to date, representing five countries, and include defending champions Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone, from Italy.

The event will be hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) from 23-26 February 2011. Principal Race Officer, Peter Reggio will lead the race committee assisted by members from the RSYS, with racing scheduled to take place on the waters outside of Sydney Heads.

Martin Hill, the Farr 40 Australian Class President, will be competing with his wife Lisa on their boat, Estate Master. Hill said, "Excitement is growing for the Worlds. The Sydney waterfront is already abuzz with news of professional calibre teams, and top-gun tacticians that include America's Cup and Olympic stars such as James Spithill, Tom Slingsby, Hamish Pepper, Grant Simmer, Michael Coxon, Adrian Stead, Chris Larson, and Vasco Vascotto.

"Teams have been taking on coaches and doing good old-fashioned training drills to sharpen up the skills required for sailing the highly competitive Farr 40, and cutting it in a fleet containing some of the best sailors in the world. The Farr 40 class continues to live up to its reputation as providing the highest-level one-design competition for offshore racing yachts and their owners and teams."

The last time the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds were held in Sydney, in 2005, local sailor Richard Perini, on Evolution, won a hard-fought championship decided on the final race of the series. The racing is expected to be no less tight this time around. Several past World Champions will be on hand to contest this year's title including: Jim Richardson on three-time winner, Barking Mad (1998, 2004, 2009); Steve Phillips, Le Renard (2002), John Calvert-Jones, Southern Star (2000), and Nerone (2003, 2010).

The 2010 Rolex Farr 40 defending World Champion, Nerone, won in the Dominican Republic despite helmsman Antonio Sodo Migliori's absence. Sodo Migliori was involved in a helicopter crash last winter and suffered serious back injuries. He has since mostly recovered, and is back on the helm. Thus far Sodo Migliori has competed in two events, the Farr 40 European Championship in October - which Nerone won. Nerone was then shipped to Sydney to compete in the Rolex Trophy One-Design Series in December. The Italian boat made a another strong showing, winning six of the eight races, and finishing 25 points ahead of the second placed boat: a clear marker for the home-grown entries that the international crews are not coming just to make up the numbers.

The 2010 Worlds was another closely fought regatta, and local Australian entry Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion ended only two points out of first place on the last day, after an exciting nail-biter of a final race. In the immediate aftermath, Belgiorno-Nettis was enthusiastic and already looking ahead to this year's rematch, serving the Italians on Nerone notice when he said, "It was a fantastic opportunity to see how the world's best sailors sail, and know that we can mix it with them."

Belgiorno-Nettis has every intention of improving on last year's position and readily acknowledges the conditions will play their part in determining the eventual victor, "We have challenging conditions that can vary from quite light to quite heavy. Most of the racing will be offshore and we've got a complex wave pattern that comes from everywhere - south, east, sometimes from the north. When the waves mix it up and you get the reflection back off the rocky coastline, it's a big tumbler. It's going to be challenging for everybody."

Martin Levy, Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron added, "[We are] looking forward to welcoming all the teams in the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds and especially the international participants. We expect some wonderful competition on the waters off the Sydney Harbour Heads."

For more information about the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, including full entry list and media accreditation please visit www.farr40worlds.com.

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regattanews.com (As Amended by ISAF)
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