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14 October 2005, 11:08 am
Australian Farr 40 Season Kicks Off At Port Stephens
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Corinthian Doors Peppers Anchorage Farr 40 Regatta 2005
Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

The opening regatta for the Australian Farr 40 season, the Corinthian Doors Peppers Anchorage Farr 40 regatta at Port Stephens had a few surprises in store for the fleet today. Ray ROBERTS at the helm of Quantum Racing put in the performance of the day to take the early lead.
After waiting for the breeze to fill in from the south the race committee had race one of the series underway with new comer to the fleet, Blacksnake positioned in the front of the fleet for the duration for the two lap course. 'We had a good initiation to the class and visited both ends of the fleet. It's a strong class and you have to be able to maintain consistency. The crew had a lot of fun but it's pretty hard work out there,' commented tactician Chris LINKS. Blacksnake was closely followed for the entire race by Lang WALKER's Kokomo and previous event winner and Farr 40 World Champion Richard PERINI and Evolution.

In race two, Quantum Racing with ROBERTS at the helm got a clean start mid way down the start line. Blacksnake, again led the fleet around the course with Quantum Racing keeping a close eye on them. In an extremely close finish Quantum Racing managed to surf into the lead and crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of Blacksnake with Steve O'ROURKE's Panther not far behind. Racing with Panther as tactician is Australian 49er representative from Athens 2004 Gary BOYD.

In a building breeze that reached 18 knots the team on Quantum Racing repeated Blacksnake's race one performance and placed themselves in the front of the fleet to cross the line in front with PERINI taking second and Kokomo in third for race three. 'It was our first day out and everything came together well. We're really pleased with the boat speed and where we positioned ourselves on the course. Ray did a terrific job; he settled into the boat and steered really well in today's conditions,' said tactician Steve MCCONAGHY. Brett NEILL's Venom from New Zealand rounded the first top mark in second place but slipped back to cross the line in fourth.

WALKER and his team on Kokomo took the gun in race four after a general recall had the fleet lining up again. Australian Olympic sailor Colin BEASHEL is racing with Kokomo as tactician and his son Aaron is onboard for this regatta. Quantum Racing recovered from being in fifth place for the first two mark roundings to cross the line second behind Kokomo and be awarded Boat of the Day. PERINI crossed in third with Panther in fourth.

Racing at Port Stephens continues tomorrow with another day of strong breezes forecasted for the fleet.

The Farr 40 fleet would like to thank regatta sponsors Corinthian Doors, Peppers Anchorage Port Stephens and Club Marine Insurance.

Sam Crichton (As Amended By ISAF)
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