The 16th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) in Newport, RI, was as expected a tightly contested affair, and ended today after four days of intense competition over ten windward/leeward races.
Alberto Rossi and his all-Italian crew on Enfant Terrible was crowned 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, out of 15 crews from eight countries - Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Mexico, Turkey and the USA. The final battle for the title came down to very last run of the final race. The Italian victory was clearly hard-fought and well earned: Enfant Terrible finished tied on points with Kevin McNeil's Nightshift (USA), but the Italians earned their title thanks to their three wins on the series standings. Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA), three-time winner of the World Championship and current leader of the Farr 40 International Circuit Championship, finished in third, three points behind the leaders. Chicago architect Helmut Jahn, defending Rolex Farr 40 world champion with Flash Gordon 6 (USA), finished fourth with 57 points.
"It's been a very challenging week - we were chasing a title that we really wanted and we had been working all year for,"
commented a beaming and champagne-drenched Alberto Rossi as he stepped off Enfant Terrible. The week started slightly uphill, as tactician Vasco Vascotto explained, "On the first race I fell off the boat and we lost those precious four points that would have made us a little less nervous coming into the final day." The crew was able to stay on top of its game, learn from the unexpected and focus on the big picture, as Rossi commented: "The guys did an amazing job, they never let go even when things went wrong. They have been sailing with me since 2009 and I am very proud of my team."
The last day was pretty stressful for everyone - particularly for Rossi and Vascotto, who had to make up four points to overhaul Nightshift, the leader coming into the last day of the world championship with only two races to go. On how they managed their strategy on the final day, Rossi explained, "Today we had two completely different approaches - in the first race we had to win, so we went in pretty aggressively and engaged Nightshift in a tight match race, and the outcome was good. Having gained two points, we were able to sail the last race with a slightly more conservative approach. The finish was simply amazing, with three boats on arriving on the line together. Ending at tied points confirms the exceptional level of the Farr 40 Class."
What does the future hold for Rossi and his Enfant Terrible? "I love these boats, I love the people and everything about this class - I am not going anywhere, I will stay very close to the Farr 40s."
This was the third time that Newport hosted the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and everyone enjoyed the venue, the warm hospitality of the New York Yacht Club and the race course. "The conditions were fantastic and challenging. We had it all - light breeze, strong wind, fog, rain, sunshine. I love Newport, I've sailed here many times before and it always brings me luck. Now it's time to celebrate with all my team and the other Farr 40 crews,"
commented Vascotto, who has all the reasons to enjoy his third victory at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, having previously won in 2003 and 2010 as tactician.
Finishing second at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships is an amazing feat, considering the level of the competition and the line-up of world-class tacticians and sailors, both professionals and amateurs alike. However, coming second on a tiebreaker is clearly a disappointment. With true sportsmanship spirit, Nightshift's owner Kevin McNeil, who is also Commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club, was quick to congratulate the Italians and praise his crew, "We are very happy for them [the Italians], they sailed well. We had a great week, my team did a fantastic job and Newport, as always, was a great place to be."
Nightshift's tactician Andy Horton, America's Cup and Olympic sailor from the USA, summed up to perfection the essence of the Farr 40 class, "To have the Worlds come down to four feet in the last run of the last regatta was simply awesome - this is Farr 40 racing."
The 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship concluded with a celebration at Harbour Court, the stunning on-the-water clubhouse of the New York Yacht Club. During the official prize giving Alberto Rossi was awarded the Championship trophy and an engraved Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece, in true recognition of Enfant Terrible's precision on the water.
The next edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will be hosted by the San Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA, USA, from 17 to 20 September, 2014.
2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Results
Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Country, Results; Total Points
1. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 5-5-8-3-1-1-2-5-1-10; 41
2. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 2-8-3-1-2-2-5-3-7-8; 41
3. Barking Mad, James Richardson, USA, 4-3-6-2-6-9-1-1-11-1; 44
4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 7-2-2-9-8-6-13-4-4-2; 57
5. Charisma, Nico Poons, MON, 1-1-1-11-9-16/DSQ-4-2-10-5; 60
6. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer, TUR, 9-7-4-4-4-5-14-9-3-11; 70
7. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, DEN, 6-6-7-14-7-4-9-6-5-6; 70
8. PLENTY, Alexander Roepers, USA, 3-9-12-13-5-11-3-11-2-3; 72
9. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 13-10-5-5-3-13-7-8-9-9; 82
10. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, AUS, 11-4-11-7-11-10-6-7-12-4; 83
11. Groovederci, John Demourkas, USA, 12-15-13-8-12-3-8-12-8-7; 98
12. Endorphin, Erik Wulff, USA, 8-12-9-12-13-7-11-10-6-13; 101
13. Flojito y Cooperando, Bernard Minkow/Julian Fernandez, MEX, 15-11-15-6-14-12-10-13-15-12; 123
14. White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, USA, 10-14-14-10-10-14-12-14-13-14; 125
15. Oakcliff Racing, Seth Cooley, USA, 14-13-10-15-15-8-15-15-14-15; 134
For more information about the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds please visit www.farr40worlds.com