A stellar line-up of one-design sailors will converge on Miami's South Beach for the 2003 Rolex Farr One Design Invitational.
Headquartered at the Miami Beach Marina and the Avalon Majestic Hotel, the inaugural event will serve as the Mumm 30 and Farr 40 North American championships.
Entries from seven countries - Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the U.S. - will compete in an 11-race fleet racing series. A two-day match-racing regatta in Farr 40s will precede the main event and take place November 17-18.
"This is the kick-off year for what we hope will become one of the destination events for one-design racers,"
said Geoff STAGG, President of Farr International. "We expect some terrific racing, as both the Mumm 30 and the Farr 40 classes are competing for their respective North American championship and are known to produce exciting one-design competition. With the addition of Farr 395 racing and two days of match racing on the schedule, it should be quite a week."
The Farr 40 fleet is set to be most impressive with four world champions attending. Current Rolex Farr 40 World Champions Massimo MEZZAROMA and Antonio Sodo MIGLIORI (Italy) bring their boat Nerone to compete against a fleet known for its competitive owner/drivers and celebrated tacticians. Steve PHILLIPS, the 2000 world champion from Annapolis, Md., has entered his Le Renard. Sailing with 1999 world champion John KILROY (Santa Barbara, Calif.) onboard Samba Pa Ti, will be Olympic Bronze Medallist Jeff MADRIGALI and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Paul CAYARD. 1998 world champion Jim RICHARDSON (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.) and his Barking Mad will have tactician Terry HUTCHINSON aboard, who sailed with Stars & Stripes in the 2003 America's Cup challenger series.
"We definitely have a big advantage sailing with our same team,"
said Richardson, who won his world championship on the waters off Miami. "My relationship with Terry, Skip (Baxter), Dave (Scott) and Morgan (Trubovich) is such that we can communicate what we need to know without using so many words. We hope to do well. It's a challenge to sail against the best guys. Nerone and Samba Pa Ti will be there and those two right there make the competition formidable."
Included in the line-up is Erik MARIS of Paris, France, who is making his debut in both the match- and fleet-racing segments of the week with Twins2. "We entered the class because it is the best, most enjoyable and highest level racing available,"
he said. "I have little experience in match racing, but we thought this would be great fun and great practice. Our tactician is François Brenac, probably the best in France, with great match racing experience."
In the Mumm 30 fleet, Jack Lefort, the 2001 North American circuit winner, brings his Off the Gauge to the competition. Mumm 30 class president Nelson Stephenson will helm his TeamBOLD, which placed 17th at the 2003 World Championship.
"The depth and quality of the Mumm 30 Fleet is exceptional with many experienced teams entered,"
said Stephenson. "Clearly this will be a very competitive Mumm 30 North American Championship. TeamBOLD is coming back to Miami for the sixth year and has raced extensively in Miami during that period. We believe that we have the crew, the tools and experience to do very well. We will be battling with Turbo Duck to hold our position in the N.A. standings in this event, which is also the final race in the Mumm 30 North American Circuit for 2003."
In the Farr 395 class, Peter DAVIDSON'S (Rochester, N.Y.) Shades of Gray will take on Spinal Shock, owned by Gordon DONALD (Newport, R.I.).
Conceived by Farr International with support from Storm Trysail Club (STC), the Mumm 30 and Farr 40 class associations, the Rolex Farr Invitational is the newest in destination events that combine top-level racing management with nightly onshore hospitality. Racers will benefit from having Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio running the match racing. Known to sailors as simply "Luigi," Reggio served as the PRO for the 2003 America's Cup/Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series. David Brennan and is STC Southern Station Race Committee will run the invitational event. Nightly cocktail parties will take place at Monty's Tiki Bar, located dockside. The Rolex Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, November 22, following the completion of racing.