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20 November 2003, 09:50 am
Day One Opener Sets Pace for Regatta in Three Classes
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Townsend leads Farr 40s with Virago© Dan Nerney/Rolex Photo

Rolex Farr One Design Invitational
Miami, Florida

There is nothing like warm Florida sunshine and steady 15-knot breezes to knock the cobwebs out of that portion of the brain responsible for sailing a boat.
Many of the international sailors competing in the Rolex Farr One Design Invitational have come from as far away as Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway and have not been on a racecourse since the end of the summer season. For the 27 teams competing, a spin around the buoys just off Miami's South Beach provided a welcome start to the winter sailing schedule. This first-ever event combines class starts for the Rolex Mumm 30 and the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championships where winners will be awarded specially engraved Rolex timepieces. An open class for Farr 395s is also being run by the Storm Trysail Club Race Committee. The 11-race series that continues through Sunday, November 22.

In the Farr 40 class, Virago, owned by Stuart TOWNSEND of Chicago, Ill., opened with a 3-4-2 and leads the highly-competitive 17 boat fleet, but at this stage it's anybody's game and all of the owners, tacticians and crews will have their work cut out for them. Atalanti, owned by George ANDREADIS of Athens, Greece is in second with Samba Pa Ti, owned by John KILROY of Los Angeles, Calif. in third.

Andreadis, vice-president of the International Sailing Federation, explained the trouble that led to a eighth place in the first race. "We had a little problem with weed on the propeller shaft," he said. "We think that was the problem. We cleaned it and then did much better." Atalanti then went on to score two third places. The 1995 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ed BAIRD serves as tactician onboard.

Six of the Farr 40s participated in the Rolex Farr 40 Match Race earlier this week with Jim RICHARDSON'S Barking Mad taking honors. Richardson of Boston, Mass., credited the two days and ten races of that event working on boat speed and crew work as the key to his winning today's first race. "We got off to a really good start," he said. "We had good boat speed and sailed the course the way we wanted to. But it was close. There were a lot of boats nipping at our heels!"

The Mumm 30 class is led by Off the Gauge, owned by Jack LEFORT of Stuart, Fla., who considers this week a fun sailing vacation for him and his friends. They finished fourth in the first race, but went on to a second and ended the day with a win. Lucky for Lefort, his "friends only crew" includes two-time US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and America's Cup sailor Ken READ sailing as tactician.

"As you can see from our scores today, "rusty" was our middle name," Read joked. "Jackie did a great job driving out bunch of old buddies."

Peter DAVIDSON'S Farr 395 Shades of Gray is leading the Farr 395 class with three straight wins.

Title sponsor is Rolex Watch U.S.A. Organizers include the Storm Trysail Club, Mumm 30 and Farr 40 Class Associations. Avalon Majestic Hotel is the official hotel. North Sails and Lewmar are supporting sponsors.

Farr 40 - Top Ten After 3 Races

Place Boat Name Owner R1 R2 R3 Points
1 VIRAGO Stuart TOWNSEND 3 4 2 9
2 ATALANTI George ANDREADIS 8 3 3 14
3 SAMBA PA TI John KILROY 2 1 12 15
4 SHADOW ROCK Geremia / Stoneberg 13 2 1 16
5 BARKING MAD Jim RICHARDSON 1 11 4 16
6 NERONE Mezzaroma/Sodo Migliori 4 7 6 17
7 BAMBAKOU John COUNMANTAROS 11 8 5 24
8 TWINS 2 Erik MARIS 6 10 11 27
9 GOOD TIMES Eduardo RAMOS 5 14 10 29
10 NORWEGIAN STEAM Eiviind ASTRUP 10 6 13 29

Mumm 30

Pos Boat Name Owner R1 R2 R3 Points
1 OFF THE GAUGE Jack LEFORT 4 2 1 7
2 USA65 David PYLES 1 3 7 11
3 TRAMP Tom RITTER 6 1 5 12
4 TEAM INTERMEC Dan CHERESH 2 6 4 12
5 GO FIGURE Dave KOSKI 3 7 3 13
6 TURBO DUCK Bodo/Nick vd WENSE 5 4 6 15
7 TEAM BOLD Nelson STEPHENSON 8 8 2 18
8 CYGNET Rick SWANN 10 dnc 5 8 23
9 CHAMPOSA Jonathan MCDONAGH 7 9 9 25

Farr 39.5

Pos Boat Name Owner R1 R2 R3 Points
1 SHADES OF GRAY Peter DAVIDSON 1 1 1 3
2 SPINAL SHOCK Gordon DONALD 3 dnc 3 dnc 3 dnc 9
Dana Paxton (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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