With two days of racing completed and two more to go at the Rolex Farr One Design Invitational in Miami, the international competitors assembled here are at a critical junction.
Every one of the 11 scheduled races count toward the overall score. Similar to their Olympic class cousins, there are no throwouts in this regatta. That's OK with Stuart TOWNSEND and his Virago team who currently lead the highly competitive Farr 40 class with 21 points.
"Very seldom does the class use a throwout race,"
said Townsend of Chicago, Ill. "It's been tried before, but we didn't want it. There are an awful lot of good boats here and we want every race to count. Look at Barking Mad. They came out of the middle of the fleet and now they're second by nine points, which is a lot in this class. But, really, we're only one bad race away from losing our lead."
Virago tactician Chris LARSON credited crew work as the key to success. "Although this is my first time sailing on Virago, pretty much all the guys have sailed together before,"
said the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. "Darren Jones and Paul Westlake, our trimmers, are doing a great job. We're always going fast and it is so much easier for me because I don't have to worry about rig tension or how the sails are trimmed. Also, it keeps Stuart at the right target speed and going the right way."
Barking Mad, owned by past world champion Jim RICHARDSON of Boston, Mass., scored a 5th and 8th and then came back to win the third race of the day. Richardson credited his crew which includes America's Cup sailors Terry HUTCHINSON calling tactics and trimmers Dave Scott, Morgan TRUBOVICH and Skip BAXTER.
John KILROY'S Samba Pa Ti of Los Anglese, Calif., is in third place, three points behind Barking Mad, with Nerone, owned by Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori of Rome, Italy, in fourth.
It seems only fitting that on North Sails Race Day, Ken READ should guide the winning boat in the Mumm 30 class to victory. The America's Cup sailor and two-time US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year is calling tactics onboard Jack LEFORT'S Off the Gauge. The Stuart, Fla. entry scored a fourth and two firsts for a total of 13 points overall. David Pyles and USA65 holds second, with Dan Cheresh's Team Intermec close behind in third place.
Peter Davidson and the Farr 395 Shades of Gray continues to lead the Open Class.
Racing continues through Saturday and is run by the venerable Storm Trysail Club.
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.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.