Estate Master pips Transfusion by half a point at Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta
A number of Australian Farr 40s used this weekend’s Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta as a shakedown for next month’s Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in the Dominican Republic, and for next year’s world championship to be staged in Sydney. Middle Harbour Yacht Club Commodore and president of the Australian Farr 40 class, Martin Hill, is leaving nothing to chance for his tilt at the world title, pulling together a crew of some of Australia’s best and launching their assault with a class win at last year’s Rolex Trophy followed by a Sprint Series win last month and again in the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, which wrapped up this afternoon.
After six races over two days, Lisa and Martin Hill’s Farr 40 Estate Master has pipped Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion by just half a point. The pair staged a thrilling one-design match race in today’s gusty east nor’east breeze and steep sea, pushing each other to the limit and beyond. They were edging each other up at the start of race three today and both ended up having to re-start after they were called back by the race committee for their over-eagerness.
Amongst Estate Master’s rock star crew is Nathan Outteridge, dual 49er world champion and Olympian and World Sailor of the Year nominee who is the strategist, and New Zealand yachtsman and America’s Cup sailor, Hamish Pepper, who was part of the 2006 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship winning crew, calling tactics. Olympic 470 gold medalist Malcolm Page is trimming, round the world sailor Abby Ehler is on the bow, Tristram Eldershaw is navigating and Australian Sailing Team technical coordinator and champion match racer Michael Dunstan is on mainsheet while Laser Olympic bronze medalist Michael Blackburn is coaching from a RIB. Next month Australia will field two entries for the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, Estate Master and Transfusion, and next year, when the Australian fleet hosts the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds Hill is planning for at least 20 entries but is hoping for a few more. “We expect an Australian resurgence in the class leading into next year’s worlds, and of course we’ll have the usual strong support from overseas including HRH Crown Prince Frederik who has confirmed he’ll be there along with the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 world champion Jim Richardson,” said Hill today. “In preparation for next month’s worlds we are getting our on board communication organised and testing the same type of rig set up as the overseas Farr 40 we are using.” Tasmanian yachtsman Wayne Banks-Smith chartered the Farr 40 Orion this weekend and went on a steep learning curve. They are preparing for next year’s world championship and after taking a sailing lesson from the Hills and Belgiorno-Nettis, they are returning home following what was an “ego breaking weekend” according to one of the crew. “We learnt a lot, we aren’t used to sailing in chop, you don’t get it on the River Derwent.” Estate Master finished Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta’s Farr 40 division on 12 points, Transfusion on 12.5 and Chris Way’s Easy Tiger rounded out the podium places in third, on 14 points. Final Results: 1st Estate Master L&M Hill MHYC 12 2nd Transfusion G.Belgiorno-Nettis MHYC 12.5 3rd Easy Tiger II C.Way RPAYC 14 4th Edake J.Carter MHYC 21.5 5th Orion W.Banks-Smith RYCT 30
For more event information www.sydneyharbourregatta.com