Defending its Title will put Flash Gordon to New Tests
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND (October 12, 2010)—Chesapeake Bay's tricky tides and currents aren't the only challenges Chicago's Helmut and Evan Jahn will encounter when they defend Flash Gordon's title at the Rolex Farr 40 North Americans this week (Oct. 15-17). The father-son helming combination, which shows consistent command of Flash Gordon's performances on Lake Michigan, where it won last year's North Americans and has claimed this year's Great Lakes Season Championship, will also contend with a groundswell of local knowledge from teams based at or near Annapolis Yacht Club, where the championship will be hosted.
"We've never sailed in Annapolis at this time of year, but we do know that dealing with the Chesapeake is tricky and involves what we don't deal with much," said Evan Jahn. "If you want to improve in one-design sailing, however, you have to challenge yourself, and that's the reason we're coming to Annapolis. We're excited to compete against a new set of competitors."
Among the Annapolis standouts are Kevin McNeil's Nightshift, Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/Bud Dailey's Tsunami, and Rodrick Jabin's Ramrod, which won the Farr 40 class at the 2010 Annapolis NOOD Regatta and, like Flash Gordon, is the local Farr 40 fleet season champion. Also contenders are Rick and Skip Sinclair's (Greenwich, Conn.) Bellerophon and Erik Wulff's (Washington, D.C.) Endorphin, which won the 2010 Annapolis Race Week.
With such keen competition in Annapolis, Jahn expects to be better prepared for the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney, which for all practical purposes is just around the corner (February 23-26), and wants to encourage the teams at this year's Rolex Farr 40 North Americans to set their sights on 2012, when the Rolex Worlds will be back in the States, in Helmut and Evan's home waters off Chicago.
"I've sailed 20 years with my dad, and this is our tenth year sailing with the Farr 40s," said Jahn, explaining that, depending on the wind, he or his father will start and complete the upwind leg before handing off to the other. "Figuring out the transitions has been an ever-evolving work in progress, but more important is our tight-knit team made up of individuals who have sailed together anywhere from two to 15 years. We recognize each other's abilities, strengths and weaknesses and communicate without having to have things verbalized. In one-design sailing, only when you recall from memory and act on impulse do you have a beneficial outcome."
The Farr 40 Class maintains an extensive international schedule that revolves around regional fleets in the U.S., Australia, Southern Europe and the Nordic region, with the annual Rolex Farr 40 World Championship serving as the class's "crown jewel" of competition. The World Championship has been sailed in North America, Europe or Australia every year since the class was established in 1997.
The full roster for the Rolex Farr 40 North Americans is as follows:
Bellerophon, Rick & Skip Sinclair, Greenwich, Conn.
Endorphin, Erik Wulff, Washington, D.C.
Flash Gordon, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill.
Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, Md.
Ramrod, Rod Jabin, Annapolis, Md.
Seawolf, U.S. Naval Acadamy, Annapolis, Md.
Sundance, Gary Beer, Washington, D.C.
Tsunami, Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/Bud Dailey, Annapolis, Md.
Yellow Jacket, Bulman/Scholz Syndicate, Annapolis Md./Washington, D.C.
For more information about the Farr 40 class, the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 North Americans or the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, please visit www.farr40.org