Descend on San Francisco
Francisco, Calif., USA (September 6, 2004)
- An amateur owner-driver class it may be, but winning the
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, due to take place in San
Francisco, Calif. on September 8-11, represents one of the
toughest challenges in yacht racing. To insure victory,
each team's crew roster is stocked with Olympic medallists,
America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans, and multi-titled
Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.) has recently has returned
from the Athens Olympics where he finished fifth in the
Star class, to resume his post as tactician for John Kilroy
(Malibu, Calif.) onboard Samba Pa Ti. "In keelboat
sailing the Farr 40 has the most professionalism and dedication
to training and the top programs are run like small America's
Cup or Volvo programs," said the former America's Cup
skipper and Whitbread Race winner.
Cayard, the 1998 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, provides a
few tips on what it will take to win. "The Farr 40
fleet is always very competitive and by virtue of the fact
that they are one design boats they are very similar in
speed and there will be a large group of boats," he
said. "So, like any one design sailing it's going to
be about getting a good start and finding a good lane of
clear air on the first beat, to sail well and arrive at
the top mark in the top five. Being able to do that consistently
will lead to some good results."
To date, 31 boats are due to take part, including many seasoned
U.S. campaigns such as Jim Richardson's (Boston, Mass./Newport,
R.I.) Barking Mad, Steve Phillips' (Arnold, Md.) Le Renard,
Philippe Kahn's (Santa Cruz, Calif.) Pegasus and Alex Geremia
and Scott Harris' (Santa Barbara, Calif.) Crocodile Rock.
is well represented with stand-out teams such as Peter de
Ridder's (Monaco) Mean Machine, Eric Maris's (Paris, France)
Twins2, Giovanni Maspero's (Milan, Italy) Joe Fly and Vincenzo
Onorato's (Naples, Italy) Mascalzone Latino. The list of
'top campaigns' is a long one.
They will all fight it out with the defending World Champions
from Rome, Italy, Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio sodo Migliori
Stead, tactician on the Italian Mascalzone Latino team,
agrees with Cayard's views on the level of competition.
"Any one of 10 teams could probably win and I think
any one of 20 teams could win a race," said the former
GBR Challenge team member. "The standard now is so
high in the class that people don't make mistakes."
The reason, Stead says is due to a majority of the owners
being used to winning in business and wanting to emulate
this on the water. "A lot are doing whatever it takes,"
Like other top-level programs most of the Farr 40 teams
have been training with world class coaches who have been
evident this week in their inflatables out on San Francisco
Bay. Some of the teams also have carried out two boat testing,
the fast track approach to improving boat speed.
Team New Zealand afterguard Terry Hutchinson is once again
on Barking Mad, while ex-Team New Zealand afterguard, turned
Olympic Laser sailor, Hamish Pepper is calling tactics on
Australian Richard Perini's Evolution.
Other notable sailors taking part include Stu Bannatyne
on Groovederci, Ray Davies on Mean Machine, John Cutler
on Fred and Steve Howe's Warpath (San Diego, Calif.), as
well as 2003 Match Racing World Champion Ed Baird on Marc
Ewing's Riot (Glencoe, Ill.).
2004 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship takes place September
8-11 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif.
in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden
Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on
San Francisco Bay. The club is renowned for its expertise
in running world and national championships, including the
Melges 24 Worlds, and the J/105 and Star North American
more information about the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship,
including daily racing reports, results and photos, go to
www.farr40.org or www.stfyc.org.