FARR 40 RACING – A third day of racing at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship was delayed due to 30 knots of breeze at the scheduled start time of 12:30. The Race Committee rescheduled for 1:30, but when the international fleet of 11 boats journeyed to the race course on the somewhat protected Cow Bay, off Town Beach on the northeast side of Martha’s Vineyard, the seas proved too unfriendly and the sailors were instructed to return to safe harbor. Finally, after seas lessened and winds dampened down to 15-20 knots, a second try was successful, resulting in two late afternoon races.
Right off the bat, Nico Poons’ (Monaco) Charisma showed how seriously it wants this championship title, leading smartly to the top mark after what Poons called a “reasonably good start.” With clear air and control of its position, the team maintained its lead over the remaining three legs of the six-mile course. “In the second race, we were also first at the top mark but couldn’t hold the position,” said Poons, who wound up fourth in that. “We were second boat of the day as far as overall performance (Alberto Rossi’s Italian entry Enfant Terrible being first), but otherwise it was not a bad day today at all.”
Charisma now leads Jim Richardson’s (Boston, Mass.) Barking Mad (in second overall) by ten points and Enfant Terrible (in third) by 15. Barking Mad started prematurely in the first race but regrouped nicely to restart and eventually finish fifth. Then the team followed up with a second place in race two, overtaking Charisma on the way down to the first gate but succumbing toEnfant Terrible after that team rounded the opposite gate and legged out five boat lengths on them to win.
Enfant’s main trimmer Giovanni Cassinari (Lake Garda, Italy) said his team was fifth at the top mark in the second race but played the shifts and pressure well to close the gap on the top boats by the first gate. Only Enfant and one other boat rounded the port gate to play the right side of the course. “We stayed on the right and there was a right shift, while Barking Mad played hard to the left extreme. When we crossed (on the second upwind leg) we were ahead, in first, and we stretched our lead on the last downind leg to the finish.”
Cassinari added that his team was happy with both its finishes today. (It posted a third in race one.) “The races were both quite shifty, in the rain, with the puffs always coming,” he said. “We didn’t have good starts but managed to sail well on the first beats, so we were always close to the top boats.” He gave credit to tactician Vasco Vascotto for excellent calls and thanked the boat’s owner/driver Alberto Rossi for allowing the boat to compete without him. (Enfant was steered by the team’s pit man Roberto Strappiti, a class-approved driver for this event in Rossi’s absence for medical reasons.)
“We tried to sail our own race as best as possible, but we are tied on points with Barking Madfor the U.S. Circuit, so obviously we are watching them and trying to put as many boats as possible between us,” said Cassinari. They have a bit of advantage on us, but tomorrow we hope to play out three races. It’s not finished yet.”
Tomorrow’s race schedule has been moved up to 10:00, with the intention that three races will be held. The Rolex Awards Party, where the Rolex North American Champion will be crowned and awarded a coveted Rolex Submariner timepiece, will follow racing at Edgartown Yacht Club, co-host for the event with the Farr 40 class.