Main photo: Alan & Tom Quick’s Outlaw – 2023 Farr 40 Australian Champions

The championship took place at Middle Harbour Yacht Club over the weekend of May 20 and 21. The two-day Sprint Regatta took place in May as a replacement for the usual three-day event held in March. The Sprint format, conducted in the Sound of Sydney Harbour, provided an exciting racetrack that ensured close contact among the boats in both the professional and amateur divisions.

The conditions on Day 1 were favourable, the moderate Westerly breezes provided a good balance between challenge and manageability for the sailors, while the sunny weather added to the overall enjoyable experience. During that day, three Farr 40 races were held, allowing the participants to showcase their skills and compete for the championship.

In Race 1, a close pin end start meant that the tacticians quickly engaged their crews in a tacking duel. OUTLAW, (Joe Turner) and EDAKE, (Malcolm Page) were actively competing and exchanging manoeuvres with GOOD FORM and BLUETACK, who were in close proximity up to the top mark.

During the downwind leg, the right-hand side of the course was favoured, and the boats strategically sought the best breeze to their advantage. Ultimately, OUTLAW managed to maintain its position and secure the victory, with EDAKE following closely behind. Race 1 showcased intense competition and close racing between the participating teams, with strategic decisions and finding the optimal breeze playing crucial roles in the outcome of the race.

In the second race, the shifty conditions posed a challenge for the teams, requiring them to work hard to gain an advantage over their competitors. OUTLAW claimed the first position, while GOOD FORM managed to outperform EDAKE, securing second place.

Moving on to the final race of the day, EDAKE had a successful start, winning the pin end and taking an early lead to the top mark. However, there were close tacks at the top end of the course, indicating intense competition among the teams. OUTLAW strategically shadowed EDAKE, forcing them to gybe to the left side of the course. At the bottom mark, OUTLAW held a narrow lead, and the wind started to soften, presenting a challenge for the tacticians to navigate and stay in the best pressure. BLUETACK’s Tactician, Ryan Wilmot, performed well and managed to overtake GOOD FORM, securing third place.

After the day’s racing, the teams had the opportunity to gather at the traditional Dock Party, where they could socialize, catch up, and share stories of the closely contested races.

On Sunday, the weather conditions were challenging with a shifty Westerly wind exceeding 30 knots in gusts. The decision to wait for the breeze to calm down proved beneficial, allowing a race to eventually commence with winds around 20 knots.

During this race, EDAKE had a strong start in the windy conditions and led the fleet to the top marks. The competitors engaged in close manoeuvres, including tacking and calls of water, showcasing their high levels of boat control in the strong winds.

The kite run, where the boats deploy their spinnakers, was a highlight of the weekend, with EDAKE leading the pack and reaching speeds of up to 19 knots. Other teams had to catch up to EDAKE in these fresh winds. However, during the final downwind leg, no team hoisted their spinnakers, due to the challenging conditions.

The winds intensified to 34 knots by the finish, prompting the PRO (Principal Race Officer) Steve Tucker to make the prudent decision to abandon the final two races and send the teams back to the club. Overall, the championship faced varying weather conditions, testing the skills and adaptability of the participating teams.

Alan and Tom Quick’s OUTLAW from CYCA emerged as the winners of the 2023 Farr 40 Australian Championships and were awarded the John Calvert-Jones Trophy. They finished with a three-point lead over MHYC’s Jeff Carter and EDAKE. Joe de Kock’s GOOD FORM from NCYC secured the Amateur Division prize.

More info at the Farr 40 website

by Simone Hill
Farr 40 Australian Class Administrator