Jim Richardson wins Rolex Baltic Week and European Circuit of the Farr 40 class 20/8/07

Jim Richardson from the USA is the first overall winner of the Rolex Baltic Week 2007. The owner and helmsman ofBarking Madand his team have won the Farr 40 competition on the Baltic Sea off Neustadt, Germany, as well as the European Circuit – a grand prix series of this prestigious international class comprising five separate regattas. The AustralianKokomo(Sue and Lang Walker) was placed second in both competitions, while Wolfgang Stolz and hisOpus Oneteam from Frankfurt, Germany finished fourth overall and were ranked as best German team.

“It was a great regatta with nine thrilling races. We had to give everything,” said Richardson after the last finish in which his hardest rivalKokomoscored a bullet. But the American was placed second for the fourth time and thus showed the most constant performance in the 13 boat fleet. At 33 points,Barking Madwas 13 points ahead.

In light to moderate winds with lots of shifts, race officer Eckart Reinke had no easy job lining fair courses for the top field. “The very changeable conditions made it difficult, but he managed excellently,” commented Wolfgang Schaefer, president of the co-organising European Farr 40 fleet. Praise also came from the overall winner: “We felt comfortable not only on the water, but also ashore,” said Richardson. “The hospitality and the race village of the Rolex Baltic Week were brilliant.”

The final day was a demonstration of just how close the races of this one-design class can get. No discards are allowed in Farr 40 regattas. In three races three different boats snatched the victories – theSiragusawa, owned by Olli-Pekka Lumijaervi from Finland, Matt Allen’sIchi Ban, andKokomo(both Australia). “In the last but one race we had some problems and suddenly dropped to [the] back of the fleet,” reported Terry Hutchinson, the tactician onBarking Mad, “But asKokomowas with us too we never got really upset.”

A precious Rolex Submariner timepiece in steel was presented to the overall winner by Peter Streit, CEO of Rolex Germany (see above). Jim Richardson and his tactician Terry Hutchinson agreed: “We definitely had to fight for our victory which is not obvious when you see the final result. The Rolex Baltic Week was the best test we can imagine for the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds starting in ten days.”

Final results of the Farr 40 regatta after nine races:

1 Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, USA) 33 points
2 Kokomo (Lang Walker, Australia) 46
3 Sirwagusawa (Olli-Pekka Lumijaervi, Finland) 48
4 Opus One (Wolfgang Stolz, Germany) 54
5 Ichi Ban (Matt Allen, Australia) 58
6 Struntje light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) 60
7 Fiamma (Alessandro Barnaba, Italy) 60
8 Groovederci (John Demourkas, USA) 63
9 Backbone (Thomas Kjær, Denmark) 68
10 Sputnik (Ivan Wheen, Australia) 75
11 Monkey Class (Ole van der Heide, United Kingdom) 79
12 Flash Gordon 5 (Helmut Jahn, USA) 81
13 Baloo 110 (Jens Erik Høst, Denmark) 91

Final results of the Farr 40 European Circuit after five competitons:

1 Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, USA) 155 points
2 Kokomo (Lang Walker, Australia) 162
3 Opus One (Wolfgang Stolz, Germany) 225
4 Sirwagusawa (Olli-Pekka Lumijaervi, Finland) 237
5 Struntje light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) 240