Australian Farr 40 season kicks off at Port Stephens

The opening regatta for the Australian Farr 40 season, the Corinthian Doors Peppers Anchorage Farr 40 regatta in Port Stephens had a few surprises in store for the fleet today.

After waiting for the breeze to fill in from the south the race committee had race one of the series underway with new comer to the fleet, Blacksnake positioned in the front of the fleet for the duration for the two-lap course. Chris Links – tactician – commented: “We had a good initiation to the class and visited both ends of the fleet. It’s a strong class and you have to be able to maintain consistency. The crew had a lot of fun but it’s pretty hard work out there.”

Blacksnake was closely followed for the entire race by Lang Walker’s Kokomo and previous event winner Richard Perini and Evolution.

In race Quantum Racing with Ray Roberts at the helm got a clean start mid way down the start line. Blacksnake, again led the fleet around the course with Quantum Racing keeping a close eye on them. In an extremely close finish Quantum Racing managed to surf into the lead and crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of Blacksnake with Steve O’Rourke’s Panther not far behind. Racing with Panther as tactician is Australian 49er representative from Athens 2004 Gary Boyd.

In a building breeze that reached 18 knots, the team on Quantum Racing repeated Blacksnake’s race one performance and placed themselves in the front of the fleet to cross the line in front with Perini taking second and Kokomo in third for race three. Steve McConaghy – tactician – commented: “It was our first day out and everything came together well. We’re really pleased with the boat speed and where we positioned ourselves on the course. Ray did a terrific job; he settled into the boat and steered really well in today’s conditions.” Brett Neill’s Venom from New Zealand rounded the first top mark in second place but slipped back to cross the line in fourth.

Walker and his team on Kokomo took the gun in race four after a general recall had the fleet lining up again. Australian Olympic sailor Colin Beashel is racing with Kokomo as tactician and his son Aaron is onboard for this regatta. Quantum Racing recovered from being in fifth place for the first two mark roundings to cross the line second behind Kokomo and be awarded Boat of the Day. Perini crossed in third with Panther in fourth.

Racing at Port Stephens continues tomorrow with another day of strong breezes forecasted for the fleet.

Results (provisional day 1)

1 Quantum Racing, Ray Roberts CYCA 8pts

2 Kokomo, Lang Walker CYCA 10 pts

3 Evolution, Richard Perini RSYS 15 pts

4 Panther, Steve O’Rourke CYCA 17 pts

5 Blacksnake, Michael Milne RSYS 18 pts

6 Rushcutter, Don Telford CYCA 24 pts

7 Venom, Brett Neill RNZYS 25 pts

8 War Games, David Urry CYCSA 27 pts