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Big Breeze and Bigger Seas for 2018 Farr 40 Pre-World Championship
Big Breeze and Bigger Seas for 2018 Farr 40 Pre-World Championship 
October 3-5, 2018    

The 2018 Farr 40 Pre-World Championship at Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station kicked off on Wednesday, October 3, with all competitors anxious and anticipating a week of action packed racing amongst some of the most talented and well known sailors from around the world participating in the event.

Wednesday morning conditions started off warmer than usual, with a real “Indian Summer” on Lake Michigan for two practice starts, followed by two races in the building wind and waves throughout the course of the afternoon. “We got two really good races in and then we started to see consistent breezes above 25 knots and we saw even some 30 knot gusts, so we called it off after two races.” Alina Dix of CYC’s Race Committee commented. 

The second day of racing was canceled early on Thursday morning, due to 7.5 foot seas and breeze consistently reaching the upper 20s. “There is no point to break things before the real event, and our aim is to keep people safe.” said Dix. PRO John Busch of Long Beach Yacht Club ran unofficial practice starts Friday, October 5th in lieu of the racing that would have been held yesterday for all teams interested in participating. With wind, rain and mild seas, the ten teams that participated caught a glimpse of conditions to come throughout the upcoming week. Finishes for Friday's practice races were not scored in conjunction with the Farr 40 Pre-World Championship.

Chicago Yacht Club Commodore Leif Sigmond, owner of Norboy, was optimistic that his team will fare well in the days to come, despite having not gotten a lot of days on the water recently “as the day went on we got better and better, we haven’t really sailed much since the Verve, so we were shaking off the cobwebs. The racing Wednesday was just practice, a lot of teams were trying different things, and we had equipment we had to deal with. I expect it will be a really tough regatta.” 

There is no shortage of talented teams that will be competing for the coveted Farr 40 World Championship trophy. With 14 entries from 5 different countries in the hunt for the title, several of whom are no strangers to the podium, the overall event winner is often times in the very last race. Competing for the title this year is three time World Champion Alex Roepers on Plenty, with two time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, 2013 champion Alberto Rossi of Enfant Terrible and Tactician Vasco Vascotto from Ancona, Italy, who have seen victories in many fleets over the past few years on the International Farr 40 Circuit, and CYC’s own father and son helmed Flash Gordon 6, who won the 2012 Farr 40 World Championship when it was last battled for here in Chicago. Chris Whitford’s Hotlips had a great showing on Wednesday, representing the Chicago Yacht Club, with a sixth and a fourth place finish, earning his team the second Corinthian spot on the leaderboard as the official event nears.

While the predicted weather for the event is going to be challenging for both teams and the race committee, with heavy winds in excess of 20 knots, rain, and the potential for thunder and lightning storms forecasted for the entirety of the event, Commodore Sigmond’s Norboy is ready for the challenge “I think we have it under control with what is forecasted. Most of us are ready for anything, or at least we think we are.”  

Crews will gather tomorrow at Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station for Day 1 of the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship. Racing is scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m.  

We would like to wish all competitors good luck and continued safety throughout the event.  

2018 Farr 40 Pre-Worlds Cumulative Scores (Top Three Boats)  

1.     Struntje Light       Wolfgang Schaefer      [1] [2]      3                GER 40
2.     Enfant Terrible     Alberto Rossi             [3] [1]      4                ITA 29141
3.     Plenty                   Alex Roepers              [2] [6]      8                USA 60059  

Corinthian Boats
1.     ZEN                    Gordon Ketelbey        [4] [5]      9                AUS 64221
2.     Hot Lips              Christopher Whitford  [6] [4]     10               USA 40027
3.     Asterisk                Hasip Gencer              [5] [7]      12             TUR 4000

Full results for Farr 40 Pre-World Championship available here.

Photos © Sara Proctor / Chicago Yacht Club