The Farr 40 fleet on the annex to the windward mark
Photo gallery: Farr-40-WM: "Morning Glory" fourth
The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship began today in Sydney, Australia with two outstanding victories of the day by the local "Ichi Ban" The crew around owner and helmsman Matt Allen shone in front of all the top favorites.
The German "Morning Glory" by Hasso Plattner from Walldorf also got off to a good start, finishing fourth in the overall ranking with ninth and sixth places. Defending champion "Barking Mad" (USA) is only twelfth.
"We are at the top and satisfied with our start," reported Stefan Matschuk from Heiligenhafen on board the "Morning Glory". Solid starts, a very good boat speed and almost no tactical or technical errors secured the two top ten placements. Tactician Russell Coutts, the reigning America’s Cup winner, had found two favorable courses through the 28-boat field. "Perhaps one or two places would still have been possible when we didn't quite optimally rounded a turning point," said Matschuk, "but that shouldn't be a big deal."
The "Ichi Ban" achieved a novelty in the history of the Farr 40 class: never before had a boat won two races on one World Cup day. The Australian team did this based on good speed and tactics. Instead of setting a brand new mainsail, Allen trusted the used one, which had convinced in the tests during Pre-Worlds. "This made us a lot faster and therefore only took new headsails," reported the skipper.
On the other hand, Matschuk, who acts as a "player" (floater) with several tasks in the "Morning Glory" crew, saw a main reason for the increase in performance compared to the previous week in the fact that Plattner had all sails swapped. "In the second race we were extremely fast in around four winds," reported the 41-year-old. They left the ex-world champion "Nerone" from Italy, who came in eighth.
"Ichi Ban" tactician Roger Hickman also explained his one-two with his home advantage. He suspected that the right side of the course would become the favored side with the increasing northeast breeze. "At the start we deliberately moved to the end of the start line twice at the start and were always right. Because the weather at the Sydney Heads sometimes does the same thing twice in a row." After an undisputed victory in the first race, the "Ichi Ban" only narrowly won the second race in a bow-to-bow battle after several jibes against the Italian "TWT", after the Italians did not use their spinnaker pole optimally after the last jibe got set.
While the "TWT" is fifth overall despite a botched start (14th), a second Australian boat also surprised: It was not the "Shockwave" by Neville Crichton that surprisingly won the Pre-Worlds; she is after fourth place and only ninth and 17. It was Richard Perini's "Evolution", which took second and seventh place overall, ahead of Steve and Fred Howe's "Warpath" (USA). The "Warpath" team had the instructions their tactician Paul Cayard consistently followed, sailed conservatively and kept out of all threatening protest situations - that was the key to success, two points before the "Morning Glory".
ResultsPlace, yacht name, country, skipper, point
1.) Ichi Ban, AUS, Matt Allen, 1-1, 2 2.) Evolution, AUS, Richard Perini, 2-7, 93.) Warpath, USA, Steve and Fred Howe, 10-3, 134.) Morning Glory, GER, Hasso Plattner, 9-6, 155.) TWT, ITA, Marco Rodolfi, 14-2, 166. =) Kokomo, AUS, Lang Walker, 5-12, 176. =) Mascalzone Latino, ITA, Vincenzo Onorato, 6-11, 178.) Nerone, ITA, Massimo Mezzaroma / Antonio Sodo Migliori, 1-8, 199. =) Sputnik, AUS, Ivan Wheen, 3-18, 219. =) Team Shockwave, AUS, Neville Crichton, 4-17, 21