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Farr 40 Australian National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy at RSYS this weekend

by Lisa Ratcliff 5 Mar 05:53 GMT 8-10 March 2019
F40 Pittwater OD regatta fleet against the national park - Farr 40 Australian Open Series National Championship © Jennie Hughes

The Australian Farr 40 class will cap off its 20th successful season at the annual pinnacle event, traditionally held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to the north of one of the city's most famous landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tom and Alan Quick's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia based Outlaw is the hot favourite to take out their first Farr 40 Australian Open Series National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy, having won four from five pointscore regattas across the season which saw the fleet travel between Sydney Harbour (MHYC OD Regatta), Pittwater (Pittwater OD) and Newcastle.

Racing over three days, March 8 10, daily from 11am, the fleet of nine will spend Friday and Sunday inside Sydney Harbour and Saturday offshore on either the Macquarie or Manly circle. A mixed format offers a range of conditions with private and commercial traffic and chop inshore and typically lumpy swell offshore that makes hanging onto the Farr 40s downwind all-the-more challenging for the owner/driver.

Outlaw's convincing result at the Farr 40 NSW State Title and across the summer puts them in the box seat among the full Corinthian fleet. Behind them are a raft of crews who, on their day, are all capable of a bullet and a piece of the trophy action.

Rob Pitts, owner of one of two Farr 40s sailing for Melbourne, Double Black, and sponsor of the NSW and Australian titles through his company Hacer Group, says the battle for second to fourth places has been intense throughout the 2018-19 season. "We've had some really competitive sailing all season, in particular the three to four boats chasing Outlaw, such as Edake and Exile. Hacer Group is proud to be associated with an international class racing on Sydney's iconic harbour."

Farr 40 class administrator Jennie Hughes worked closely with owners and host clubs across the spring and summer months to ensure regattas ran smoothly, plus developed a great program of social activities to further cement the wonderful camaraderie. "This weekend's après-racing itinerary of catered regatta parties at the RSYS, with its top hospitality and spectacular harbour views, will again be the perfect way to close off another season, the Australian fleet's twentieth," Pitts added.

Nine entries are confirmed for the 2019 title, named in honour of Australia's first Farr 40 world champion John Calvert-Jones: Edake, Exile, Forty, Double Black, Nutcracker, Good Form, Solymar, Zen and Outlaw. RSYS principal race officer Rod Ridley and his team will conduct up to four races daily.

The long-range outlook shows temperatures in the high twenties and 15 knot nor'easters both Friday and Saturday afternoons and a 10 knot south to south-easterly on Sunday.

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