Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion overpowered the local contenders for a record sixth time at the Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy.
Master international tactician John Kostecki helped furnish the dominant Middle Harbour Yacht Club crew with the highest accolades once again, a major boost to the team’s Rolex Farr 40 World Championship chances when Sydney hosts an international fleet in a couple of weeks’ time.
Luckily they had enough points in the bag that Transfusion wasn’t required to sail the last race. When they lined up for the start of race 10, Martin Hill’s Estate Master pushed them up, then when Transfusion lent over in a gust Hill’s mast spreader pierced Transfusion’s mainsail, bringing Belgiorno-Nettis’ day to a premature end.
“It was an unfortunate situation, the positive is we had three consistently good races at the front of the fleet to build on our position and we are very happy with our performance,” the winning skipper said back at MHYC. “John’s [Kostecki] an extremely tough taskmaster, he keeps us all organised. The crew mechanics are getting tighter and tighter the more we sail with him.”
Transfusion began winning major Farr 40 trophies in 2009. Over seven years they’ve amassed an extraordinary six Australian championships, multiple state championships and a world championship in Sydney in 2011.
In less than a fortnight they take on the Australian fleet plus two American and one European Farr 40 crew, two of the three former world champions, starting with the Sydney Open, February 11-13, followed by the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
Lang Walker was winning Farr 40 titles back in 2007-08 just before Transfusion’s reign began. His Kokomo crew staged a remarkable return to racing this weekend after two seasons off so Walker could sort out a dodgy hip.
Kokomo (CYCA) finished runner up by five points after 10 races, new tactician David Chapman and the core crewmembers shoring up second overall with a boat of the day performance – 1,4,1,3 - today, Sunday January 31, 2016.
“We were very close to Transfusion in pace upwind; downwind we need a bit more work,” Chapman acknowledged. “I think the offshore courses for the worlds will suit us better than the harbour courses.”
Walker tried out a new driving style downwind this series and Chapman said his skipper seemed comfortable moving from side to side. In terms of the local fleet Belgiorno-Nettis rates Kokomo the dark horse.
Estate Master (MHYC) worked its way back from the pre-start altercation with Transfusion to take the gun in the final race 10, moving them up to third on the series ladder. Jeff Carter’s Edake (MHYC) finished fourth overall and first Corinthian Farr 40.
Phil Yeomans, MHYC’s Principal Race Officer ran four races on Sydney Harbour’s Sound course area in breeze 8-14 knots and gusts up to 17. “It was a typical westerly, it would drop down to eight then gust up to 14, from no breeze at the first top mark to breeze on the next time around.”
Final series results
Courtesy of: Lisa Ratcliff/Australian Farr 40 media