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Farr 40 Pre-Worlds :Chicago Proves To Be A TOO Windy City

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  • Farr 40 Pre-Worlds :Chicago Proves To Be A TOO Windy City

    Sweet shots from Farr 40 Worlds in Chicago. Racing was abandoned today due to 7.5-foot seas and wind in excess of 25+ knots.
    A practice race is scheduled for tomorrow and official racing starts Saturday!

    all images © sara proctor/ Yacht Club

    Plenty seeks fourth crown as competitive 14-boat fleet gathers at
    Chicago Yacht Club for 2018 Farr 40 World Championship

    CHICAGO - Alex Roepers is extremely proud of each and every one of the three world championships he's captured as an owner-driver within the prestigious Farr 40 Class Association.

    If Roepers and his top-notch team aboard Plenty can secure another world title this year off Chicago it might mark their crowning achievement. That's because the talent and depth of the fleet gathered in the Windy City is perhaps the most formidable in recent class history.

    Five past world champions are among the 14 entries representing five different countries that will compete in the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship, being hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. Roepers, the two-time defending world champ, knows Plenty is the pre-regatta favorite based off past performance only.

    "This is the largest fleet we've seen in a while and the caliber of boats here is extraordinary," Roepers said. "It's going to be an extremely competitive event and there are no clear favorites, in my opinion. We are looking forward to a great regatta and know the winner of this world championship will have really accomplished something special."

    Renowned professional and two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson is once again serving as tactician aboard Plenty, which claimed its first world crown in 2014 on San Francisco Bay.

    Main trimmer Skip Baxter, headsail trimmer Morgan Trubovich and bowman Greg Gendell are the other pros aboard Plenty, which won the 2016 worlds held off Sydney, Australia and the 2017 worlds contested in Porto Cervo.

    "We have the same team that has done rather well in recent years. There is great chemistry and cohesion among the crew," Roepers said. "We are confident, yet remain humble. We're keeping our heads down and staying focused on the job at hand."

    The fleet of 14 boats comes off the starting line in close proximity during the Farr 40 Pre-Worlds, held Wednesday out of the Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Station.

    Plenty discovered during the Farr 40 Pre-Worlds just how stiff the competition will be this year. Heavy traffic at a mark rounding left the three-time world champs in last place in Race 2 and it was not easy to fight back and finish sixth. That result coupled with a second in Race 1 left Plenty in third overall as the second scheduled day of racing was cancelled due to high winds and rough seas on Lake Michigan.

    "It is very obvious that many of the owners have really stepped up their programs in terms of sails and crew," Roepers said. "This is one of the strongest fleets I've seen in all my years of Farr 40 racing. For those who said the Farr 40 class was dying, this is proof to the contrary."

    Roepers skippered Plenty to victory when the Farr 40 class participated in the Verve Cup that was hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club in mid-August. That regatta, which drew 10 boats, was held in light to moderate winds.

    Conditions figure to be a bit tougher when the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship is conducted out of Belmont Station from October 6-9. Early forecasts call for winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots and possibly steep waves at times.

    "It looks like we'll have very sail-able conditions that should challenge the fleet," Roepers said. "It will be a long, intense regatta and we'll just have to grind it out and hope we're in a good position to win going into the last day."
    Hutchinson admits he has not sailed out of Chicago too often during his decorated career and was familiarizing himself with what to expect during an October week on Lake Michigan.

    "It's a really tricky place to sail. Based off what we saw on Wednesday, it is very shifty and those shifts come quickly. You need to be on your toes and hope you're in the right spot," Hutchinson said. "In a north wind you've got 400 miles of fetch across the lake. Pretty much in all the directions except westerly, which is directly off the land) you'll have fairly lumpy seas."

    Four boats approach the windward mark during the Farr 40 Pre-Worlds, which were held in strong winds on Lake Michigan on Wednesday and won by Struntje Light.

    Struntje Light, the German entry skippered by class veteran Wolfgang Schaefer, figured things out the best during the one day of pre-worlds - posting a first and second to come away the winner. That result was greeted with ambivalence by Schaefer, who has been competing in the Farr 40 class longer than any other skipper at this year's worlds.

    "Well, the good news is that we won the pre-worlds. Unfortunately, the bad news is that winning the pre-worlds usually means you don't win the worlds," Schaefer said. "That is the rule and it has only been broken a few times."

    Struntje Light has competed in 15 world championship and placed on the podium many times, most recently taking third in 2015 and 2016. Breaking through to join the elite list of world champs would be a dream come true for the husband-wife team of Wolfgang and Angela Schaefer.

    "We have been very close in the past, but have been hurt by bad luck or lack of consistency," Wolfgang Schaefer said. "We have a good crew that has been sailing together for a long time. We know from our performance in the pre-worlds that we have a fast boat. However, you need a certain amount of luck to win a world championship in this class."

    Iain Percy, a two-time Olympic champion for Great Britain, is serving as tactician aboard Struntje Light. Percy, who has Olympic gold medals in the Finn and Star classes, has sailed with Schaefer before.

    "I have been good friends with Iain Percy for many years. He came back because he enjoys sailing in the class and with our crew," Schaefer said. "Having a sailor with the credentials of Ian Percy onboard gives us great confidence going into the regatta."

    Joining the fray is Enfant Terrible, the Italian boat owned by Alberto Rossi that captured the 2013 world championship. Vasco Vascotto called tactics for Rossi when the 2013 worlds were held off Newport and is back seeking an encore.

    Flash Gordon 6, skippered by longtime Chicago Yacht Club member Helmut Jahn, has the home waters advantage. Flash Gordon garnered it is lone Farr 40 World Championship when it was held off Chicago in 2012.

    Inferno, owned by another Chicago Yacht Club member in Philip Dowd, also knows the venue quite well. Dowd captured the Corinthian championship when the 2012 worlds were held off the Windy City.

    Another notable entry is Asterisk Uno of Turkey, which just won the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo under the leadership of owner-driver Hasip Gencer.

    "This is an outstanding fleet. I think the top boats are very, very close," Schaefer said. "We are going to have great competition, which will make it really fun."

    Zen, skippered by Gordon Ketelbey of Sydney, Australia, took top honors among Corinthian boats during the pre-worlds. David Chapman called tactics as Zen finished fourth overall to announce itself as a contender for a podium placement during the world championship.

    "We've won the Corinthian pre-worlds two years in a row. With 10 Corinthian teams this year, it's the most competitive worlds to be held," Chapman said. "We don't consider ourselves the favorites going into next week, however, we are here to win."

    Edake, another Australian entry owned by Jeff Carter, was the Corinthian world champion in 2016. Jud Smith is serving as tactician aboard Edake, which will no doubt be a top contender among Corinthian entries and possibly make some noise overall.

    Last edited by Photoboy; 10-05-2018, 09:04 AM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Plenty Of Wind And Rain For Day 1 Farr 40 Worlds


    CHICAGO, IL (October 6, 2018): Patience paid off for Day 1 of the Farr 40 World Championship Day 1 in Chicago, Illinois. After a brief shoreside postponement, the fleet headed out for steep waves and winds of 15-20knots. The northeast winds brought in the standard cooler air with storms threatening on the horizon.

    Chicago Yacht Club's Leif Sigmond and Marcus Thymian's, Norboy, leads the Corinthian fleet only two points ahead of Gordon Ketelby's ZEN. Consistency has proven key for Norboy as they raced the season with the same crew for the NOOD, Mac, Verve and, now, Worlds. "I almost wish we weren't leading the Corinthian fleet after the first day; I think it makes it a little rougher," said Sigmond. "I think we can win these regattas by being consistent and not trying to knock the ball out of the park every time; we want some nice doubles and triples. We're just trying to get on base and score."

    Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible set the tone early on Day One with a finish extending several lengths ahead of the fleet in Race One. "The fleet is so similar that the situation changes quickly," said Rossi. Unfortunately, in the second downwind of Race Three, a windward-leeward penalty with Plenty caused Enfant Terrible to tumble two points while the four-time World Champion moved into first.

    Hometown favorite Helmut and Evan Jahn's Flash Gordon 6 was noticeably absent from the leaderboard, but made a comeback in Race Three of the day when they dialed in a solid start to take off with their first win and top three finish of the event. The move was much needed as they jumped from sixth to fourth in the standings tied at 16 points with fellow Chicagoan, Norboy.

    The pre-worlds favorite, Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje light was consistent throughout the day with significant gains on the downwinds. Their only downwind struggle was due to a shredded spinnaker in Race One, but after a quick sail change, they only lost one boat - Plenty. "Unfortunately, the winner of the pre-worlds event never wins the Worlds," noted Pre-Worlds winner, Schaefer. "This has been disproven only two or three times in fifteen years, but I promise you that we are working on it."

    The Farr 40 Class would like to thank its 2018 World Championship sponsors Crowley's Yacht Yard, Quantum Sails and Chicago Yacht Club. Racing continues Sunday, October 7 at noon with similar conditions of 15-20 knots out of the northeast predicted which will be accompanied by 3-5 foot waves.

    For more information and results from the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship, visit

    1. Plenty, Alex Roepers - 6pts

    2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi - 8pts

    3. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer - 9pts

    4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut & Evan Jahn - 16pts

    5. Norboy, Leif Sigmond & Marcus Thymian - 16pts

    6. ZEN, Gordon Ketelby - 17pts

    7. Eagles Wings, John Gottwald - 22pts

    8. Hot Lips, Chris Whitford - 26pts

    9. Blade 2, Mick Schlens - 27pts

    10. Edake, Jeff Carter - 27pts

    11. Asterisk, Hasip Gencer - 28pts

    12. Inferno, Philip Dowd - 34pts

    13. Taipan, Lloyd Karzen - 38pts

    14. Hooligan, Joel Carroll - 41pts
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      Light And Lumpy In Chi-Town


      CHICAGO, IL (October 6, 2018): The point spread grew at the top of the Farr 40 World Championship leaderboard on Day Two with Enfant Terrible finishing at the front of the fleet for while Plenty fell to third. Three races were run in a confused sea state of 4-6 foot waves with wind decreasing throughout the day from 16 down to 11 knots.

      Hailing from Australia, Gordon Ketelbey's ZEN had never raced in Chicago prior to this year's Worlds. "So far it's been cold, wet, rainy and very windy," said Ketelbey. "I was downstairs when we left the harbor today and I felt the bump-bounce-bump-bounce. I said to myself, 'Here we go another day in Chicago.'"

      At the top of the leaderboard, Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible now holds a four-point lead on Struntje light and eight-points on Plenty going into Day Three, despite losing their footing in the third race. "For the first two races we had fantastic starts and we were able to maintain our position for the whole race," said Rossi. "For the third race, we had a good start, but we were a little close to other boats so we couldn't follow our planned course. We - and several other boats - made the mistake of using the S1.5 instead of the S1 spinnaker as well."

      all images © ian roman/farr 40 class

      Elsewhere in the fleet, not to be dismayed by their results on Day One, Helmut and Evan Jahn's Flash Gordon 6 recovered again after a shakeup in the second race to redeem themselves with a bullet in the final race of the day. "We did everything wrong in the start of the last race. We had to duck the whole fleet and we thought we were dead last," said Helmut. "When we finally turned up to the left again, it looked like we were doing quite well. Only Struntje light was ahead of us and we finally got them in the first downwind mark rounding then rounded boat lengths ahead of them on the second upwind."

      Leading the Corinthian Fleet, Norboy gave Enfant Terrible a run for their money in the first race of the day with a downwind dogfight to the finish. "It was a great moment to be surfing downwind with the leader of the regatta," said owner Marcus Thymian. "Between match race tactics and pumping the sails to surf the waves, it all came down to who was able to get their boat going faster." Enfant Terrible narrowly accelerated ahead of Norboy to finish just a half a boat-length ahead of Sigmond and Thymian.

      Norboy is now watching their back as they stand currently tied with ZEN at 35 points.* "Both Norboy and us didn't have a particularly good day," Ketelbey clarified. "It swings around a bit. It's supposed to be light winds and flat water the next two days. I don't know who it's going to favor, but I hope it favors us. We just have to sail fast and keep out of trouble. There's a long way to go in this event."

      The Farr 40 Class would like to thank its 2018 World Championship sponsors Crowley's Yacht Yard, Quantum Sails and Chicago Yacht Club. Racing continues Monday, October 8 at 12PM CDT with winds shifting 180 degrees to the south at 10-15 knots accompanied by warmer temperatures and partly cloudy skies.

      For more information and results from the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship, visit Daily photo galleries and videos can be found on the Farr 40 Class Facebook page.

      *Since press time, Norboy was penalized 2-points in the second race moving them to sixth place.

      1. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi - 14pts
      2. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer - 18pts
      3. Plenty, Alex Roepers - 22pts
      4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut & Evan Jahn - 25pts
      5. ZEN, Gordon Ketelbey - 35pts
      6. Norboy, Marcus Thymian & Leif Sigmond - 37pts
      7. Edake, Jeff Carter - 47pts
      8. Eagles Wings, John Gottwald - 47pts
      9. Hot Lips, Christopher Whitford - 49pts
      10. Asterisk, Hasip Gencer - 57pts
      11. Blade 2, Mick Shlens - 59pts
      12. Inferno, Philip Dowd - 65pts
      13. Taipan, Lloyd Karzen - 75pts
      14. Hooligan, Joel Carroll - 82pts
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        The Final Bullet Wins It

        German's first bullet of the regatta underscores consistency and competitiveness of 2018 fleet

        CHICAGO, IL (October 9, 2018): The culmination of the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship served up nail-biting competition, coming down to the final race of the event as Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje light edged out Alex Roeper's Plenty who finished a critical two boats behind nullifying their two-point lead. One of the two boats was the Corinthian Champion, Leif Sigmond and Marcus Thymian's Norboy, capping-off a dominant performance over the Corinthian fleet.

        The final day of racing at the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship saw the least amount of breeze and flattest water with unseasonably warm temperatures for fall in Chicago. With southerly winds dipping below 10 knots, teams who excelled in the lighter conditions established themselves early.

        Struntje light and Plenty entered the day tied at 27 points. The German boat established themselves early, seemingly putting the Championship title in the bag after Race One as they moved up the standings three points ahead of Plenty. However, all plans were cut short when they finished a brutal ninth place in the second race, preventing early celebrations and handing the lead to Plenty.

        "We had a little bit too much bad luck in the second race," lamented Schaefer. "We said, 'Okay, there's one man in the sky that can pull us through it.' And then, he did!"

        The event was then decided on the final leg of the last race as Struntje light sailed to their first race win of the event. As the German team watched the course behind them from the finish, both John Gottwald's Eagles Wings and Norboy crossed the line in front of Plenty, narrowly edging out Roeper's team by less than a boat length. "The problem was we didn't know how many points Plenty would be behind," said Schaefer. "Having the Commodore of Chicago Yacht Club between us helped a little bit."

        "The truth is we were just sailing our best race and letting the other boats sort themselves out," said Sigmond. Thymian elaborated, "We were just trying to not get a penalty and there could've been a few close calls at the finish with Eagles Wings and Plenty."

        Norboy has come a long way since their World Championship debut finishing last place 22 points behind the fleet in 2012. Despite not winning a single race in the event, Norboy won the Corinthian Fleet by 15 points. "We learned a lot from the Flash Gordon program. We wouldn't be here without their help," said Thymian.

        Elsewhere in the fleet, Chicago natives Helmut and Evan Jahn's Flash Gordon 6 came in for a dominating first place finish in Race Two to finish in third place. It was a come-from-behind move as Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible had had a firm grip on the fleet from strong finishes in the first two days of the. Unfortunately for the Italians, they didn't excel in the shifty air that Flash Gordon 6 is accustomed to in their home port. The duo ended the event tied at 53 points with the Jahns having just enough bullets to secure their place on the podium.

        "I've been sailing this regatta since 2002 - with very few exceptions. The teams here in Chicago sailed at a much higher level. It's so much fun sailing against them," complimented Schaefer. "We've known our friends Alex and Alberto a long time - they're why we've been part of the class for so many years. That is the Farr 40 for me."

        The Farr 40 Class would like to thank its 2018 World Championship sponsors Crowley's Yacht Yard, Quantum Sails and Chicago Yacht Club.

        For more information and results from the 2018 Farr 40 World Championship, visit

        1. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer - 39pts
        2. Plenty, Alex Roepers - 40pts
        3. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut & Evan Jahn, 53pts
        4. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi - 53pts
        5. Norboy, Leif Sigmond & Marcus Thymian - 60.4pts
        6. ZEN, Gordon Ketelbey - 75pts
        7. Edake, Jeff Carter - 79pts
        8. Hot Lips, Christopher Whitford - 87pts
        9. Eagles Wings, John Gottwald - 90pts
        10. Asterisk, Hasip Gencer - 105pts
        11. Inferno, Phillip Dowd - 106pts
        12. Blade 2, Mick Shlens - 107pts
        13. Taipan, Lloyd Karzen - 127pts
        14. Hooligan, Joel Carroll - 135pts
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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