The Farr 40 Class is enjoying a slight respite from its fall from Grand Prix grace, with a World fleet buoyed to 20 boats thanks to 11 Australian entries in the Sydney-based championship. More impressive than the fleet size is the fact that Rolex have finally blown some money on something useful and modern – live race tracking with the gorgeous 3-D interface from Virtual Eye. This Gucci tracker is free, and simply blows away anything else on the market – that is, if you can see it! It seems the VE tracker requires downloading a dedicated player and is blocked in many places, though if you can see it, you’ll love it.
In related news, despite the muzak soundtrack, there’s actually a nice video on the Worlds site. Check it out here, go here for the tracker, and look for results here. And here’s a great report of the pre-worlds/Aussie Nationals from our friend Lulu Roseman at Ready About Magazine, who’ll be blogging all week from Worlds. Photo from Lulu as well.
They’re young, they’re fearless and hungry for success and after almost defeating the current World Champions Nerone in Heat 5 of the Australian Nationals last Saturday, Easy Tiger II’s confidence is at an all time high.
"The big break for us in that race was just getting a clean start and that is the whole trick in this. The Italians are very good at hitting the line with speed and finding that hole. We found a hole and just launched so then we were suddenly in the front four at the top mark and just built off that," Skipper Chris Way said.
"We managed to get a couple of shifts downwind and get in touch with Nerone at the bottom mark, split tacks and then passed them and then they got back at us. It was a real match race downwind in the final leg. An absolutely thrilling race with them and we didn’t know if we’d won or they’d won at the finish line but I gathered they got us by about half a metre. It was a tremendous outcome and I am very pleased. The crew worked really, really hard for it."
For Way and many of his local Australian competitors this his been the largest fleet, 20 boats, they have competed against in this class and the fact that many of the leading boats have struggled to find form reiterates how vital fleet management is.
"If you get a bad start, and I’ve seen a lot of the top guys getting bad starts, you get buried and it’s not always easy being able to build it back up. These boats are all the same so you’ve just got to manage where you are in the fleet and that’s finding lanes and very tight lanes on top of that," he said.
"Our tactician, Cameron Miles, is a guy who obviously has a lot of fleet management experience over the years, with Etchells and even he’s finding it tough. So if he’s finding it tough the rest of the fleet are also finding it tough. You look at John Kostecki on the first day on Transfusion and he just went out the back door in two of those races and he’s one of the world’s best, so it is a tough game.