Thursday, 24 February 2011

Australian Sailing Team athletes and patrons line up to take on world's top Farr 40 crews in Sydney

Estate Master and Wired. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

by Craig Heydon

Members of the Australian Sailing Team are gearing up for a challenge of a different kind on the water this week as they tackle the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney.

A number of Australian Sailing Team athletes, Patrons and support staff will take part in the 2011 event, to be run out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from today until Saturday.

Out of the 20 boats lining up to contest the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship seven have a direct link to the Australian Sailing Team.

Estate Master tops the list of Australian Sailing Team links with three athletes and two Patrons set to take on the best Farr 40 crews in the world this week.

Estate Master is owned by Australian Sailing Team Patrons Martin and Lisa Hill, and will draw on some of Australia’s leading Olympic Class sailors for the regatta.

Reigning ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, and three time Laser World Champion, Tom Slingsby, will be calling tactics on Estate Master and will be joined onboard by 2008 and 2009 49er World Champion Nathan Outteridge and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Gold medalist and reigning 470 World Champion, Malcolm Page.

Estate Master finished fourth at the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and most recently was third overall and first Australian boat in last weekend’s Farr 40 Australian Championship.

Australian Sailing Team Patrons are owners and skippers of another four entries in the regatta and will be keen to push Estate Master, and the international entries, all the way.

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis is the owner of Transfusion and will have his eyes set on the top spot of the podium after finishing second in 2010. Belgiorno-Nettis and crew challenged eventual winners, Nerone of Italy, right through to the final race.

Long time Australian Sailing Team supporter Marcus Blackmore brings his Farr 40 Hooligan into the regatta, with the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship coming just a month after Blackmore had success aboard his new TP52, also named Hooligan, at Audi Victoria Week.

Blackmore will be joined onboard Hooligan by Australian Sailing Team High Performance Advisory Group member Grant Simmer.

David Gotze, Australian Sailing Team Patron and Yachting Australia Board Member, brings his new Farr 40, Enigma, into the 2011 World Championship.

Lang Walker will be helming Kokomo and along with the four other Australian Sailing Team Patrons who are also skippers will be aiming to be the first Australian to win the World Championship since it was last held in Sydney in 2005.

Former Farr 40 World Champion John Calvert-Jones is part-owner of Southern Star and while he won’t be sailing this week will be in Sydney for the event. Calvert-Jones is Chairman of the Australian Sailing Team Patrons and has been instrumental in the development of the program in the last year.

Sputnik also has a link to the Australian Sailing Team with High Performance Advisory Group Chairman, and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games 470 Gold medalist, Tom King on board, along with AST Technical Coordinator Michael Dunstan.

Farr 40 Worlds
Australian Sailing Team