Farr 1020 National Championship Any’s Game • Live Sail Die

The fleet participating in the Farr 1020 National Championship Series will be watching the weather forecast closely as Auckland is currently rocked by high winds, squalls of rain, thunderstorms and even tornadoes.

The two-day event, scheduled for this weekend, June 18-19, will be hosted by the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club (BBYC), with races taking place close to the Northern Leading area on Waitemata Harbour. The event is proudly sponsored by Burnsco and Mount Gay Rum with support from the host club, BBYC.

It will be an eventful weekend on the water for the fleet, whatever the conditions, with seven races upwind/downwind on the programme.

The long term forecast shows everything from 3 knots to 20 knots on Saturday and 4 knots to 19 knots on Sunday, but with the disgruntled conditions due to multiple cold fronts wreaking havoc across the country, anything is possible for the weekend. A few days before the event, Auckland, and in particular the racing area, experienced gusts of up to 65 knots.

Unfortunately, last year’s winner Maximum height will not be on the starting line for this edition of the event due to the untimely death of skipper, Ross Ardern, just a few months ago. Maximum height won the previous four events in 2017, 2018, 2019 and are the current title holders. No events took place in 2020 due to COVID-19. Maximum heighthas won the title a total of nine times and currently holds the record for most championship wins.

With Maximum height out of the starters list, that leaves the league title up for grabs, with hard work as the team aimed for the top step of the podium, after finishing second Maximum height in 2021.

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Hard work. Photo: Farr 1020 Facebook page

Cameron Thorpe, captain of hard work said he will be on the boat every afternoon after pre-race work this weekend as he works tirelessly to bring the boat from summer cruise mode to hard race mode.

“I’ve got a good group of guys on board for this regatta, and we’re going there with confidence to win the title,” said an enthusiastic Thorpe, en route to the marina to start getting out the cruising gear.

Thorpe lined up Tim Holgate, (young) Tim Sneeden, Matt Smeaton, Selby Howard, Scott Beavis and Stewart 34 sailor Paul Groom in a bid to run hard work to victory. The boat has already won eight national championship titles in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 with 2010 the last time they won the trophy. Whether hard work can win the title in 2022, they will equal Maximum margin record for most league titles won.

“Last year it was really light, less than 8 knots, and with these conditions it opens up the race a lot more, and in the light, Rainbow IV is quite dangerous. We would like the 20 knots, and I’m sure Rainbow IV will want the lower range because they are super-fast in the light,” Thorpe said.

“The fleet is very competitive, so it’s really anyone’s game. On day one of the championship in 2021 there were four different winners after four races, so while we go into it with confidence we have to make sure we keep our necks clean for the seven races scheduled,” continued Thorpe.

Farr 1020 race. Photo: Farr 1020 Facebook page

Rainbow IV finished third overall in the 2021 event and is also hoping for another podium finish.

Speaking ahead of the regatta, owner/skipper Alan Smith said he and his crew were looking forward to the race.

“It’s an event we look forward to every year, but we will miss our historic rival. Maximum height and especially the skipper, Ross [Ardern]”Smith said.

The Farr 1020 is a one-design 10.2 meter racing/cruising keelboat taken from the drawing board of Bruce Farr in 1983. 150 yachts have been built and launched over the years and the class is a recognized national class of keelboat in New Zealand, with the fleet, although now small on the racing front, is regularly seen at the start line of major events including the PIC Coastal Classic, SSANZ Round North Island Race and the combined Gold Cup Series , to name a few.

The first warning signal for the 2022 Farr 1020 National Championship Series will be fired at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. After Saturday’s race, all competitors, volunteers and anyone with a connection to the Farr 1020 class, past and present, are invited to join the association for dinner at BBYC to tell some stories about the class and reminisce. Those wishing to attend need only register through the site here – https://www.farr1020.org.nz/content.aspx?page_id=4002&club_id=387362&item_id=1736051&event_date_id=255

A prize giving will close the regatta and will take place after the race on Sunday June 19 at the BBYC. Again, anyone with a connection to the class is welcome to attend.

Updates on the progress of the event will be posted on the official Farr 1020 Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Farr1020/

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