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Home » Sailing » Farr 40: Australian Farr 40s in San Francisco for Big Boat Series

Farr 40: Australian Farr 40s in San Francisco for Big Boat Series


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/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Day-2-Voodoo-1024x640-642x401.jpg" alt="Voodoo Chile and Estate Master racing on the River Derwent earlier this year. The new Voodoo Chile will be raced in America this week" />

Rolex Big Boat Series 2014. Voodoo Chile and Estate Master racing on the River Derwent earlier this year. The new Voodoo Chile will be raced in America this week. Credit: Dane Lojek.

Champion Tasmanian helmsman Andrew Hunn will take a step upwards in his long and distinguished yachting career later this week when he races his new Farr 40, Voodoo Chile, in the 50th annual Big Boat Series on San Francisco Bay, California.

The Rolex Big Boat Series for Farr 40s is regarded as ‘dry run’ for the 2014 World Championship for the prestigious, high-performance one-design keelboat class which St Francis Yacht Club also will host on these windy waters in October.

Hunn, an eminent Hobart-based neuro-surgeon, has competed internationally with success since a teenager sailing in one-design classes, ranging from International Cadet Dinghies to former Olympic classes, the Flying Dutchman and Star, as well as racing offshore in the Admiral’s Cup in England and winning the Australian championship in the iconic Lightweight Sharpies.

Representing the Royal Yacht Club Tasmania,  Hunn and his Voodoo Chile crew in the past 12 months have finished second overall in the Farr 40 Australian championship in Hobart as well as winning Australian titles in two other one-design keelboat classes, the MC38 and the Melges 32.

This earned Hunn the coveted Governor’s Cup, presented at the RYCT prizegiving in late May.

However, this will be his first overseas regatta in the prestigious Farr 40 one-design keelboat class, helming for the first time the boat previously raced by Prince Frederik of Denmark as Nanoq, re-named Voodoo Chile.

Hunn and his sailing partner, Hobart hotelier Lloyd Clark, bought the ‘royal’ boat just before the US West Coast championship and, with Clark skippering, finished a close third overall and first Corinthian entry.  Clark and the crew over the past 12 months have also won the Farr 40 Queensland championship, the One Design Trophy in Sydney and finished second in the Farr Tasmanian championship in Hobart.

As Hunn put it recently, “each of these one-design class boats is a crew-driven boat,” adding “…we have developed a highly skilled, committed crew, each expert in their role.”

The Big Boat Challenge starts this Thursday, September 11 (US time) and continues for four days with the Hunn and his mostly Tasmanian crew racing against a 15-boat fleet that includes teams from the USA, Turkey, Italy, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Germany and Austria.

The Voodoo Chile crew has been training on San Francisco Bay this week,  with tactician David Chapman flying in from Europe where was aboard the winning German boat in the Farr 30 World Championship in Denmark.

Chapman and mainsail trimmer Mal Parker again will be the only professionals in the crew,  with Voodoo Chile eligible for the Corinthian Trophy which they won,  with Lloyd Clark skippering, in the US West Coast Championship.

Also representing Australia will be Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master in a 15-boat fleet headed by 2013 World Champion and recent winner of the US West Coast championship, Italy’s Alberto Rossi sailing Enfant Terrible.

The 50th Rolex Big Boat Series has attracted more than 100 entries for four days of buoy and stadium style racing in the ever-challenging and seemingly always breezy conditions of San Francisco Bay.

Eight one-design classes are competing as well as three handicap-rated keelboat divisions.

By Peter Campbell


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