Rolex Farr 40 World Championship: NO CONFUSION, IT'S TRANSFUSION

TRANSFUSION, Owner: Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, Tactician: John Kostecki
Photo by: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
What a day, what a finish. The nail-biting ended at 4pm, when the Italian yacht Nerone crossed the line three boats behind the Australians on Transfusion. The separation was enough to give Transfusion’s owner Guido Belgiorno-Nettis revenge for last year’s defeat at the hands of the Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori. More importantly it gave him the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship title.
A three-year voyage successfully completed: for Belgiorno-Nettis a dream moment, “It was fantastic, what a challenge. Right down to the wire, we never gave up. Today was a really good day for us. We were lucky, but we worked hard and we got it right.”
One of the two starts of last day of the
2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
, Photo by: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Conditions were not always easy, the first race was held in 8 knots of north-easterly, the second in around 12-15 knots. The emphasis was on tactics and remaining calm. Hard-won lines would be hard to hold, passing lanes would be open as both races showed. Nerone won the first race of the day, with Transfusion in second – although that is only half the story. In the second and final race, Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA) crossed the line first, with Transfusion hot on her heels. Nerone could only finish sixth. Not enough to retain her title, Transfusion closing the deal by two points. Barking Mad’s final day results were sufficient to move her up into third, ahead of Helmut & Evan Jahn’s Flash Gordon (USA) and Lisa & Martin Hill’s Estate Master (AUS).

At the prize giving this evening, Belgiorno-Nettis will receive the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master for his and his crew’s sterling efforts.
Crew work on board BARKING MAD
Photo by: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Course Notes
Race nine was a true classic. True gun-slinger style, Nerone took the committee boat end of the line, owning it like no one else was on the course or entitled to the spot. She was not fast, but she was certain and certainty often wins. Transfusion was towards the middle. By the windward mark it appeared game over. Nerone rounded first with a significant gap to second-placed Flash Gordon; Transfusion was stuck in traffic midway down the fleet. 
Her tactician, John Kostecki, did not get to be a winner of an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race by chance. Tactical acumen, self-belief and never-say-die take an awful lot of beating.
Whilst Nerone stood on after the windward rounding, Transfusion stuck in a quick gybe. As the downwind leg unwound, Transfusion popped up in fifth place. She was not yet finished. By the second windward she was in second place. Nowhere close enough to challenge Nerone for the lead, but certainly enough to keep the rubber alive into the final race. In previous Rolex Farr 40 Worlds it has usually been Vascotto pulling rabbits from hats. Kostecki had just proved to the mercurial Italian that he not alone in playing a hand of high-stakes poker well.
Into the tenth and final race of the series: two-points separated the main protagonists. Flash Gordon in third, some twenty-two points behind were not even an outside threat in the fight for top honours. Anyone hoping for a gladiatorial match-race would be disappointed. Transfusion had no choice but to sail her best race and hope Nerone would implode or at least match one of her poorer performances of the week. Transfusion needed two boats between them and Nerone.
One of the two starts of last day of the
2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship

Photo by: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Off the start life looked good for the Australians. This time it was Nerone all snarled up in the bad air. Sailing in the crowd is not good for boat speed and by the first windward mark Transfusion was in second behind Barking Mad and Nerone in eighth. Could Nerone do a Transfusion and comeback from the dead? Not on the first leeward run. The Italians went backwards, deeper into trouble rounding in twelfth.
The pressure was all on the defending champions. Transfusion had plenty of distance between her and the fleet. All she could do was hope that the boats in between her and Nerone were in enough of a fighting mood to hold off any last-chance challenge.


The next Rolex Farr 40 Worlds will be held in Chicago in the summer of 2012.


2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship FINAL RESULTS
Place, Boat Name, Country, Owner-Helm, R1-R2-R3-R4-R5-R6-R7-R8-R9-R10, TOTAL
1) Transfusion, AUS, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, 4-4-2-1-7-4-4-5-2-2, 35
2) Nerone , ITA, Antonio Sodo Migliori & Massimo Mezzaroma, 2-1-10-8-1-1-6-1-1-6, 37
3) Barking Mad, USA, Jim Richardson, 15-10-5-9-2-3-10-2-5-1, 62
4) Flash Gordon, USA, Helmut & Evan Jahn, 11-2-9-2-8-5-11-3-4-9, 64
5) Estate Master, AUS, Lisa & Martin Hill, 1-8-1-5-9-10-12-12-8-4, 70
6) Goombay Smash, USA, William Douglass, 9-6-17-10-11-16-1-63-3, 82
7) Kokomo, AUS, Lang Walker, 19-5-4-7-5-9-3-7-9-14, 82
8) Hooligan, AUS, Marcus Blackmore, 13-3-6-4-16-14-8-4-6-8, 82
9) Struntje Light, GER, Wolfgang & Angela Schaefer, 3-13-3-21-4-13-2-8-11-7, 85
10) Voodoo Chile, AUS, Andrew Hunn & Lloyd Clark, 5-9-8-15-3-2-15-16-12-5, 90
For more information about the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds including entry and crew lists, and, results please visit www.farr40worlds.com
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship: NO CONFUSION, IT'S TRANSFUSION Rolex Farr 40 World Championship: NO CONFUSION, IT'S TRANSFUSION Reviewed by Panos Douros on Saturday, February 26, 2011 Rating: 5

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