Just a quick one to say its over. Joe Fly of Italy won on the water but Mascalzone Latino is protesting them. The Jury will decide who won the 2008 Farr 40 Worlds.

We had a mediocre day, not sure exactly the scores but I think we will finish up around 10th overall. As I said yesterday, it is not what we were shooting for and certainly we are capable of more but then many here can say the same.

I compliment our crew for never giving less than 100% despite our frustrations. The Warpath team is a good team and will be back to the Farr 40 Worlds another day.

Thanks to Fred and Steve Howe for being such great owners!

For complete results go to www.farr40worlds.com

Out for now.

Another two races and still no breakthrough for us on Warpath. We just don’t have it this week. The conditions have been real difficult, sloppy seaway and very puffy, celly, wind. The wind strength was 8-12 knots and shifting through 15 degrees. Everyone struggled and I am sure sailing upwind in these conditions did not feel good to anyone, not even the winners.

These are the most testing conditions. The helmsman is constantly thrown curve balls. The boat can go from being overpowered and lifted to headed and in a lull in 12 seconds. If you hit a couple of waves during that lull, the boats speed and drop .7 of a knot. Then you have to reaccelerate. More pain and more loss.

We are doing better at it than most. We moved up to 8th over all today with 111 points, one point out of 7th. But the frustration is that we were aiming higher than that for this regatta following a 3rd at the Miami Grand Prix last month and some very good results in the Pre worlds.

Estate Mater of Australia had a 1, 6 to win the day and Joe Fly of Italy also had 7 points for the day to Mascalzon’?s 9 points. So just one point separates the first two boats. Ernesto Bertarelli had a very good day with a 9,4 to move up to third place.

The top five are:
1) Mascalzone Latino with 47
2) Joe Fly with 48
3) Alignhi with 74
4) Barking Mad with 81
5) Mean Machine with 83

Tomorrow’s forecast is a bit lighter than today and the last two races are scheduled to get under way at 11:00 EDT.

For complete results go to www.farr40worlds.com

Another beautiful day off Miami Beach… 10-15 knots of wind and a lot of sunshine. That sounds so nice and pleasant. For the teams that were racing in the Far 40 worlds, it was anything but nice and pleasant. I have never been in a war and I certainly would not think it was like a real war, but as a figure of speech; It was more like a war out there.

The fleet is so competitive and so tight that there is never a moment of peace. There is always someone coming at you, tacking on you or yelling at you.

Imagine that one boat finished 29, 1, 25 in today’s racing. You think that is a mediocre team that got lucky in a race? Wrong. That is Nerone, 2003 World Champions.

We did not have a good day; 24, 11, 8.. We made some mistakes, did not go overly fast and did not have any real luck. So that makes a struggle. The best thing that happened to us was when we got back to the dock, someone handed me the scores. I was afraid to look. Actually, we moved up one place. Amazing. In fact, we are just one point out of 7th as the three boats in front of us are all tied.

Mascalzone is still leading and Joe Fly is second. Both boats are from Italy. Barking Mad is third from the USA.

Anyway, that is just short term satisfaction. We need to get our act together here, pronto. Tomorrow’s forecast is similar to today…10-14 knots from 070.

For complete results go to www.farr40worlds.com

It was a day in which many boats were up and down through three races. Mascalzone Latino has the lead followed by fellow Italians “Joe Fly”. Still the two boats have 16 and 18 points respectively which is more than usual for the leaders after three races signaling the tough competition out there.

The wind was up for the first race, 18-20 knots, then a big drop off for the second race… 11-14, then back in for the end of the second race up to 25 knots on the final windward leg.

Onboard Warpath we had a day of consistent scores but just a bit too far down the score board for our liking. We had a 12, 13, 14. to put us in 11th over all with 39 points. Our biggest errors were being over early at the start of the second race and having to go back to restart, and then sailing the last windward leg of the last race with a medium jib on in 25 knots. Hopefully we did not damage the medium too badly on that leg as that is the most sued sail in the inventory and we will need it for the rest of the series.

We had one bit of bad luck in that the spinnaker pole car, on the mast, exploded and we had to take the pole off the mast every time we gybed and we could not raise the pole up the mast to make it level. It did not cost us much but it is amazing the things that happen at times like this that don’t happen once in 5 years.

We are a bit disappointed with our first day but there are still 7 races to go and all must be counted. So there are many more points to be had and plenty of potential to move up.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a bit less wind more like 11-15 knots from the Northeast.

For complete results go to www.farr40worlds.com

Three more race were held today in the Farr 40 warm up for next weeks World Championship. The winds were 13knots for the first races dropping to 8 knots in the third race.

There were plenty of ups and downs for all competitors in the fleet. Some of the favorites had a very tough series and there were some new names at the top.

On Warpath we had a decent series but had our big down moment right at the end. We were not going well at all in the 8 knots of the last race and finished 22nd. That dropped us from second to a tie for fourth overall with Fiamma of Italy. We just had our debrief with our coach Ed Reynolds and think we found a few things that we were not doing well in that lighter condition.

So we will be sailing on Monday and Tuesday as we need to incorporate what we learned during the series and continue to build our confidence in our settings before the World Championship starts on Wednesday.

Goombay Smash from Newport RI won the series with Ramrod second and Nerone of Italy third. Full results are at: www.farr40worlds.com

Tomorrow is weigh in day so no dinner tonight and I am going for a run right now. I have to drop 6 pounds which is what I dropped for the last weigh in last Wednesday.

Three races were held off Key Biscayne today all in 9-11 knots of wind from the South East. The sea was a bit choppy which made the job for the mainsheet trimmer, jib trimmer and helmsman very challenging.

Happily, our speed team of Steve Howe, Dave Armitage and Grant Loretz got it figured out and we had a great first day. With scores of 8-1-3 we are in second place, one point out of first. “Ramrod” with Gavin Brady calling tactics had a slightly better day with a 3,6,2 for a total of 11 points to our 12. Behind us, two boats are tied for third place; Nerone of Italy, a former World Champion team, and Sled from Japan, both with 21 points.

If you had a bad start today, it was not easy to climb through the fleet with only 10 knots of wind and a sloppy sea. Some good teams had tough day.

Anyway, this is just the tune up regatta and the most important thing to take away from this is confidence in your boat speed and a certain tranquility that no matter had tough it gets, you will find a way to move up through the fleet. The World Champion next week will have those traits.

Tomorrow’s forecast is similar to today…10-13 knots from the South East, sun, chop.

One correction and apology; our fantastic boat captain’s first name is Christian not Clarence. We never call him by his name, rather we call him simply “CT”. So this morning when I walked down the dock I got a bit of just due flak for not knowing our boat captains name. I was trying to think of a good excuse… like my eyes are going bad… but I could not come up with anything that worked. Sorry CT and thanks for all the good work!

Complete scores can be found at www.farr40worlds.com

The Farr 40 fleet has reconvened in Miami for the World Championship which will begin Wednesday April 16, 2008. A preliminary regatta, “Pre-Worlds”, starts Friday April 11. There will be 33 boats racing for the 11th World Championship in this class.

Most of the fleet have been here training since Tuesday this week and the racing gets underway tomorrow at 11:00 EDT with three races scheduled. The forecast is 9-13 knots from 120, very typical Miami conditions. The pre-worlds will conclude on Saturday.

As you have gathered from my reports earlier this year from Key West and Miami in March, the fleet is very competitive. There are past World Champions here, Olympics medalists as tacticians, American’s Cup teams, Whitbread winners, etc. The field is deep and everyone will have good days and tough days. Coming back from a disappointing race will be a virtue that the winner will certainly possess.

The team on Warpath this time is:

Steve Howe-Helm
Paul Cayard-Tactician
Dave Armitage-Mainsail
Grant Loretz-Trim
Fred Howe-Trim
Kit Will-Trim
Kevin Kelble-Pit
Nate Reynolds-Mid bow
Kyle Weaver-Mast
Greg Gendell-Bow

We are assisted by boat Captain Clarence Olander, coach Ed Reynolds, and our two excellent chefs, Sarah and Yvonne. As in any sport, it takes a lot of preparation and support to do well.

The Official site for the event is www.Farr40Worlds.com The event sponsor is one of my favorites, Rolex.

We will race 16 races over the next week, that is 32 windward mark roundings… plenty of actions there when most of the 33 boats arrive at the same time.

Should be a great week of sailing…

“It’s nice for my crew and me to be the current Farr 40 World Champions,” said Vincenzo Onorato of Milan, Italy days before the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds warm-up regatta this week. “But I will try to forget all of that when I begin the first race. Pressure is part of the game; if you are not able to deal with that, you better go cruising.” The adjectives that describe Farr 40 Class racing – intense, competitive, unrelenting – can be used to describe any one of the competitors, but especially two-time and current world champion Onorato, who is focused only on racing during the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, set for Miami Beach on April 16-19.

Among the 33 entered teams, 10 countries are represented, with the bulk of the fleet (18) consisting of American and Italian entries. At the top of the list for favorites is Mascalzone Latino, Onorato’s entry. He will have his work cut out for him as there are three past world champions among the fleet – Barking Mad (USA), Jim Richardson’s two-time winner (2004/1998); Nerone (ITA, 2003), co-owned by Antonio Sodo Migliori and Massimo Mezzaroma; and Alinghi (SUI, 2001), owned by Ernesto Bertarelli and the 2007 runner-up – and about a dozen other teams capable of winning the coveted title.

As always, the fleet is home to notable professional sailors from America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and one-design fame. In addition to Barking Mad, some of the stellar names are Adrian Stead on Mascalzone Latino; Paul Cayard on Steve & Fred Howe’s Warpath (USA); Gavin Brady on Rod Jabin’s Ramrod (USA); Brad Butterworth on Alinghi; Ian Walker on Doug Douglass’s Goombay Smash (USA); Ray Davies onboard Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine (MON); Vasco Vascotto on Nerone (ITA); and Bouwe Bekking serving as tactician aboard HRH Crown Prince Frederik’s Nanoq (DEN).

For Cayard, a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Rolex Testimonee (since 1998), the goal is simple. “Our goal is to win the World Championship,” said Cayard, who rejoined Warpath after sailing with the team in the 2005 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Sydney, Australia where they finished fourth. “We have put a bit more time into preparing for the 2008 World Championship which will undoubtedly help us. We received a new boat for Acura Miami Grand Prix last month and finished third there. No doubt others have the same goal and the class is very competitive, so winning won’t be easy, but that is what makes winning special.”

Warpath has been competing for the past five years with notable top-10 finishes in major Class regattas, including a ninth-place at the 2007 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, winning the 2007 Farr 40 Class North American Championship and a fourth-place at the 2005 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds. “It seems to me that the class is the most competitive it’s been,” said Steve Howe. “Most Farr 40 regattas are coming down to the last race, and all the top boats are sailing consistently well. Our team has really been working hard making sure not one stone goes unturned, we’re happy with the new boat; Quantum Sails and our team have been working really hard developing sails.”

In addition to sail development – now with the addition of the masthead spinnaker introduced to the Class last year – site-specific training figures into most of the teams’ plans.

Racing takes place April 16-19 on the Atlantic Ocean south of Government Cut. The Regatta Village is based at Miami Beach Marina, in Miami Beach, Florida. For on-the-water commentary and results reported from the Race Committee boat, as well as more information about the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, including the full list of entries and crew, results, and photos go to the official event website www.farr40worlds.com