Photography by Tilly Lock Media / Crosbie Lorimer
Recently, the Australian class celebrated twenty years of international sailing and with class stalwarts like Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AM, Lang Walker AO, Martin Hill and Richard Perini being bestowed with life memberships and a blazer presentation, the Class is powering ahead bringing the World Championships back to Sydney.
Some of the best sailors in the world will battle it out at this prestigious, internationally renowned regatta commencing with the pre-worlds on 23 and 24 November 2020 followed by the World Championships at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on 26 to 29 November 2020.
At its Annual General Meeting held earlier this month, a new President was elected and owners paid tribute to Gordon Ketelbey who has headed the class for the past two years. Mr Rob Pitts, a Melbourne businessman and owner of Double Black has taken over the reins and has a new sponsor in the pipeline for the upcoming exciting season, which will be raced in Newcastle, Pittwater and Sydney.
“It’s an honour to be elected President of such a wonderful class which continues to go from strength to strength. We’ve been in the Class now for five years and have never missed a regatta, we love it that much.
We competed at the last Worlds in Sydney and the level of racing was incredible. I’m looking forward to working with the RSYS so we can provide the best racing, coupled with an awesome onshore social programme. I’d like to thank all our owners for their commitment and contributions over the years because being granted the Worlds for the fourth time really shows the strength and solidarity of our fleet, it’s certainly an exciting time to come on board as President.” Pitts said.
Australian teams competing at the 2019 World Championships hosted by the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, Long Beach, California are Nutcracker, with co-owners Rob Davis and Andy Baker and Jeff Carter’s team Edake.
The Nutcracker crew has been sailing with the Class for three years and Long Beach will be their first Worlds. Davis, a past Commodore of Sandringham Yacht Club is excited to be representing the Australian fleet.
“Having sailed in the Farr 40’s for three seasons now, my co-owner Andy Baker and I feel like we’ve served our “apprenticeship” in the class, and have decided to really ramp things up.
The international standard of the racing and camaraderie within the Class is just terrific, and the boat itself is such a pleasure to sail.
We thought the opportunity to compete in a World Championship in Long Beach this year would be a great experience for our whole team, as well as providing an excellent lead in to the 2020 Worlds in Sydney.
Our crew consists mostly of the same young and enthusiastic group we put together three years ago, made up entirely of good mates from Sandringham Yacht Club. Our tactician Jeremy O’Connell hails from the Australian Sailing laser squad and brings a great methodical approach to the boat. With some intensive training and coaching planned for winter, we will be heading over to Long Beach feeling very fired up.” Davis said.
Jeff Carter who has sailed with the Australian fleet on the cusp of two decades is going into this season aiming to consolidate his Corinthian World Title from 2016. Carter, a regular on the international circuit is looking forward to competing at Long Beach and encouraging German, Italian and American teams to compete in Sydney.