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Scuttlebutt News:

Preparing for the 2009 Farr 40 World Championship

Francesco Bruni
(June 21, 2009) The Farr 40 class is a head turner, attracting elite competitors and finely tuned race teams. When the class gathers this week in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, there will be two predominant story lines: Will Vincenzo Onorato and his Mascalzone Latino team win a fourth straight title, and can the class overcome the controversy that ended the 2008 event.

At last year’s Worlds in Miami, FL, the final day lined up Mascalzone Latino (ITA), the leader of the series since the first race, against Giovanni Maspero's Joe Fly (ITA), close on their heels in second. The pivotal moment came early at the first weather mark rounding when Joe Fly closely leebowed Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA). Mascalzone Latino witnessed what they believed to be a foul, but when Barking Mad did not protest, ML did, putting the final results of the event in the judge’s hands.

The ruling went against the Joe Fly team, dropping them to second as Onorato earned his third title. What followed were hard feelings and strong words, with Maspero claiming a jury conspiracy and a threat to leave the class. A year later, all three teams have returned, and Scuttlebutt checked in with Joe Fly tactician Franceso Bruni about the incident last year, and what he expects for this year’s championship:

  • What lessons have been learned from the 2008 World Championship which will help your team capture the 2009 title?

  • Last year’s World Championship has been a very tough experience for me, Giovanni, and our team. We still believe that we deserved that title, and it took us one year to digest it. But life still goes on, and one thing is sure: our team is today even more amalgamated and the Joe Fly spirit has increased.

  • What are the characteristics of this racing venue, and what has your team done to prepare for them?

  • Porto Cervo can be very windy or light; everything is possible here. You have to be good in all the conditions. For different reasons we had to reduce our program and we could not sail in the last two Farr 40 events in preparation of the Worlds. However, I'm still sure that we can do well here and we will try hard to have a protagonist role.

  • Have there been any developments over the past year (sails, rigging, tuning, etc.)?

  • No big changes in the sails, only a small development on the spinnaker design that we did in collaboration with Giovanni Cassinari from North Sails.

  • Which teams do you expect to be in the top 5?
  • Nerone, Mascalzone Latino, Barking Mad, TwT, Goombay Smash, and Fiamma.

  • What have been the biggest victories so far in your sailing career?

  • 1994 was my magic year when I won the Laser World and European Championships. Since then I have participated in three Olympic Games in three different classes (1996, 2000, 2004). And last year, I won the Melges 24 World Championship as the tactician.

    Photo by Daniel Forster from 2008 Worlds. Click on image for additional photos.

    2008 Farr 40 Worlds

    2009 Farr 40 World Championship website:

    2008 Farr 40 Worlds final story:

    2008 Farr 40 Worlds video:

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