November 18, 2015   Ashley Bell


With an ever-growing Farr 30 fleet in Seattle and almost as many boats in nearby Canadian waters, it slowly began to make sense that Seattle might just be the perfect next venue for the Farr 30 World Championships. The Worlds traditionally switches continents from year to year between Europe and North America, and within North American from east coast to west coast. It was the latter ’s turn to host and so hello, Puget Sound! Of course, as locals, the usual concern arose – would there be any wind? The event date jumped around the early fall calendar until finally settling on mid October – a time of year with some wind without being, well, the buoy racing equivalent of Winter Vashon in freezing temperatures. A total of 14 Farr 30s graced the dry storage yards at Shilshole by the time Pre-World’s rolled around the weekend before – seven local to Seattle, four of our Canadian friends from Vancouver, one boat hailing from the Bay area, and two having made the trek across from Annapolis, Maryland. Following a-day-and-ahalf of weigh-ins and measurements, crews converged at Ballard’s Nordic Heritage Museum for an all-fleet dinner, giddy at the concept of eating again and ready to kickoff four days of world championship racing. Day one started with energy and enthusiasm at the dock, and about the same time as the rain. But what would Farr 30 World Championships grace Puget Sound Of the 14 teams that competed, seven were local to Seattle, four were from Vancouver. B.C., one hailed from the Bay area, and two made the trek from Annapolis, Maryland. November 2015 41 a PNW regatta be without a taste of Seattle rain to propagate the rumors? Better yet, how about we take it a step further, and make a proper downpour out of it? Yes, that’s what we’ll do, said the weather. We’ll even impress the locals with this one. After a general recall to start the regatta that was followed by a midsequence postponement, the third time was a charm, and the regatta was underway. Day one was an exciting day all around with breeze in the high teens, and produced the only collision of the regatta. The Canadian team 65 Red Roses found themselves tangled with new local boat, Square One, between the weather and the offset mark. 65 Red Roses was forced to decommission for the remainder of the regatta… But, thanks to local, yet non-racing, boat, Deep Pickle Boat, the Canadian team were able to continue the regatta with redress and as a charter, and were henceforth lovingly referred to on the water as 65 Red Pickles. Another memorable feature that would continue throughout the regatta was the introduction of the new Seattle Racing Flag. Commonly known to as the “AP Flag” in other parts of the world, it was clear the race committee had taken a new spin on the use of it which the PRO was eager and excited to demonstrate, thanks in part to dragging marks, wind shifts, and a lost anchor midrace. After three protests and a collision, the rest of the regatta saw far less excitement of this variety and judges were allowed to enjoy a leisurely fair-weather boat rides. Most of us familiar with the local conditions will remember this world championship as an anomaly. When the forecast said wind, we got a LOT of it. When it said maybe wind, we got DEFINITE WIND. One could argue it constituted the most optimal conditions for a world championship, despite ultimately culminating on another necessary stereo-typical Seattle note: a sunny, windless day. The perfect message was sent: sailing on our beloved Puget Sound is breathtakingly beautiful, challenging, unpredictable, capable of blowing to survival conditions or sometimes not at all. It’s undeniably, absolutely, fun as hell. Racing remained tight throughout the regatta, but ultimately the very Congratulations to “Ramrod” for taking 1st in the Farr 30 Worlds. Optimal conditions made for incredibly close and competitive racing. Puget Sound presented a steady, solid, consistent breeze for a world championship. experienced crews from Annapolis, Ramrod and Seabiscuit, showed their savvy and took a dominant 1st and a narrow 2nd. The top regional boat was Through, from Vancouver, who took 3rd, followed in 4th by the Seattle boat with the best finish, Patricia, skippered by Chris Tutmark. A big thanks to each participant and congratulations all around. My own Nefarious reflection? It was a week of learning, sailing, and fun on and off the water, now permanently ingrained in the book of good things in life one does not soon forget. And, if you can’t win the race….win the party!

by Ashley Bell
Results at
photos by Jan Anderson