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Farr 1020 Fleet Ready to Rumble at 40th Anniversary National Championships

Cameron Thorpe | Published on 6/12/2023

New Zealand’s maritime heritage and passion for sailing are deeply ingrained in its culture. With its stunning coastlines and favorable wind conditions, New Zealand offers an ideal setting for sailing enthusiasts. Among the many sailing classes that thrive in the country, the Farr 1020 class stands out as a symbol of sailing excellence and adventurous spirit, and over the weekend of the 17-18th June, seven Farr 1020s will line up to celebrate 40 years of sailing with the National Championship regatta, hosted by the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club.

The Farr 1020 class has fostered a strong sense of community among its owners and enthusiasts, and even though the regatta has only a small number of boats lining up to race, there are many more in the sidelines who admire the racing from afar.

The banter between competing boats and sailors has already begun, with teams eager to challenge Hard Labour and “end the Cameron Thorpe reign” from claiming their 10th championship win.

2022 Farr 1020 National Championship Series. © Adam Mustill – Live Sail Die

A challenge has been laid down by Shokran (Joe Brownlee), who according to Farr 1020 spies, is bringing in the big guns for the National Championship with their sights set on having their name engraved on the trophy and on the honour roll of the class. Shokran won the title in 2012, 11 years ago, but hasn’t been in the top spot since then.

“According to my spies, Shokran are hell-bent on taking the win – but then again, so are we because if we can claim this, then that’s 10 championship titles for Hard Labour over the years,” said Thorpe, who is relishing in the pre-regatta talk-up.

“What makes this class great is the banter – we are all out there to have fun and to wind each other up,” continued Thorpe. “Farr 1020 racing is some of the best racing out there.”

2022 Farr 1020 National Championship Series. © Adam Mustill – Live Sail Die

Shokran aren’t the only ones with their sights set on the title. The V Team (Tony Evans), placed second in the 2022 championship and as a Bucklands Beach Yacht Club local team, feel they have an advantage.

Leading up to this weekend’s championship event, BBYC hosted windward/leeward racing in a solid 15-20 knots. Rainbow IV (Alan Smith) as well as Evans and his V Team crew were out racing with Hard Labour opting to join in for a start, complete the first beat, and then withdraw – a lineup of potential championship-winning boats, who were all neck and neck, providing a fantastic preview for this weekends racing. But they aren’t the only ones who are eager to get some miles under their keel before the National Championship. Shokran has also been training – their sights firmly set on claiming the title.

“Having four boats including Hard Labour in our club racing (BBYC) yesterday shows how keen the fleet is to race together. The closeness of the boats basic performance means that this weekend the difference will come down to getting little things done well.  We are really looking forward to it,” said The V Team owner/driver Tony Evans.

The 2023 Farr 1020 National Championship is the pinnacle event for the class with windward/leeward racing taking place on the Waitemata Harbour over two days. The hotly contested event sees sailors from all walks of life come out of the woodwork to race on this classic kiwi class.

As part of the 40th-anniversary celebrations, sailors and supporters of the class will be wined and dined on the Saturday evening to reminisce on the years gone by and to welcome the next generation of Farr 1020 sailors to the fleet.

2022 Farr 1020 National Championship Series. © Adam Mustill – Live Sail Die

Burnsco and Mount Gay Rum, long-time supporters of the class, are back on as sponsors of the regatta and will provide the range of prizes on offer.

The long-range forecast is currently predicting anything from 3-15 knots from the east on Saturday and the same for Sunday.

“We are still a long way out from knowing what the weather is going to do,” said Evans.

“Last year we raced in fog and rain, so if we can just have some consistent breeze, then we will be happy!” continued Evans.

All those Farr 1020 owners wishing to attend the Saturday night dinner, please email the association at

2023 Farr 1020 National Championship Entry List

FLASHWAVE 5668 Andrew Macdonald RYC
HARD LABOUR 6358 Cameron Thorpe RNZYS
PENURY 6979 Mike Paauwe RYC
RAINBOW IV 5996 Alan Smith BBYC
SHOKRAN 5315 Joe Brownlee RNZYS
STARMAKER 5147 Roger Hudson BBYC
THE V TEAM 5670 Tony Evans BBYC