Mike Farrington is a globetrotter when it comes to sailing. For the 49-year-old, it is already his eleventh participation in a world championship in the J/22 class. He has been able to record the rankings 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 so far. The one is still missing from the list. On the hunt for it, he accepted a long journey to the Travemünde Week, from the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean to the Baltic Sea.
From the Caribbean, the team from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club flew via London to Hamburg and from there drove on to Travemünde in a rental car to receive a charter boat. It is Farrington’s third visit to a World Cup on the Baltic Sea. In 2019, he sailed to sixth place in Warnemünde. In 2015, Farrington’s team finished fifth, ahead of Travemünde.
“It’s great to be here. The atmosphere and the togetherness among the sailors is great, and so is the organization. That’s why we always like to come here,” says the native South African. A little warmer and sunnier would of course be even nicer and would feel more like home, says the 49-year-old.
Farrington was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he learned to sail on a lake. At the age of 19 he started working as a boat builder and built J/22. “Some of the boats here in Travemünde are built by me,” says Farrington, who has lived in the Cayman Islands for 26 years now and works as a boat builder and sail salesman. He once ended up in the Caribbean through the St. Nicholas Regatta in Jamaica. Especially in winter, the trade winds on the Cayman Islands make it perfect for sailing.
He learned the sport as a child in the classic way in the Opti. Later, he switched to the laser. An Olympic campaign followed with the Soling, but he narrowly missed participating in the Olympic Games in Sydney. In the meantime, he is firmly anchored in the J/22 class, where he is now president of the worldwide association. “It’s a really likeable class with a great and fair cooperation among the sailors,” says Farrington enthusiastically. The J/22 is an exciting boat – easy to sail, but heavy to sail really well with.
At the Travemünde Week this year, the hunt for the one as a placement will probably not be successful, as the team had a disqualification due to a black flag on the second day of the race, which is difficult to make up for. Farrington sees it pragmatically: “Then I just have to continue sailing at World Championships until at some point the one is in the list of my placements,” he says with a laugh.