Demourkas, Richardson To Settle Unfinished Business
at Farr 30 Worlds, Swedes To Defend Nation’s Pride
Båstad, SWEDEN (31 July 2012) – It can be tough enough to get enough sleep during the bright summer months on the West Coast of Sweden, but that may be the least of the sailors’ concerns as the 2012 BMW Farr 30 World Championship gets ready to kick off on Thursday.
Fatigue will likely play a big role here; aside from the long-lasting sunshine and a schedule that will see three tough races each day, the resort town of Bastad, Sweden, better known for hosting the wildly successful Swedish Open tennis tournament for nearly 65 years, stays up late and parties hard. The sailors may find sleep hard to come by during the most competitive Worlds in years.
“This is the best Worlds fleet we’ve seen since at least 2008, both in size and talent,” said International Class President Deneen Demourkas. She should know; the Groovederci skipper won the 2011 title on the final race of the San Francisco Worlds last September. “Since a complete reorganization of the Class in 2009, we’ve seen consistently strong growth all over the world, and I’m incredibly proud to see such a big, strong fleet here in Sweden.”
Beginning on Thursday, 19 boats from 7 nations will race for one of the most prestigious honors in one-design racing, and Demourkas intends to keep it. She’ll sail with much of her 2011 World Champion crew, including Australians Darren “Twirler” Jones and bowman Andrew Hudson, and tactician Cameron Appleton, fresh off his Melges 32 US Championship victory this past Sunday in Newport.
But fellow US skipper Jim Richardson (Barking Mad) has some unfinished business with Demourkas; he came second to her in the hotly contested 2011 Worlds by just four points. Richardson is something of a perennial runner-up in the class; four times he’s left with the second-place trophy, and he’s determined to end the curse of the bridesmaid in 2012 – thank in part to the addition of round-the-world legend and multiple world champ Bouwe Bekking as tactician.
“You could say I am familiar with local conditions – for 17 years I’ve lived just across the water.” said Bekking, whose family home is in a small fishing village near Copenhagen, Denmark. “We’ve brought in a couple of excellent Dutch sailors to augment Barking Mad’s great crew, and we’ll see how it goes.”
The US powerhouse teams will be tough to match, but if the recent Swedish National Championship is any indicator, the host country will be right in the mix. Former Olympic Tornado helmsman Martin Strandberg (FarrBarr 2) scored three bullets at the Swedish nationals last month in Sandhamn, finishing just two points behind Richardson. “There is no doubt that they are seriously fast,” said Barking Mad crew Lindsay Bartel. Nearly as fast is another competitor from Sweden’s East Coast – Richard Göransson’s The End, finishing just two points behind FarrBarr 2 at Nationals. Göransson is an accomplished driver, frequently racing in different classes and varied locations to improve his overall game, and his crew includes 5-time Volvo Ocean Racer Matt Humphries.
Patrick Lindblom’s Orca took fourth in Sandhamn, and the (Swedish) National Farr 30 Class President is hopeful for Sweden’s chances of taking home the top trophy this week. “We were gratified to see how competitive the Swedish teams were with Barking Mad in conditions similar to what we expect in Båstad” said Lindblom. “Most of us don’t have the experience of Richardson or Demourkas in huge breeze, but in lighter air we have shown we’ve got plenty of chance to win.” Results from the Swedish Championship can be found here.
Pre-Worlds practice racing begins tomorrow with Worlds action starting Thursday morning, and fans of the Farr 30 are encouraged to check in frequently for articles, photos, video, and live tracking of the action.
Photos and Updates at Farr 30 Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/bpEpZ0
International Farr 30 Class Site: http://www.farr30.org
World Championship Website: http://bit.ly/Niqd3k
Real-time at Farr 30’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/farr30class
Twitter Hashtag: #Farr30Worlds
Live Tracking: http://tractrac.com/index.php?page=eventpage&id=239
List of Previous Farr 30 World Champs: http://bit.ly/rlkkgR