by Daniel Smith
Deneen Demourkas (USA) was left in shock when she received her ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nomination from ISAF President Carlo Croce.
Deneen Demourkas (USA) keeps a look out to leeward
Due to the vagaries of spam filters on her email account Demourkas only found out the news at the Melges 32 World Championship and was left in shock.
'I found this email in my spam filter titled ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, I opened it up and I thought someone was playing a really sick joke on me,' said Demourkas. 'It was really hard to believe. I couldn’t have imagined that in a million years and I was quite shocked.'
Demourkas entered the sport at the age of 34 after trying it out on an Andrews 70 in Santa Barbara, California, USA and had never thought the recognition of an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nomination would fall upon her, 'I spent a lot of time thinking about that. I didn’t grow up sailing and to be nominated for this type of award was never something I thought of or thought possible, it just never came to my mind.
'After receiving the email and confirming it was not a joke I did spend a lot of time thinking about the last 15 years of sailing and what that meant to me and to be recognized as, by far as I’m concerned, my peers was huge. I can’t describe the magnitude I felt at that time.
'Just being acknowledged is good enough for me, I look at the other girls and what they’ve accomplished, it’s fascinating. Everybody’s doing something completely different.'
Demourkas was nominated for her success on Groovederci in the Farr 30 World Championship that saw her claim her third world title in 2013.
Groovederci battled with Jim Richardson's Barking Mad and Rod Jabin's Ramrod for every inch and every cross over the 11-race series and it went down-to-the-wire in the very last race.
In a nail biting final day Demourkas recalled, what went down on Groovederci in Rhode Island, USA as she sealed a memorable one point victory.
'The last day was insane,' Demourkas recalled. 'We had crazy windshifts and wind anywhere from three knots to 20 knots at any given moment. Lead changes were constant, I mean seven times in one race and in one leg the lead would change. Going into events like that I don’t worry about numbers and where we are on the board, I just go into the day and do my best although always on the last day you know where you are.
'There was an extreme amount of pressure and the cards were going out way and then they weren’t. It was a crazy day. Having won two World Championships you don’t go into your third thinking oh well, I deserve it, it’s my turn. You just go and do what you can and I can’t believe the finish of that one.'
The American sailor is not just in Oman for those in attendance to celebrate her success, as President of the Farr 30 Class Demourkas has other roles to fulfil, 'This week I will be attending the ISAF Classes Meeting, it will be the first time for me.
'Even though my term finishes at the end of November I have a long term commitment to this class. I absolutely love this boat and love this class and am not going to give that up so I’m here to see what goes on and what we can do for the class.'
The 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year will be announced on Tuesday 12 November at a glittering award ceremony in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who vote for the one male and one female nominee who they believe most deserves the Award.