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Alex Roepers wins the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship

by Jan Harley on 18 May 2014
Alex Roepers’ (far right) celebrates his first major win with the crew on Plenty. - Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship 2014 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship 2014 - Long Beach, Calif. – Determining the 2014 Rolex North American Champion came down to the 10th and final race of the series that was held over four days (May 14-17) from Long Beach Yacht Club, as conditions rebounded to allow the race committee to run three races on the last day of the regatta.


With an earlier start time, the fleet sailed into the offshore haze which gave way to patches of blue sky as the first race got underway at 11:15 in a seven-and-a-half knot southwesterly breeze with puffs registering between ten and eleven knots.

Chicago’s Helmut Jahn, the 2012 Farr 40 World Champion on Flash Gordon 6, was leading the fleet through the bottom gate followed by Ray Godwin’s Temptress, Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje light, Gary Ezor’s Coquille and Alex Roepers’ Plenty. Jahn, who had come into the final day of the series tied for second in the overall standings, went on to win the race, his first of the series, and took the overall lead with 29 points. Roepers on Plenty, finished third for 31 points, while Shaefer finished eighth on Struntje light to drop in the standings on 33 points.

In race two, the 19-strong fleet was split fairly evenly in picking which side of the course to take coming out of the gate. Plenty led the fleet around the course and took her fourth win of the series to move back to the top of the leaderboard with 32 points. Jahn finished fourth to drop to second overall with 33 points, followed in the standings by John Demourkas’ Groovederci with 42 points, after a second-place finish, and Schaefer’s Struntje light with 44 points after finishing the race back in 11th place.

With the only one point separating Roepers and Jahn, the final race of the series was started with boats jockeying for position in the nine-and-a-half knot breeze. Demourkas and Schaefer, who were third and fourth, respectively, in the overall standings, were both over early putting an end to any hopes they had for a championship title.

That left Roepers and Jahn to fight the final battle and when Roepers took his fifth win of the series, he clinched his first major class title. Jahn, finishing second, took second overall just two points back with 35 points. Demourkas came back from the over early to place eighth in the race and take the last spot on the podium with 50 points. Italy’s Alberto Rossi on Enfant Terrible was fourth overall with 55 points, followed by Annapolis’ Kevin McNeil on Nightshift with 59. Struntje light was unable to recover from the over early and finished the series sixth overall at 63 points.

'We’re joking now that all this releasing and tightening of the backstay may have not been necessary for all these years because we did just fine with the backstay in one position for the whole race,' said Alex Roepers in reference to the hydraulic failure on Plenty that took place on the way to the race course this morning. 'In one word it feels fantastic to be the North American champion. It’s been a long haul for me. I started in the class in 2007 and this is the first major win for team Plenty. To finally put it together to win this event is fantastic.'



 

Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship preliminary cumulative results



Event website
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Bow   Sail Number Yacht Name Yacht Design Owner/Skipper Race
1
Race
2
Race
3
Race
4
Race
5
Race
6
Race
7
Race
8
Race
9
Race
10
Total
North American Championship Racing

One Design Division


Farr 40


1. 14 USA 60059 Plenty Farr 40 Alexander Roepers 2 5 1 9 1 1 9 3 1 1 33.0


2. 4 USA 60002 Flash Gordon 6 Farr 40 Helmut Jahn 4 4 4 4 7 2 3 1 4 2 35.0


3. 9 USA 7289 Groovederci Farr 40 John Demourkas 8 6 6 3 5 7 1 4 2 8 50.0


4. 5 ITA 29141 Enfant Terrible Farr 40 Alberto Rossi 1 1 10 6 3 11 6 7 6 4 55.0


5. 12 USA 40076 Nightshift Farr 40 Kevin McNeil 7 8 2 2 4 9 5 9 10 3 59.0


6. 15 GER 40 Struntje light Farr 40 Wolfgang Schaefer 6 2 7 1 2 3 4 8 11 19 63.0


7. 6 MEX 28269 Flojito y Cooperando Farr 40 Bernardo Minkow / Julian Fernandez 3 16/ZFP 3 8 9 10 2 6 8 5 70.0


8. 3 USA 80808 Dark Star Farr 40 Jeff Janov 5 3 8 5 8 4 11 18 3 7 72.0


9. 1 USA 37 Blade 2 Farr 40 Michael Shlens 11 9 5 10 6 17 10 10 7 6 91.0


10. 16 USA 40050 Temptress Farr 40 Ray Godwin 14 7 16 11 13 6 15 5 15 10 112.0


11. 2 USA 1211 Coquille Farr 40 Gary Ezor 12 16 9 15 12 13 12 2 12 11 114.0


12. 19 USA 51044 Skian Dhu Farr 40 Dirk Freeland 10 10 12 12 16 14 7 13 9 14 117.0


13. 11 USA 46957 JoAnn Farr 40 Steve Murphy 13 11 14 7 14 5 13 19 5 18 119.0


14. 8 USA 50060 Foil Farr 40 Gordon Leon 16 13 13 13 10 8 8 12 18 12 123.0


15. 17 USA 888 White Knight Farr 40 Zoltan Katinszky 9 20/ZFP 11 14 15 12 16 11 16 9 133.0


16. 20 USA 40046 Twisted Farr 40 M. Tony Pohl 18 14 20/ZFP 16 11 18 18 15 14 15 159.0


17. 22 USA 131 Viva La Vida Farr 40 Will Durant 17 20/RAF 19 18 17 15 19 14 13 13 165.0


18. 10 USA 8881 Huckleberry3 Farr 40 Jim Murrell 15 17 18 19 19 16 14 16 19 17 170.0


19. 7 USA 104 Flyer Farr 40 Stanford Shaw 19 15 15 17 18 20/DNS 17 17 17 16 171.0