Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Farr 30 Worlds - A decade's journey for new female World Champion

by Farr 30 Class Association on 13 Sep 2011
Winning crew - Farr 30 World Championship 2011 © Meredith Block/Farr 30 worlds
The weather may have backed off from its biblical peaks earlier in the week, but the battle for the prestigious 2011 Farr 30 World Championship raged until the final leg of the last race of this testing, tough championship regatta. While she didn’t lead the event until the final race, Southern California’s Deneen Demourkas won when it mattered, becoming the first female skipper to win a big boat one-design World Championship in decades – if ever.

Going into this morning’s lighter air action, Santa Barbara-based Demourkas (Groovederci) trailed Newport, RI’s Jim Richardson (Barking Mad) by just a point in second with another three points up to local Scott Easom (Eight Ball) in first place. Demourkas was on a solid winning streak though, having taken the bullet in the previous three races. 'We’re actually looking for lighter air today,' said tactician Cameron Appleton on Sunday morning. 'We’re confident that we’ve got speed in all conditions, but we need other boats to get in ahead of Scott and Jim.'

The lighter conditions Appleton was searching for wouldn’t work out exactly as planned, at least at the beginning. In the first race of the day – Race 8 of the series – Demourkas had a huge lead by the first windward mark when disaster struck thanks to light wind and ripping flood tide. 'The current was a bit stronger than we thought, and we ended up touching the mark,' explained Appleton. The resulting penalty turn allowed four boats, including Barking Mad, to escape ahead of Groovederci, while Eight Ball had a shocking eighth place finish.

In Race 9 of the Championship, Demourkas started strongly again, leading Jim Richardson around the track with John Demourkas slipping in between the two on the last leg of the race. John wasn’t happy with just second place though, and he surfed down a big wave just a few feet from the finish, popping ahead of wife Deneen and winning the race by literally inches. Still five points back, Deneen was chipping away at Barking Mad’s lead – but would there be enough racing left for her to catch him?

Appleton didn’t think so, meaning Groovederci needed a new strategy. 'We needed to engineer possibilities for the rest of the fleet to get back into the mix and perhaps pass Barking Mad, and in race 10, it couldn’t have possibly gone better for us,' he said. He led Richardson around the bottom gate with the rest of the fleet far behind, and on the final beat of the race, Appleton 'pushed him out to the right to let the traffic get back in the race, and it all fell into place when they fouled Wild Thing on the final downwind leg.' While Barking Mad sailed a penalty turn the fleet sailed by, knocking them back to 11th place while Demourkas sailed to the victory and an overall championship lead she wouldn’t relinquish.


With her first lead of the entire regatta, nine-time Worlds skipper Demoukas could finally use her dominant boatspeed and flawless starts to clamp down on the competition, and Demourkas covered Barking Mad and Eight Ball all the way around the course on the final race, and Easom and Richardson’s battle for second place was an epic one. Richardson needed to finish just one place ahead of Easom to win, but Eight Ball tucked their bow inside Richardson at the final windward mark, working down on the Farr 40 and Farr 30 veteran and making the pass with less than two legs to go. Ironically, the smooth driving that allowed Eight Ball to lead this regatta all week, through some of the most brutal Rolex Big Boat Series conditions in years, would fail them when it mattered most. 'I noticed that the vang was off when we rounded the mark, so I called ‘vang on’ before the gybe,' Easom said. When Eight Ball went for the gybe inside Richardson, the highly loaded mainsail came across with a bang, spinning Easom to windward in his first broach of the entire regatta in just 16 knots of wind. 'The vang was on hard, and I noticed how hard our main trimmer was working to bring it across a little too late, and as soon as it came across, we were dead.' The resulting broach allowed four boats to pass, giving Richardson yet another second place World Championship finish – his third time as the runner-up in this competitive class. 'I guess I’m a permanent bridesmaid in the class,' he said with a laugh after landing on the dock.

But the bride – as well as queen, empress, and president – of this class is now Deneen Demourkas. 'This has been a long time coming,' said the World Champion after fiercely hugging husband John at the dock. 'We certainly didn’t make it easy on ourselves today – we had to work really hard to keep our head in the game and not let it get away from us.' Demourkas said. 'I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I’ve seen everything. The one thing I’ve learned is that you cannot stop fighting until the bitter end. You never know what’s going to happen, and the incident with Jim [Richardson] is a perfect example; you stay in the game, you stay patient and focused, and you see how things play out. There’s no giving up, or there’s no championship.'

Demourkas attributed much of her success to her hard-working crew of tactician Cameron Appleton, main trimmer Darren 'Twirler' Jones, bowman Andrew Hudson, trimmers Cameron Biehl and Austin Herlihy and floater Patrick Gavin-Byrnes. 'Without these guys I wouldn’t have had a chance – they’re the hardest working crew in sailing as far as I’m concerned,' Demourkas said.



Farr 30 World Championship Results: here
Farr 30 Worlds website
Rolex Big Boat Series website

Naiad/Oracle SupplierNorth Technology - Southern SparsInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted on 30 Jul
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted on 30 Jul
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted on 30 Jul
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted on 30 Jul
Edgartown Race Week - Final
It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. The racing started at 11:00. It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day. The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.
Posted on 30 Jul
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted on 30 Jul
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi apply the pressure in Hamburg
Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act. 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ - A sunny day on the River Elbe coupled with a lively breeze saw SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi challenge Oman Air for honours on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Hamburg, but it’s Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act.
Posted on 30 Jul