Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Farr 40 Circuit moves to Santa Barbara for West Coast Championship

by Tink Chambers on 14 Jul 2014
Groovederci skipper and Santa Barbara Yacht Club member John Demourkas is excited to be hosting the Farr 40 class for the West Coast Championship. Sara Proctor http://www.sailfastphotography.com
West Coast Championship 2014 - Santa Barbara, Calif. - John Demourkas has raced his Farr 40 all over the United States - from Newport to Key West on the East Coast, from Long Beach to San Francisco on the West Coast to Chicago in the Midwest. Demourkas has also competed all over the world in such countries as Australia, Denmark, Dominican Republic and Italy.

Having visited dozens of different venues since joining the class eight years ago, Demourkas is thrilled to get the chance to compete out of his home port of Santa Barbara.

'It's certainly going to be a special experience to do a Farr 40 regatta on the waters that I am so familiar with,' said Demourkas, a longtime member of host Santa Barbara Yacht Club. 'I know the club is very excited to be hosting the Farr 40 class for the first time. We are going to put our best foot forward to show the owners and crews some southern California hospitality.'

A strong fleet of 15 boats is entered in the Farr 40 West Coast Championship, being held July 16-19. An influx of Australian entries will add spice to the fourth stop on the International Circuit, which culminates with the Rolex Big Boat Series off San Francisco in early September.

Coming from all the way Down Under to prepare for 2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship are Estate Master, Kokomo and Voodoo Chile. A fourth Aussie entry, Transfusion, will join the fray for worlds, being held Oct. 15-18 out of St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

Sydney residents Martin and Lisa Hill have enjoyed tremendous success aboard Estate Master since joining the Farr 40 class in 2006, capturing two Australian Circuit championships and two International Circuit regattas - the 2010 Pre-Worlds and 2011 Sydney International Regatta.

The Hills, who most recently captured the Tasmania State title and finished third at Australian Nationals, are returning to the Farr 40 International Circuit for the first time since 2011.

'Team Estate Master is excited to get back on the International Circuit, and what a great place to start - sunny Santa Barbara,' Martin Hill said. 'As my pit girl and wife puts it: We're pumped. We know the competition will be tough and we have no illusions that we need to put in some time on the water in order to be race ready.'

Veteran professional Hamish Pepper will serve as tactician aboard Estate Master, which has competed in four Rolex Farr 40 World Championships - placing fourth in the Dominican Republic in 2010 and fifth in Sydney the following year. Pepper has enjoyed success in the Farr 40 class before, having served as tactician aboard Evolution when owner Richard Perini captured the 2005 world championship off Sydney. Andrew 'Dog' Palfrey will be providing coaching in Santa Barbara and San Francisco in order to get the Estate Master team up to speed in time for worlds.

'Essentially, our goals are to get back on the water and improve our rankings. Our focus is always on skill development and not the results,' Hill said. 'I just love that feeling of casting off the dock lines and heading out for a day of sailing, whether that be a training session with Dog or a regatta day when the storm clouds are threatening. I just love the water, the wind and being with the team.'


Kokomo, owned by Sydney resident Lang Walker with Olympic gold medalist Malcolm Page aboard as tactician, returned to the Farr 40 International Circuit by competing at the 2012 Rolex Worlds in Chicago and finishing ninth.

Voodoo Chile, owned by Tasmania resident Lloyd Clark, had a strong 2013-2014 season on the Australian Circuit - claiming the Queensland State crown in October and the One Design Trophy in December.

Consecutive victories at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and the California Cup have given skipper Alex Roepers and the Plenty team a comfortable 35-point lead in the 2014 International Circuit standings. Roepers must miss the West Coast Championship due to business commitments, but will try to sew up the circuit title at the Rolex Big Boat Series.

That gives Enfant Terrible, the Italian entry owned by Alberto Rossi, a chance to cut into the lead next week. Enfant Terrible captured the Midwinter Championship off Long Beach and has amassed 138 points through three events, one better than third place Flash Gordon 6 (Helmut Jahn, Chicago).

Meanwhile, owner Ray Godwin and the Temptress team are the circuit leaders among Corinthian entries. Temptress placed second in Corinthian Division at both North Americans and California Cup and 372 points, nine better than Gordon Leon and his crew on Foil.

'We're somewhat amazed to be in first and know it will be difficult to hold on till the end,' said Godwin, a Huntington Beach resident who owns United Flight Accessories of California. 'There are some real strong Corinthian teams on the circuit. Whoever wins will have really accomplished something.'


Godwin sails with zero professionals aboard Temptress, which he has owned since 2007. Tactician Randy Smith is in real estate while other key crew members such as trimmers Mark van Gessel (jib), Stacy Straw (spinnaker) and Bob Zellner (main) also hold full-time jobs.

Godwin, who previously owned a Santana 35 and Schock 35, has learned quite a bit during his first foray on the International Circuit. 'It has really been quite eye-opening. It's amazing to see the speed some of these boats have developed. We are watching the top boats very carefully and asking a lot of questions in order to pick up tips that could help us improve.'

John Demourkas was introduced to Farr 40 racing as crew for his wife and was there when Deneen steered Groovederci to third place at the 2002 World Championships in Nassau. John bought his own Farr 40 after retiring from business and earned his first class victory at the 2013 East Coast Championship out of Annapolis.

Cameron Appleton, a New Zealand native now living in Newport, R.I., is the longtime tactician for Demourkas on Groovederci, which is currently fifth in the International Circuit standings.

'Our consistency just hasn't been there so far this season. We'll have a good race then follow it with a bad one,' Demourkas said. 'I'll have my world’s crew for the first time next week and hopefully that will help us put all the ingredients together.'

Demourkas also owns a J/105 that he sails in the Wednesday Night Series out of Santa Barbara Yacht Club and in weekends’ regattas on occasion. Santa Barbara is one of the few California coastal towns that faces south and has an East-West mountain range. Demourkas said that unique configuration 'creates a slightly different type of breeze.' Westerly winds predominate and the afternoon sea breeze is fairly consistent, he said.

Principal race officer Peter Reggio will be assisted by the Santa Barbara Yacht Club race committee that is chaired by Brad Schaupeter. They plan to set the race course in deeper water than normal in order to minimize some of the local affects.

'Hopefully, that will prevent the righty from being so dominant and also eliminate the current relief that can be found closer toward shore, which will result in racing that is more fair,' Demourkas said.

The Farr 40 class will be missing one of its most loyal, dedicated competitors in Santa Barbara as Struntje Light was forced to withdraw from the West Coast Championship after owner Wolfgang Schaefer suffered a fall that caused two skull fractures. Schaefer spoke with class manager Geoff Stagg upon returning from the hospital and was in good spirits, stating that he and wife Angela look forward to rejoining the circuit for the Rolex Big Boat Series.
Event website

Helm Events 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

International Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Home Cookin'
When Melges 20 first emerged as a top level one-design boat in 2009, it quickly called Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay When the Melges 20 first emerged as a top level one-design boat in 2009, it quickly called Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay its winter home for its great mix of perfect sailing conditions and family friendly surroundings.
Posted today at 4:07 am
Solo Round the World record attempt makes long-term sponsorship work
The recent focus in the sailing news has been on the boats racing in the Vendée Globe and the epic battle Tomas Coville is aboard Sodebo vying for the single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation record. Coville rounded Cape Horn at the tip of South America yesterday and is currently turning his bow north as he deals with the strong currents in the Estrecho de le Maire, or the Straits of le Maire
Posted on 8 Dec
Vendée Globe – Thomson locked in battle for first place
Alex, who has been locked in battle with Armel Le Cléac'h, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark Alex, who has been locked in battle with Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h since the race began on November 6th, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark - the tip of New Zealand’s south island.
Posted on 8 Dec
12 Metre Class maps Road to 2019 Worlds in Newport – Countdown begins
The International 12 Metre Class has announced the Road To The Worlds, a 900-day schedule of international regattas The International 12 Metre Class has announced the Road To The Worlds, a 900-day schedule of international regattas and social events leading up to what will arguably be one of the most highly anticipated Metre yachting events
Posted on 8 Dec
Solo round-the-world record attempt – Thomas Coville rounds Cape Horn
The skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. With an average speed over the ground of 25.33 knots, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn.
Posted on 8 Dec
Double capsize in thrilling Act 8 opener at Extreme Sailing Series
Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Clear blue skies were met with a blustery north-easterly breeze of around 22 knots as the eight international crews hit the iconic waters of Australia's largest city, for the eighth and final Act of this season.
Posted on 8 Dec
Oman Air lay foundations for gripping duel at Extreme Sailing Series
Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney to lay the foundations for a gripping duel with rival Alinghi in the ‘winner takes all’ finals
Posted on 8 Dec
Capsize on the Harbour - including Beth Morley images
In race three of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized In race three of the first day of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney, Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsized at around 1500 local time. At the time of the capsizes the wind was around 22 knots. The Extreme Sailing Series' safety protocol was immediately initiated and the event's Safety Team was immediately on site to provide assistance, as were the teams' support boats.
Posted on 8 Dec
SWC Final – Nacra sailors react to Olympic foiling announcement
Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling Last month the World Sailing Council met in Barcelona, Spain, and confirmed the Nacra 17 will convert to foiling for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the only foiling class among the 10 Olympic sailing classes.
Posted on 8 Dec
Sailing World Cup Melbourne pays tribute to Paul Elvstrom
Sixty years ago, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years ago, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron welcomed the legendary Paul Elvstrom for the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. At the time the Danish sailor was carving a legacy that included four consecutive Olympic gold medals, numerous world championships and sporting innovations that are now the norm within the sport.
Posted on 8 Dec