Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Farr 40 East Coast Championship - Groovederci emerges victorious

by Tink Chambers on 28 May 2012
Groovederci - Farr 40 East Coast Championship 2012 Sara Proctor http://www.sailfastphotography.com
The winner of the 2012 Farr 40 East Coast Championship has been decided. As Groovederci pulled into the docks at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard, crew members from the other Farr 40 programs stopped what they were doing, stood and applauded. It was a testament to how popular owner John Demourkas has become within the class.

Demourkas scored his first victory since joining the Farr 40 class in 2004, and boy was it a big one! The California skipper and his crew aboard Groovederci put forth a consistent performance over four days of racing on the Chesapeake Bay and captured the Farr 40 East Coast Championship.

Veteran owners Jim Richardson and Wolfgang Schaefer were among the first to come over to the boat and congratulate Demourkas, a Santa Barbara resident who returned to the class this year following a lengthy hiatus.

'I'm really happy for Johnny D. He's a first-class individual and deserves to finally win a regatta,' said Richardson, a three-time world champion from Newport, R.I.

Groovederci was atop the 12-boat fleet upon conclusion of racing on Saturday, but it was a tenuous lead as Ramrod trailed by one point and five other boats were within six points. With six boats still in contention, Sunday's final day became a free-for-all with numerous tacking duels on the upwind legs during both races.


Cameron Appleton called tactics for Demourkas, who maintained his lead by posting a pair of fourths on Sunday and finished with a low score of 41 points. Groovederci won two races and placed fifth or better in six others to beat Barking Mad (Richardson) and Struntje Light (Schaefer) by three points.

Barking Mad and Struntje Light won three races each en route to totaling 44 points but Richardson's crew won the tiebreaker by virtue of having more second place results (two).

'It was a real slugfest out there today. I can't say enough about Cam and the rest of the team. Everyone rose to the occasion,' Demourkas said. 'Now I know what it's like to be Jim Richardson. It feels awfully good to win and we are going to really enjoy this.'

There was a consolation prize for Richardson as Barking Mad took over first place on the United States Farr 40 circuit. Barking Mad, which won Key West, placed second in Miami and now has five total points. Enfant Terrible, the Italian entry owned by Alberto Rossi, was the circuit leader after two events, but finished fourth at the East Coast Championship and fell to second with seven points. Struntje Light remains third on the U.S. Circuit with nine points.

'It's nice to be leading the circuit with two events remaining, but it ain't over till it's over,' said Richardson, repeating the line made famous by New York Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. 'We had to fight really hard to get our result here. We were behind the eight ball early and had to really battle to come back.'

Barking Mad will now return to its home port of Newport looking to consolidate its lead on the U.S. Circuit with a strong performance at the Rolex North American Championships, being held July 4-7 on the Narragansett Bay.

Barking Mad won the start, went hard to the favored right side of the course on the first upwind leg and was never headed in leading Race 9 from start to finish. Ramrod, the Annapolis entry skippered by Rod Jabin, got pinned out to the far left and lost significant ground to most of the fleet. That one disastrous leg led to an eighth place finish that basically took Ramrod out of contention.

'This is the only class in the world that you can go into the last day of racing one point out of first and wind up finishing fifth,' Jabin said.

In the 10th and final race of the series, Struntje Light got a great start and was allowed to sail clear of the fleet while the likes of Barking Mad, Enfant Terrible and Ramrod beat up on each other. Barking Mad covered Enfant Terrible closely on the second upwind leg and that strategy ultimately had a major impact on the outcome.


Enfant Terrible was at one point in position to win the regatta and maintain its circuit lead, but the tacking duel with Barking Mad pushed the Italian boat back just enough to make a difference. On approach to the second windward mark, Enfant Terrible came close to crossing Provezza 8 and Barking Mad on port tack, but realized at the last minute it could not do so and wound up ducking three boats.

'It was a tight situation and we were not able to cross cleanly so we had to bear off and lost several places,' Enfant Terrible tactician Giovanni Cassinari said. 'That race is not what cost us the regatta. We did not sail well Saturday because I was not in sync with the wind.'

When it was over, skippers and tacticians on five boats could shake their heads about mistakes made in various races and play the game of what if? Meanwhile, Demourkas and crew were popping bottles of champagne and exchanging hugs.

It was also the first Farr 40 victory for Appleton, who has been calling tactics for Demourkas since 2008. Christian Kamp (jib, spinnaker) and Andrew Estcourt (main) served as trimmers aboard Groovederci.

'It's overly special to be able to share this win with John. We've been working really hard to improve as a team and get things right,' Appleton said. 'We set some goals this week to sail smart and stay out of trouble. All credit to John for driving the boat well and holding his nerve when it came down to the wire there at the end. John was fantastic in this regatta, really solid on the helm. He has gotten better because he believes in himself.'

Demourkas did not campaign his Farr 40 for almost two years while racing on the Farr 30 circuit and recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery. He said driving a J/105 in club events back home in Santa Barbara helped hone the steering skills.

'Sailing on my own without any pros forced me to focus and raise my level. When I get back into this boat and am surrounded by pros, I'm even better,' he said. 'I can't say enough about the level of competition in this class. It's unnerving, but it's also Farr 40 website

Barz Optics - FloatersPredictWind.com 2014Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Heerema delayed by Biscay lows, Groundhog Day for Destremau
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb