Survival Conditions Deliver Smackdown To Farr 30 Fleet
World Championship: Day Three Racing
Photos by: MEREDITH BLOCK/FARR 30 WORLDS
30 KNOTS AND CRUSHING WAVES CUT DAY THREE SHORT AS BATTLE FOR LEAD HEATS UP
San Francisco, CA (10 September 2011) –San Francisco’s typically sporty September weather added a twist this morning on Day 3 of the 2011 Farr 30 World Championship; instead of the usual moderate morning winds building in the afternoon, racers were greeted by a somber, steel grey sky – along with a sea state and winds to match its angry hue.
The teams started Race 1 of the day – the seventh race of the Worlds series – in conditions that one sailor described as ‘armageddon’, despite the beginning of the rougher ebb tide period having barely started. At the start, Groovederci tactician Cameron Appleton placed third place skipper Deneen Demourkas at the pin end of the starting line, with Demourkas turning her position at the start into a lead that would grow with each leg. Second place Barking Mad held a strong second-place spot, with championship leader Scott Easom on Eight Ball further back in third watching his regatta lead disappear. The German team, led by Harald Bruening, held fourth until the leeward gate, when Topas’ mainsail halyard lock suffered a failure, forcing Bruening’s retirement. New York-based Standard Deviation had a solid start and beat, holding the back of the fleet off to finish with their first top-half score – a 6th place. “We’ve been in the top five at the top mark for much of the week,” said trimmer Alan Johnson. “Today, Will [Markel, skipper] did a great job keeping the boat under the rig, and we were able to turn that into a respectable race.”
Demourkas’ lead was unassailable though, and the action happened just a bit back on the final downwind run. A frustrated Andy Green, tactician for Barking Mad, explains: “Gybing in 28 knots takes perfect timing, and the confused seas at the bottom of the course made finding the right time nearly impossible for us,” he said. Green’s late gybe call meant an overpowered final run to the finish line, and the beautiful navy blue boat of Jim Richardson couldn’t defend against Eight Ball, which powered through for second place while Richardson’s spinnaker flogged. “We couldn’t afford to give that point up to Scott [Easom], and we’ll have our work cut out for us tomorrow,” Green added.
After the race, Demourkas conferred with North Course PRO Hank Stuart via VHF radio, and given the start of the ebb and the already short, steep, and hugely chaotic waves, Stuart opted to cancel racing for the day. Despite having a clear advantage at the top end of the wind range, winning the last three races, Demourkas thought it was the right decision. “The fact that we’re comfortable with this much wind isn’t a factor,” she said. “Half the fleet was in survival mode, and breaking gear and bodies is no way to race and no way for owners to enjoy their Championship competiton.” Demourkas sits three points behind Easom and one behind Richardson going into the final day.
While much of the Farr 30 fleet needed the early finish to recuperate, damage in the fleet was relatively light compared to tens of thousands of dollars worth of sail and rig damage suffered by numerous other Big Boat Series Class competitors forced to retire from their races.
The start of Farr 30 racing has been moved up 30 minutes for the final day of the Champioship to ensure that three good races can be sailed to decide the 2011 Farr 30 World Champion. The 2011 Farr 30 Championship runs through Sunday as part of the Rolex Big Boat Series. Please check the links below for up-to-the-minute news, live updates from the water, and daily photo galleries of the action.
- Farr 30 Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/bpEpZ0
- Kattack Live Race Tracking: http://bit.ly/p480Yq
- Farr 30 World Championship Results: http://bit.ly/oUJ4dX
- Rolex Big Boat Series: http://www.rolexbigboatseries.com/
- Rolex Big Boat Series Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/qPUPMS
- Daily Photo Galleries: http://on.fb.me/o6fTD4
- Worlds Entry List: http://bit.ly/qZ4Cad
- Worlds Crew List: http://bit.ly/qWtJ4Z
- International Farr 30 Class Site: http://www.farr30.org
- List of Previous Farr 30 World Champs: http://bit.ly/rlkkgR
NOTE TO EDITORS:
ABOUT THE 2011 FARR 30 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After a Class re-organization in 2009, the Farr 30 Class embarked on an aggressive plan of rebirth and growth of Class racing, doubling the size of the World Championship fleet from 2010 to 2011. Active racing fleets exist in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest, the Chesapeake Bay, Sweden, France, the Arabian Peninsula, and many other venues. Used boats in great condition are widely available, providing a cost-effective alternative to more expensive 30-foot racers that provide a fraction of the fun and versatility of the Farr 30. For more, check out www.farr30.org. The 2011 Worlds is supported by Quantum Sails, Rig Pro/Southern Spars, Patagonia, and Brickyard Cove Marina, and is part of the St. Francis Yacht Club’s prestigious Rolex Big Boat Series.
ABOUT THE FARR 30 CLASS
ABOUT THE ROLEX BIG BOAT SERIES
The Rolex Big Boat Series, held each September on San Francisco Bay, annually attracts many world-caliber sailors, all of whom are eager to win one of the six specially engraved Rolex timepieces given to winners of the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Perpetual Trophies. Begun in 1964, the Rolex Big Boat Series has showcased top sailing talent and boats for 47 years and is the West Coast’s premier regatta for handicapped and One Design racing.