Groovederci wins ROLEX Farr 40 World Championship

Published on September 27th, 2015

Long Beach, CA (September 27, 2015) – Tied entering the day with defending champion Alex Roepers’ Plenty team, John Demourkas’s Groovederci finished strong today to take the ROLEX Farr 40 World Championship title over Roepers by one point. Demourkas, the second-oldest member of the class with 11 years of racing the one-design Farr 40s under his belt, has never before finished on the podium at the world championship.

Finishes of 7-4-3 on the first day put Demourkas in fourth overall in the 17-boat international fleet. Demourkas then won the first race on day two, and, with finishes of 5-3, moved up to second overall. Scores of 5-6-4 on the third day of racing kept Demourkas in position, now tied with Roepers to start the fourth and final day.

With two races on the schedule, the points were tight entering the final race. Roepers had the lead with 43 points, but followed closely by Wolfgang Schaefer’s Stuntje light on 44 and Demourkas on 47 points.

Roepers and Schaefer soon engaged in a drag race out to the right-hand side of the course with Plenty rounding the top mark in third, barely a length ahead of Struntje light. By the bottom of the run, the German boat had turned the tables on Plenty and led them round the right-hand side of the gate.

While these two were engaged in their private duel, however, others took advantage of a new breeze from the left with Australian team Estate Master taking up the lead. More importantly – for the championship – was the comeback by Groovederci who cruised into second place. Suddenly the match race between Plenty and Struntje light became inconsequential as John Demourkas sailed clean past both of them. It was an incredible reversal of fortunes that took even Groovederci’s owner by surprise.

A second place by Demourkas, while the other teams stumbled, launched the Groovederci team up to grab the title.

“We did it, we never gave up,” said a euphoric Demourkas. “I had no idea we’d won until we crossed the line. JK [tactician John Kostecki] said ‘I think we did it’ and I said ‘no, that’s not possible.’ I wasn’t even focused on it, just drive the boat, find my angles…not even thinking about what the results would be, or thinking about anything else.”

The 61-year-old Demourkas was presented with a specially-engraved Rolex Yacht-Master.

“I was close to getting a Rolex watch, unfortunately I missed it again,” said Wolfgang Schaefer who finished third overall – just three points behind the winner – on his German-flagged Struntje light which he races with his wife Angela Schaefer. “Maybe I should buy one, but it’s not the same. Buying a Rolex is probably less expensive than winning a Rolex, but then you don’t have the back engraved to say that you are world champion! It’s the engraving that matters.”

For the defending champions on Plenty, the loss stung. “We don’t like losing and we let this one slip away,” said tactician Terry Hutchinson, while adding that six months from now they would be right back at it. “Defending our title was always going to be tough, hats off to our team because nothing came easy in this regatta. I couldn’t be happier for Johnny D because he’s a great man. He’s been at it for a while, so for him to hang tough and get there is just awesome. He’s a good man for our sport and a top-notch person. As disappointed as I am for Alex [Roepers] and Team Plenty, I’m as happy for Johnny because he’s a legend.”

Racing was held September 24-27, with up to three races on any day, and up to a maximum of 11 races (with no discards) for the event.

Final Standings (11 races)
1. Groovederci, John Demourkas , USA – 7 -4 -3 -1 -5 -3 -5 -6 -4 -9 -2 ; 49
2. Plenty, Alex Roepers , USA – 5 -1 -4 -6 -8 -1 -3 -4 -6 -5 -7 ; 50
3. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer , GER – 1 -9 -6 -4 -1 -2 -9 -9 -2 -1 -8 ; 52
4. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil , USA – 2 -5 -5 -7 -3 -8 -6 -2 -8 -8 -3 ; 57
5. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn , USA – 18 -3 -1 -8 -10 -5 -1 -3 -3 -6 -6 ; 64
6. Estate Master, Martin Hill , AUS – 9 -8 -2 -5 -4 -10 -4 -10 -5 -7 -1 ; 65
7. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi , ITA – 11 -6 -7 -17 -2 -12 -2 -1 -1 -2 -5 ; 66
8. Coquille, Gary Ezor , USA – 3 -7 -10 -10 -6 -9 -8 -7 -9 -4 -9 ; 82
9. Asterisk Uno, Hasip Gencer , TUR – 8 -2 -8 -3 -7 -6 -16 -13 -7 -3 -11 ; 84
10. Insanity, Rick Goebel , USA – 6 -11 -9 -9 -14 -4 -14 -11 -18 -13 -4 ; 113
11. Blade II, Michael Shlens , USA – 10 -10 -18 -16 -11 -7 -7 -5 -12 -15 -10 ; 121
12. Twisted, M. Tony Pohl , GBR – 4 -12 -14 -15 -9 -16 -10 -12 -11 -17 -13 ; 133
13. Temptress, Ray Godwin , USA – 12 -15 -11 -11 -12 -14 -13 -8 -10 -14 -14 ; 134
14. Cal Maritime, Cal Maritime , USA – 16 -14 -16 -2 -16 -17 -12 -15 -16 -11 -17 ; 152
15. Foil, Gordon Leon , USA – 15 -13 -15 -13 -15 -15 -11 -16 -13 -12 -15 ; 153
16. Huckleberry3, Jim Murrell , USA – 13 -17 -13 -14 -17 -11 -15 -14 -14 -10 -16 ; 154
17. White Knight, Zoltan Katinszky , USA – 14 -16 -12 -12 -13 -13 -17 -17 -15 -16 -12 ; 157

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