Farr 40s ready to lock swords

Two top finishers among early registrants for March's Acura SORC in Florida

Thursday January 17th 2002, Author: Shawn McBride, Location: United States
Among the early registrants for the 2002 Acura SORC, March 6-10, in Miami Beach are the top two finishers in last year's Farr 40 class. John Kilroy, Jr. won the Farr 40 title aboard Sempa Pa Ti in a close competition, defeating James Richardson aboard Barking Mad, by .25 points. Both return in 2002 to take another run at the Farr 40 title and the coveted Mark H. Baxter Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the low point yacht in the Farr 40 fleet.

Adding to the drama, Kilroy has "retired" 1999 Farr 40 World Champion Sempa Pa Ti and will be helming a new boat, Sempa Pa Ti II as well as sailing with several new crew, including Jeff Madrigali, who will be taking over the role of tactician from John Kostecki who is currently leading the Volvo Ocean Race aboard illbruck. Kilroy will break in Sempa Pa Ti II at Key West Race Week and anticipates being up to speed in time to defend his Acura SORC Farr 40 title in the waters off Miami Beach.

"The Acura SORC is a terrific regatta and viewed by many as the preeminent annual Farr 40 event on the East Coast," said John Kilroy, Jr. "On Samba Pa Ti II we have identified the Acura SORC as one of our primary events for 2002, while working to optimize our team for the 2002 Farr 40 World Championships."

At the 2001 Acura SORC, Sempa Pa Ti had several strong finishes early in the week and entered the final race needing a sixth place finish to wrap up the regatta. Unfortunately, Kilroy and crew found themselves in a tough spot at the start and combined with an aggressive tack by their main rivals, Barking Mad, slipped to 17th place halfway up the first weather leg of the race. Sempa Pa Ti eventually rounded the first mark in 13th place and went to work reeling in the rest of the fleet. They ultimately battled back to finish in sixth place, winning the class.

"The Acura SORC is a terrific regatta and as a tribute to how strong the Farr 40 class has come, its truly not over until the final race," explained Kilroy. "You learn to think big picture and recognize you must sail fast and smart to be successful."

In its 61st year, the Acura SORC will be raced off Miami Beach, March 6-10, 2002. The regatta once again features racing on ocean courses with all shore-side activities headquartered at Miami Beach Marina.

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