Farr 30s into their Pre-Worlds
Two-time Tour De France a la Voile winner Courrier Dunkerque sent a statement to the 2010 Farr 30 World Championship fleet today and Monday with a dominant victory in the five-race Pre-Worlds series in conditions that ranged from 30-knot thunderstorms to sunny, 5-knot zephyrs.
"This is just practice racing so I don't think our win predicts much, but for sure my crew performed really well and I'm lucky to be here with them," said Dunkerque helm and 2005 Farr 30 World Champion Pierre-Loic Berthet. "I'm just happy to be here competing in such a beautiful place, in one of the best boats of all time, against such strong competitors, and we hope to have a good showing this week."
Berthet will have his work cut out for him, as leading the charge for this prestigious Class championship is 2010 Tour De France a la Voile winners Vincent Portugal and Bernard Mallaret with Nouvelle Caledonie. "Fortunately most of the crew with us here in Hyeres sailed the Tour with us, so our boathandling is strong and we don't expect too many surprises," said Portugal. "One thing is for sure: We've all got hard work ahead of us, as more than half the fleet has a real chance of winning this Mondial."
The sole US challenger for the Championship is Santa Barbara's Deneen Demourkas, who finished fourth on the Tour De France with Groovederci. Deneen's excitement about the coming World Championship is palpable, but as the Class President, she's even more enthused about what it means for the Farr 30 Class. "We've had a tough time getting the Class reorganized over the past year, and to have a World Championship in such a beautiful venue with such a top shelf fleet from an amazing six countries is really gratifying," said Demourkas. The American skipper sees the event as a starting point for the Class's rebirth, and she's optimistic about 2011. "There are enthusiastic and growing fleets all over the world, and we're very excited about the great Farr 30 Class racing we'll see next year."
Nine races are targeted for the Class World Championship beginning this Thursday on the Bay of Hyeres on the French Mediterranean coast. This will be the first Farr 30 World Championship in two years after a tragic fire at the 2009 Worlds venue and associated administrative issues prevented the Class from holding its 2009 Championship. "With the Tour De France moving to a new platform for 2011, the time is right for new owners to get into one of the greatest small keelboats ever designed," said Demourkas. "There's simply nothing as versatile or tough as the Farr 30 at any price, they are absolutely the best all around racing boat at their size and things are looking really good for the Class right now."