Sparks to Fly as Farr 40s Return to Newport
NEWPORT, R.I. (July 1, 2012) – The Fourth of July fireworks in Newport, Rhode Island, won’t be only of the pyrotechnic variety when the Farr 40 class contests its 2012 Rolex North American Championship from July 4-7 in the City by the Sea. The fourth event in the class’s 2012 US Circuit Championship, and the first time the Farr 40s have raced on the storied waters of Narragansett Bay since the 2006 world championship, has drawn an international fleet of 12 teams all anxious to claim this title in one of the most famous sailing venues in the world.
Going into the North Americans with the overall lead of the circuit standings is Newport resident Jim Richardson who won Quantum Key West Race Week in January, and followed with second-place finishes in Miami and Annapolis. While Richardson, the owner/driver of Barking Mad, is a three-time Rolex Farr 40 World Champion (1998, 2004, 2009), the North American championship crown is one he has yet to claim.
“I’m excited to be sailing back in Newport, it’s been a long time since we’ve raced in our home waters,” said Richardson. “Hopefully we can sail well and it would be nice to win this championship. I’ve sailed against all of these competitors before and there are a lot of good boats so the racing will be tough. We are also getting back some people that we haven’t raced with in a while, which will mix it up a bit.”
After a year hiatus, Alex Roepers (New York, N.Y.) is back racing on Plenty and joins the international fleet that includes two teams from Turkey who are racing the Farr 40 U.S. circuit for the first time, as well as class luminaries who hope to beat Richardson on his home turf including Groovederci skipper John Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Calif.), winner of the Farr 40 East Coast Championship in May, and Alberto Rossi (Ancona, Italy), who sailed his Farr 40 Enfant Terrible to win the 2011 International Sailing Federation Offshore World Championship. Two-time Australian Farr 40 Class Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, also the class’ current world champion, will be racing in Newport for the first time on Transfusion.
Race headquarters will be at Newport Shipyard, where the on-the-water competition will be complimented by the Apollo Jets Race Party on July 4, the Newport Shipyard Post-Race Party on July 6, and the Rolex awards party at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, July 7. New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court will be the setting for a crew party on July 5.
In addition to Rolex as title sponsor, supporting sponsors are Apollo Jets and Newport Shipyard. Vanquish Boats and PURE Yachting will provide logistical assistance.