With eight countries represented, the 2002 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will find itself in the international sailing spotlight from November 13-16 and on a stage unmatched in beauty.
Set for Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, the event will use as its backdrop the resort's exotic marine habitat that is second in size and magnificence only to the ocean. For four days of racing, Mother Nature's laws for beneath the ocean will apply to those atop it, survival of the fittest being the most applicable for this battle-toughened Farr 40 fleet.
Barking Mad's owner/driver Jim Richardson (USA), will be gunning for something more than a second Farr 40 World Championship title. With his first one secured in 1998, he'll set his sights on making a hat trick out of his victories at two other Rolex-sponsored events this year. "You bet! I'm going for my third watch,"
said Richardson, referring to the championship's coveted prize that he also won as overall victor at the New York Yacht Club's Race Week at Newport and the St. Francis Big Boat Series. "But the team wants that World Cup, too. Everything we've done has been in preparation for winning this championship. We've had a very good year, winning a half dozen regattas on both coasts and competing in several more."
It's a foregone conclusion in Farr 40 sailing that teams who have sailed together over time do the best, and John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti team from Los Angeles, Calif., just might be one of the tightest knit. It, too, has spent a good amount of time racing on both coasts this year. Most notably, Kilroy skippered Samba Pa Ti to win the Farr 40 class at the Acura SORC and become this year's Farr 40 National Champion. Also this year and at times with races to spare, he won the Farr 40 West Coast Championship, the Southern California Championship and the Northern California Championship. As for past Farr 40 World Championships, Kilroy won the '99 event and finished second in 2000 before skipping the 2001 competition. "It will be more a marathon than a sprint, because the boats are the same speed and all have great tacticians,"
said Kilroy about the competitive profile of the 2002 fleet. "On any given day, someone new could win, and any top boat could have a bad race."
Having finished with his stint as skipper of the victorious illbruck campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race, John Kostecki, nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award, will return to the tactician's position on Samba Pa Ti, which he held when Kilroy competed in his last two Farr 40 World Championships.
The fiercest competition from overseas teams promises to come from the Italian team on board Nerone, winner of the very competitive Farr 40 European Championship in 2002 and consistently a top-three finisher at Farr 40 events.
BAMBAKOU, John Coumantaros, New York, N.Y., USA
BARKING MAD, Jim Richardson, Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I. USA
CROCODILE ROCK, Alexandra Geremia/Scott Harris, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA
FLASH GORDON, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill., USA
LE RENARD, Steve Phillips, Arnold, Md., USA
GONE TOO FARR, Dave Carrel, Belvedere, Calif., USA
GROOVEDERCI, Deneen/John Demourkas, Montecito, Calif., USA
JOSS, Owen Kratz, League City, Texas, USA
NITEMARE, Tom Neill, Berkeley, Ill., USA
PEGASUS, Philippe Kahn, Soquel, Calif., USA
SAMBA PA TI, John Kilroy, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
SOLUTION, John Thomson, Port Washington, N.Y., USA
VIRAGO, Stuart Townsend, Chicago, Ill., USA
BOTTADICULO Giovanni Arrivabene/Andrea Bocchini, Massarosa, ITALY
NERONE Massimo Mezzaroma/Antonio Migliori, Rome, ITALY
EMOTIONAL HOOLIGAN, Marcus Blackmore, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
KOKOMO, Lang Walker, Potts Point, AUSTRALIA
DEFIANT, Terry McLaughlin, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
HONOUR, Alek Krstajic, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
ASSEGAI, Leonidas Christeanakis/Chris Hunt, London, ENGLAND
KATANGA, Robin Patterson, London, ENGLAND
NORWEGIAN STEAM, Eivind Astrup, Oslo, NORWAY
SLED, Takashi Okura, Tokyo, JAPAN
MORNING GLORY, Hasso Plattner, GERMANY/San Francisco, Calif., USA