Sailing mainsheet hand for American Rod Jabin (Ramrod), Australian yachtsman Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones has won his sixth Farr 30 World Championship, this time in Seattle, USA, where Ramrod dominated from the outset.
Born in Tasmania where he is still a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Jones, who now lives in South Australia, has proven to be a talisman for a variety of owners when it comes to winning Farr 30 world titles. His first was with Richard Perini (AUS) in 2004, then came Guy Stening (AUS) 2008, and Deneen Demourkas (USA) in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Speaking from the USA, Jones said: “The Farr 30, in my mind, is still one of the best one-design keel boats ever designed, and is now going on 20 years old. To be able to win six world championships in this class is amazing. I feel very lucky.”
Ramrod was declared the winner of the Corinthian Yacht Club hosted event after three days of almost perfect conditions on Puget Sound came to an abrupt end on the fourth and final day of the Championship when breeze failed to materialize on course area.
“Winds were mainly around the 10-12 knot range, but we had one 8 knots and another in 16,” said Jones, an in-demand mainsheet hand on the international circuit, particularly in one-design classes, in which he specialises.
Ramrod’s crew opened their account with a win, leading Race 1 from start to end. From a total of nine races, they won six, to take the title from an international high-calibre entry of 14 boats.
Jones said the crew, mostly from North America except for himself and one European, “Worked really well together and Rod did a fantastic job on the helm.”
Second overall was Kevin McNeil’s Seabiscuit (USA), which Ramrod defeated by 17 points. McNeill had come fresh from finishing fourth at the Farr 40 Worlds. Andrew Hamilton’s Through (CAN) finished third, but was 25 points behind the winner.
“The event went really well for us and I thought it was a classic case of you get out exactly what you put in,” Jones said.
“We had three lead-up events and a really good sail program where we were able to develop the right shapes for the conditions and were there early enough to fine tune at the venue.
Jones is looking forward to returning to Australia this week, having competed overseas for three months at major events such as the Melges 32 Worlds in Italy aboard Ishida Yukihiro’s Yasha Samurai (finished fifth), and the Farr 40 Worlds in California aboard Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master (finished sixth). He also contested six other events across Europe and North America.
Next on the Australian’s agenda in the way of major events is the 2016 Farr 40 World Championship, to be held in Sydney early next year, when he will once again sail on Estate Master.
For full Farr 30 Worlds results go to: www.cycseattle.org/results/2015_specific/farr30.html
– Di Pearson