Rain Can’t Stop the Racing at Quantum Key West 2014

January 21, 2014

Rain Can’t Stop the Racing at Quantum Key West 2014

Key West, Florida Keys — Rain squalls and wind shifts couldn’t put a damper on the competition during Day 2 at Quantum Key West 2014. Multiple storm bands that were quite severe at times challenged the race committees and forced delays. Ultimately, perseverance and patience paid off as Division 1 completed a race while Divisions 2 and 3 got in two each.

“We were seeing massive wind shifts – pre-squall and post-squall. The breeze went in a circle for a while,” said Ken Legler, veteran principal race officer on Division 1. “We had to move the signal boat a couple times and once we got a race going we had to move the weather mark a couple times.”

After postponing twice, Legler got a start away at 2:25 in the afternoon and it was a wild ride for the five classes competing on Division 1. Doug DeVos, skipper of Quantum Racing, saw 30-plus knots on the wind gauge.

“We saw just about everything out there. On a crazy day like this it’s important for everyone to remain calm, which is the way it was on our boat,” DeVos said. “You try to keep guessing what will happen, but you don’t get too antsy when something different happens. You just have to accept that this is what we have and adjust.”

Quantum Racing, with America’s Cup veterans Terry Hutchinson and Ed Baird giving DeVos advice on tactics and strategy, scored its third straight victory in the professional-laden 52 Class. DeVos was all smiles to hold a four-point lead over Ran (Niklas Zennstrom, Great Britain) following two challenging days off the Conch Republic.

“We feel really good. How can you not? You just want to keep yourself in the regatta when the conditions are difficult. Our team is not only keeping us in it, they have us winning races,” DeVos said.

Caol Ila R, the 69-footer skippered by Alex Schaerer of Newport, R.I., took first place in the Mini Maxi class ahead of 72-foooters Bella Mente and Shockwave. It was the second victory in three races for Caol Ila R, which can benefit from sailing in clean air while the two bigger boats battle it out.

“In a way it’s an advantage for them,” admitted Mark Mendelblatt, a member of the Shockwave afterguard. “There are times when we can tack on them and push them back, but we also have to be aware of Bella Mente.”

Decision maintained the lead in High Performance Class for a second straight day after placing second in the day’s lone race behind fellow Carkeek 40 Spookie. It’s a tight class with only three points separating the first and fourth place entries.

“We are very evenly-matched with Spookie and it seems like we’ve been swapping leads with them every leg, which is exciting,” said Murray, who also praised the performance of the Farr 400 Rock & Roll and the McConaughy 38 Riot. “Really, any of these boats could win the regatta. They are all well-sailed and it’s been great competition so far.”

Vitesse, a Swan 42 skippered by Jon Halbert of Dallas, Texas, has displayed superb consistency in placing second in all three races against a tough fleet in IRC 3. Catapult, a Ker 40 owned by Marc Glimcher of New York, has sandwiched a pair of bullets around a seventh and stands second overall with nine points.

“We have a great crew and they are sailing the boat very well in trying conditions,” Halbert said. “The wind was all over the place today – we saw everything from five to 35 knots with 30 degree shifts. It was important to anticipate the wind oscillations and change sails accordingly.”

Catapult’s victory in IRC 3 earned the Lewmar/Navtec Boat of the Day award. Veteran professional Geoff Ewenson is calling tactics for Glimcher, who captured an IRC Sub-Class at Quantum Key West 2013.

IRC 3 was the most competitive class on Tuesday with the top five boats finishing within a minute of each other on elapsed time and the top eight boats inside of three minutes on corrected time.

“What a spectacular day of racing. We had a big build-up and were not disappointed,” said Glimcher, who finished just 17 seconds ahead of Vitesse on corrected time. “Winning Boat of the Day is very exciting for the Catapult team.”

Boat-handling was at a premium on Division 2 as the J/70 and Melges 24 classes were buffeted by the big breeze. There were plenty of knockdowns and round-ups as the sport boats with oversized spinnakers were pounded with sudden gusts.

Skipper James Allsopp and his team on Moxie showed tremendous skill and strategy in winning both races in J/70, largest class of the regatta with 60 boats. Former College of Charleston sailor Zeke Horowitz was on his game calling tactics on Moxie, which led after the first day of racing last year as well.

“We went out there with a plan and we stuck with it. Everything just kind of came together for us today,” said Allsopp, who competed collegiately at the Naval Academy. “We got off the line well in both races and did a good job of managing the shifts. We had a good time today.”

It was equally rough-and-tumble for the Melges 32 fleet with Tuesday race winner Deneen Demourkas reporting that all seven boats suffered a knockdown at some point. Demourkas steered Groovederci to victory with Cameron Appleton calling tactics and is two points behind Hedgehog (Alec Cutler, Bermuda) in the overall standings.

“I like the heavy air. You’ll never hear me complain about it being breezy,” said Demourkas, a finalist for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award for 2013. “This is a strong fleet. Every boat has the potential to win the regatta.”

Principal race officer Wayne Bretsch and his team on Division 3 worked overtime to get in two races, staying on the water until after 5 p.m. Vayu2, the defending regatta champ skippered by Ron Buzil of Chicago, got the gun in Race 3 after placing second in Race 2 and leads J/80 class by seven points.

There is a nice duel shaping up in PHRF 2 with a pair of J/111 entries – Team Fireball (Eddie Fredericks, Annapolis) and Spaceman Spiff (Rob and Ryan Ruhlman, Cleveland, Ohio) tied with seven points after three races. Team Fireball holds the overall lead by virtue of two bullets.

Skipper Bill Sweetser and the Rush crew extended their lead in PHRF 2 by posting a second and a first on Tuesday. Rush is six points ahead of fellow J/109 Heat Wave (Gary Weisberg, Gloucester, Mass.).

Bill Wagner

Press Officer

Regatta dates are January 19 – 24, 2014.

For those who can’t be out on the race course, there will be plenty of ways to follow the racing action and the shoreside fun. Last year was a first for “Key West Live” coverage (#QKeyWest) and there will be more real time bloggers and video coverage to keep everyone connected this year.

premiere-racing.com/QKWLive/

Event Sponsors include Title Sponsor Quantum Sails and Day Sponsors Lewmar/Navtec (Official Marine Hardware), and Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), and Gill (Official Technical Gear).

Key West Race Week is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council. The Ocean Key Resort and Spa is the Official Hotel. Sapporo USA is the Official Beer and Regatta Ginger Beer is the Official Ginger Beer.

Chelsea Clock is providing their classic Ship’s Bell Clocks for the Boat of the Day trophies.

23 Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 13th year.

Quantum Key West 2014 is a US SAILING sanctioned event.

The racing will be conducted under permit in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadow, mangrove communities and sand flats.

News, results and photos: www.Premiere-Racing.com

QDSG

About Quantum Sail Design Group

Founded by a group of independent, experienced sailmakers who shared a common vision, Quantum Sail Design Group is dedicated to overcoming the trend toward mass-marketing and mediocrity in the sailmaking industry. The company is known for its high-performance Fusion M sails and winning sail designs in dozens of classes from dinghies to super yachts.

Quantum has more than 60 sales and service outlets throughout the world, with world headquarters in Traverse City, MI and European headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

www.QuantumSails.com

 

Standings after Two Days – Top Three in Class

 

High Performance Class (HPR – 4 Boats)
1. Decision, HPR Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray , New Orleans, LA, USA, 3-1-2; 6
2. SPOOKIE, HPR Carkeek 40, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT, USA, 4-2-1; 7
3. Rock & Roll, Farr 400, Bernard Girod , Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 1-4-3; 8

 

Mini Maxi Class (IRC 1) (IRC – 3 Boats)
1. Caol Ila R, Mini Maxi, Alex Schaerer , Newport, RI, USA, 1-2-1; 4
2. Bella Mente, Judel-Vrolijk Mini Maxi, Hap Fauth , Minneapolis, MN, USA, 3-1-2; 6
3. Shockwave, Mini Maxi, George Sakellaris , Framingham, MA, USA, 2-3-3; 8

 

52 Class (IRC 2) (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Quantum Racing, TP 52, Doug DeVos , Ada, MI, USA, 1-1-1; 3
2. Rán, TP 52, Niklas Zennstrom , Southampton, Hampshire, UK, 2-2-3; 7
3. AZZURRA, TP 52, Pablo A. Roemmers , Olivos, Buenos Aires, ARG, 3-3-2; 8

 

IRC 3 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Vitesse, Swan 42, Jon Halbert , Dallas, TX, USA, 2-2-2; 6
2. Catapult, Ker 40, Marc Glimcher , New York, NY, USA, 1-7-1; 9
3. Arethusa, Swan 42, Phil Lotz , Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA, 7-1-4; 12

 

52 Class (Super Series) (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Quantum Racing (SS), TP 52, Doug DeVos , Ada, MI, USA, 1-1-1; 3
2. Rán (SS), TP 52, Niklas Zennstrom , Southampton, Hampshire, UK, 2-2-3; 7
3. AZZURRA (SS), TP 52, Pablo A. Roemmers , Olivos, Buenos Aires, ARG, 3-3-2; 8

 

Melges 32 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Hedgehog, Melges 32, Alec Cutler , Pembroke, BER, 1-1-4; 6
2. Groovederci, Melges 32, Deneen Demourkas , Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 3-4-1; 8
3. Delta, Melges 32, Dalton DeVos , Macatawa, MI, USA, 2-3-5; 10


Melges 24 (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Little Wing, Melges 24, Nicola Ardito , ITA, 1-1; 2
2. Tramp, Melges 24, Thomas Ritter , Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA, 2-3; 5
3. The 300 , Melges 24, Steven Boho , Lake Geneva, WI, USA, 6-2; 8

 

J 70 (One Design – 60 Boats)
1. Moxie, J 70, James Allsopp , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1-1; 2
2. Running Wild, J 70, Peter Vessella , Miami, FL, USA, 3-4; 7
3. Savasana, J 70, Brian Keane , Weston, MA, USA, 5-3; 8

 


J 80 (One Design – 12 Boats)
1. Vayu2, J 80, Ron Buzil , Chicago, IL, USA, 1-2-1; 4
2. Blue Jay, J 80, Bob & Cheryl Hayward , Pacific Palisades, CA, USA, 4-4-3; 11
3. Rumor, J 80, John Storck, Jr , Huntington, NY, USA, 8-3-2; 13

 

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT – 8 Boats)
1. Fireball, J 111, Team Fireball , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1-5-1; 7
2. Spaceman Spiff, J 111, Rob and Ryan Ruhlman , Cleveland, OH, USA, 2-3-2; 7
3. Stark Raving Mad IV, J 125, James Madden , Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, 3-1-7; 11

 

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT – 7 Boats)
1. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1-2-1; 4
2. Heat Wave, J 109, Gary Weisberg , Gloucester, MA, USA, 3-5-2; 10
3. Rhumb Punch, Farr 30, John and Linda Edwards , California, MD, USA, 2-3-5; 10

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Ready to Race at Quantum Key West 2014

Ready to Race at Quantum Key West 2014

Key West, Florida Keys — Some of the world’s finest professional sailors will be crewing for captains of industry in the 52 (IRC 2) class, which is one of the headliners at Quantum Key West 2014.

Ran, the current 52 class world champion, is skippered by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom of Great Britain. Quantum Racing, winner of the 52 Super Series last year, is skippered by Amway president Doug DeVos.

DeVos is also the primary investor in Quantum Sail Design Group, title sponsor of the regatta for the third consecutive year. As owner-driver of the Quantum entry, DeVos is blessed to have three renowned professionals providing assistance with Terry Hutchinson as tactician, Ed Baird as strategist and Juan Vila as navigator.

Those three are among a horde of pros with America’s Cup or Volvo Ocean Race experience competing in IRC 2, which is comprised of six 52-foot racing machines that are highly technical.

“This is some of the best racing in the world. You have the top sailors, the best designers and builders, and with that you get the greatest competition,” DeVos said. “It’s an incredible class that gives the pro sailors a chance to develop and takes the whole sport forward.”

Azzurra, owned by Argentinian pharmaceutical mogul Pablo Roemmers (Laboratorios Roemmers), captured the 52 class at last year’s Key West regatta. Vasco Vascotto and Francesco Bruni, teammates on numerous Italian challengers for the America’s Cup, serve as tactician and strategist, respectively, aboard Azzurra.

“It is a tough fleet and it will be very difficult to repeat. All the boats are capable of winning,” Vascotto said. “We are well-prepared and looking forward to a great week of sailing.”

Key West is one of the few regattas on the 52 Super Series in which the amateur owners drive their own boats – a unique element the professional crews enjoy. “We love having Doug driving the boat. He’s the leader of the whole program and brings great energy to the team,” Hutchinson said of DeVos.

Quantum Key West 2014 will feature five days of racing in 10 classes on the aqua-colored waters off the coast of the Conch Republic. From the professional-laden 52 Class to the family-oriented programs in the PHRF classes, there is something for everyone.

Newport-based professional Tim Healy will be back to defend his title in J/70 class, which has attracted a whopping 60 boats. Runner-up Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) and third place finisher Bruno Pasquinelli (Dallas, Texas) will also be back as the J/70 class contests its Midwinter Championship.

“We’re excited to be back in Key West and hoping we do as well as last year. There are a lot of really good teams here and it’s really hard to say which ones are the top contenders,” said Healy, who has John Mollicone and Geoff Becker aboard as co-tacticians and trimmers. “As usual, consistency is the key and you have to keep fighting all the way around the course. There are gains to be made on every leg and every point will count at the end.”

Spectators on the water will be thrilled by the sheer size and speed of the racing machines in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1). Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris (Framingham, Mass.) will look to defend its title against fellow 72-footer Bella Mente (Hap Fauth, Minneapolis, Minn.) and the 69-foot Caol Ila R (Alex Schaerer, Newport, R.I.). It was a match race situation last year with Shockwave defeating Bella Mente by four points. The addition of a third boat, although three feet smaller, adds some intrigue.

“The more the merrier. We’ll probably still race head-to-head with Bella Mente, but the smaller boat could wind up beating us both on corrected time,” Sakellaris said. “It should be a lot of fun. We love racing here in Key West. It’s great weather, great wind and a great regatta.”

Decision defeated sister ship Spookie in the High Performance Class at Key West 2013 and the two Carkeek 40-footers figure to duke it out again. Spookie won seven of 10 races a year ago, but suffered an eighth after wrapping the spinnaker around the keel and that enabled Decision to score a one-point victory.

“It was a bit of a heartbreaker last year. We had a disaster in one race that really cost us the regatta,” Benjamin said. “We view Decision as very fair competition and are also looking forward to testing ourselves against the Farr 400 (Rock & Roll) and McConaghy 38 (Riot).”

IRC 3 is shaping up as one of the most competitive classes with 10 boats and a diverse group of designs. Catapult, a Ker 40 skippered by Marc Glimcher of New York, captured the IRC Sub Class last year, but will be challenged by an influx of new entries such as a Sydney 43, Ker 43, Mills 43 and four Swan 42s.

“We’re very happy about the makeup of the class. There is a broad range of boats in there, some real fast boats,” Glimcher said. “When you look at the 10 entries, there are some really competitive programs. Personally, I’m very excited about the competition we’re going to face this week.”

Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., placed third at the 2013 Melges 32 World Championship and headlines a strong eight-boat fleet in Key West. Hedgehog, skippered by Alec Cutler of Bermuda, was the runner-up at the 2012 worlds while the Brazilian entry Phoenix (Sergio Rocha) has five-time Olympian Santiago Lange aboard as tactician.

“Every boat in the class is capable. There are no weak sisters,” said Cutler, who did not race his Melges 32 last year while focusing on his Melges 24 program. “It’s a big adjustment going back into this class. This is a very different boat than the 24 in terms of feel of the helm, angle of heel and target speeds. I’m having to relearn everything.”

Teamwork, a J/122 skippered by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., will be seeking a rare three-peat in PHRF 1. North Sails professional Jonathan Bartlett will once again be calling tactics for Team, who will also have his two sons aboard. Team is looking forward to duking it out with another J/122 (El Ocaso, Rick Wesslund) and knows the four J/111 entries can do well in certain conditions. PHRF 1 also features a modified 1D35 and a J/125.

“We are a group of good friends who love to sail together and we come down here to have fun,” Team said. “Of course, winning is a key component of having fun. I think the competition in our class will be tougher than ever. We are going to be challenged by some very strong teams.”

Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, has been a runner-up in Key West four times. Sweetser hopes to get over the hump this year while competing in PHRF 2, a seven-boat class that also features a Farr 30, Olson 30, J/88, Seascape 27 and Sabre 426.

The consensus is that a three number PHRF handicap system provides for closer, more fair racing in a disparate fleet. This year Key West Race Week is employing a three-tiered rating system that is based on wind speed. Each boat’s handicap can vary slightly different depending on whether the wind is light, moderate or heavy.

J/80 class has tripled in size since last year and will have 14 boats on the line as it contests its Midwinter Championship. Vayu2, skippered by Ron Buzil of Chicago, will defend its Key West crown against several seasoned teams, including former North American champion John Storck Jr. on Rumor.

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5 Days to Key West Race Week

Published 15 January, 2014
As of today, January 15th, preparations are well underway for the January 20th start of the 27th Key West Race Week. With the J70 fleet at 62 entries, another fleet of J80s and assorted J Boats in IRC and PHRF classes they total 86 of the current 126 entries.
Strong winds overnight tonight and through the day on Thursday may put off practice sessions until at least Friday.
The 105ft America 2.0 leads off as the Official Race Viewing Yacht while seats can also be found on several excursion catamarans and historic tallships.
Races are slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. daily. Courses are set over an 8-mile stretch of the Atlantic Ocean just off Key West’s shore and inside the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef.

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Quantum Key West Race Week 2014

2014 banner

January 15, 2014 – For Immediate Release

 

Key West Race Week – Delivering Excellence for 27 Years    

Key West, Florida Keys  — Quantum Key West 2014 is gearing up for its trademark full week of racing on the aqua-colored waters off the coast of the Conch Republic. From the professional-laden 52 Class to top tier club-oriented programs in the PHRF classes, this midwinter classic offers something for everyone.

Spectators on the water will be thrilled by the sheer size and speed of the racing machines in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1). Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris (Framingham, Mass.) will look to defend its title against fellow 72-footer Bella Mente (Hap Fauth, Minneapolis, Minn.) and the 69-foot Caol Ila R (Alex Schaerer, Newport, R.I.).

 

Action figures to be intense in the 52 Class (IRC 2), which features an international fleet of six boats loaded with the world’s top professionals. Key West is the kickoff event for the 52 Super Series, which was won last year by Quantum Racing. Doug DeVos will skipper the Quantum entry in Key West with America’s Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson aboard as tactician.

 

“We had a very successful 2013 season and are looking forward to getting off to a good start in 2014,” said Hutchinson, noting that Ed Baird (strategist) and Juan Vila (navigator) complete a talented afterguard. “We love having Doug driving the boat. He’s the leader of the whole program and brings great energy to the team.”

 

   Azzurra, owned by Pablo Roemmers of Buenos Aires, Argentina, took first in Key West last year and will have Vasco Vascotto calling tactics again as it seeks a repeat. Ran, which captured the 52 world championship, will look to improve upon its third place finish from a year ago with British pro Adrian Stead calling tactics for owner-driver Niklas Zennstrom.

 

“It’s an impressive fleet and it’s going to be quite a battle. Azzurra and Ran are both formidable programs and you can’t count out boats like Interlodge, which is a real rocket ship,” Hutchinson said.

Defending champion Decision, a Carkeek 40 skippered by Stephen Murray (New Orleans) headlines the High Performance Class and will no doubt duke it out daily with sister ship Spookie (Steve & Heidi Benjamin, Norwalk, Conn.).

 

Robin Team (Lexington, N.C.) and the boys aboard Teamwork will look to repeat in PHRF 1 while going against another J/122 and four J/111 designs in this competitive 8-boat class.

 

Rick Wesslund was a regular at Key West from 2004 to 2010 with his El Ocaso program and returns after a three-year hiatus with his newly-purchased J/122. “This is our debut regatta and we are really eager to put our best foot forward. We are cautiously optimistic, but know this will be a real good performance test for the boat. Robin has a terrific team and that is always a well-sailed boat so we will have to be on top of our game in order to win,” said Wesslund, who earned the PHRF Boat of the Week honor in 2006.

 

Regatta chairman Peter Craig is excited about the 10-boat lineup in IRC 3, which will have such diverse designs as a Swan 42, Sydney 43, Mills 43 and Ker 43. Catapult, a Ker 40 owned by Marc Glimcher of New York, captured IRC sub-class honors at Quantum Key West 2013 and will be challenged by an influx of new entries.

 

Among the newcomers are Andrew and Linda Weiss (Mamaroneck, N.Y.), whose Sydney 43 was designed specifically to the IRC rating rule. Andrew Weiss is eager to see how his boat performs against boats of similar size, but different design characteristics.

 

“We are very happy with the makeup of the class. There is a nice mix of designs and a lot of strong teams,” said Weiss, who has competed against the Swan 42s as well as Catapult and the Mills 43 Cool Breeze (John Cooper, Cane Hill, MI) in the past. “It will be interesting to see which boat comes out on top over the course of five days and in varying conditions.”

 

Newport-based professional Tim Healy will be back to defend his title in J/70 class, which has attracted a whopping 62 boats. Runner-up Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) and third place finisher Bruno Pasquinelli (Dallas, Texas) will also be back as the J/70 class contests its Midwinter Championship.

 

A real bounce-back one design at Key West this year is the J/80 class, which will have 13 boats on the starting line. Skipper Ron Buzil and his Vayu2 team will try to repeat as regatta winners against a deep fleet that includes former North American champion Rumor (John Storck) and several other accomplished programs.

 

“Our owners love coming to Key West and we’re thrilled to have a very competitive fleet this year,” said Chris Chadwick, national class secretary for the J/80. “Premiere Racing always puts on a quality regatta and the racing is second to none.”

 

Talk to the owners and skippers heading for Quantum Key West 2014 and you will hear a similar story.

 

Dave Franzel attended what was known as Key West Race Week way back in 1981 as crew for a J/24 program. The founder of the Boston Sailing Center returned 32 years later as a J/70 skipper and was crowned as Corinthian champion after finishing eighth overall in the 39-boat fleet.

“I had an absolute blast. It was one of the best regattas I’ve ever been to. It made me wish I hadn’t waited so long to come back,” said Franzel, a resident of Somerville, Mass. “I was very impressed with the race management. The courses were sound and the starting lines were solid. We got in 12 races in five days and you can’t ask for more than that.”

 

Deneen Demourkas will be sailing her Melges 32 after being nominated for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award for her performance on the Farr 30 circuit in 2013. Her husband, John Demourkas, will be racing in J/70 class as the couple makes their annual pilgrimage from Santa Barbara, Cal.

 

“John and I have been attending this event the last 14 years and we love the relaxation Key West affords, particularly after a hectic holiday season,” Demourkas said. “And then there is Race Week, which always delivers. You can pretty much guarantee great sailing conditions, beautiful weather and good competition. Why wouldn’t you be here?”

 

John and Linda Edwards have been bringing their Rhumb Punch racing program to the southernmost tip of Florida every January since 1999. Quantum Key West 2014 will be the 15th year of participation for the couple.

 

“There’s just something special about Key West,” said Edwards, a Maryland pharmacist. “You combine amazing weather with great competition, that’s a perfect formula. If you don’t love sailing in Key West, you don’t love sailing.”

The Rhumb Punch team has enjoyed plenty of success in Key West, winning eight of nine races to capture J/29 class in 2007. The Edwards moved into the Farr 30 class the following year and finished third in PHRF 1 at the 2010 regatta.

“It’s become a family tradition. We come down every year with the same team and stay in the same house,” said Edwards, who always sails with Quantum professional Clarke McKinney as tactician. “I think a big part of the attraction is that our wives love being in Key West. It’s great to be somewhere warm in the middle of January and there is so much fun stuff to do.”

“We have a terrific fleet and there should be some exciting competition across the board,” said Farley Fontenot, executive vice president of Quantum Sail Design Group. “I think the reason this regatta survives and thrives is because it rolls with the trends of the sport.”

 

This will be the third straight year that Quantum will serve as title sponsor and Fontenot said the Michigan-based sail-making company has enjoyed its partnership with Premiere Racing.

“It’s been a great relationship because we both have the same interests in mind, which is to keep an iconic regatta moving forward in tough economic times,” said Fontenot, who will be in Key West coaching the Melges 24 team aboard Delta. “Quantum’s goal for this is to perpetuate our sport by supporting one of the greatest events in the country.”

 

Bill Wagner

Press Officer

Regatta dates are January 19 – 24, 2014.

 

For those who can’t be out on the race course, there will be plenty of ways to follow the racing action and the shoreside fun. Last year was a first for “Key West Live” coverage (#QKeyWest) and there will be more real time bloggers and video coverage to keep everyone connected this year.

 

Event Sponsors include Title Sponsor Quantum Sails and Day Sponsors Lewmar/Navtec (Official Marine Hardware), and Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), and Gill (Official Technical Gear).

Key West Race Week is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council. The Ocean Key Resort and Spa is the Official Hotel. Sapporo USA is the Official Beer and Regatta Ginger Beer is the Official Ginger Beer. Chelsea Clock is providing their classic Ship’s Bell Clocks for the Boat of the Day trophies.

 

23 Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 13th year.

 

Quantum Key West 2014 is a US SAILING sanctioned event.

 

The racing will be conducted under permit in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadow, mangrove communities and sand flats.

 

Event information, scratch sheet, past results and photos: www.Premiere-Racing.com

QDSG

About Quantum Sail Design Group

 

Founded by a group of independent, experienced sailmakers who shared a common vision, Quantum Sail Design Group is dedicated to overcoming the trend toward mass-marketing and mediocrity in the sailmaking industry. The company is known for its high-performance Fusion M sails and winning sail designs in dozens of classes from dinghies to super yachts.

 

Quantum has more than 60 sales and service outlets throughout the world, with world headquarters in Traverse City, MI and European headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

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