470 Junior World Championships 2015 – Day 6


Published on Jul 31, 2015
Welcome to the final day of the 2015 Junior World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece. The podium battle was set with the leaderboard top 10 in the women and men ready for the Medal Race, and the rest of the teams facing off in a “last race”. An intense day, where a single mistake could cost a podium place. The double points medal race was the last chance to make the break.

Lavery and Brickwood executed their plan masterfully, leapfrogging Chile’s Horwitz and Middleton to seize bronze. Italy’s Di Salle and Dubbini wrapped up World Championship victory yesterday, but still proved their edge over the fleet by winning the medal race. Greece’s Bozi and Klonaridou raced a safe 7th place result, to hold onto 2nd place and claim silver medals.

In the men’s fleet, France’s Pirouelle and Sipan went into the medal race with a significant points advantage, over Germany’s Winkel and Cipra. Disaster struck, as they faced a problem with their spinnaker in the last downwind, dropping back to finish in last place. Fortunately for them, the Germans 4th place finish was not enough to take the advantage. So Gold to France, silver to Germany. Italy’s Ferrari and Calabro knew they needed to be smarter and tougher than their Spanish rivals to claim bronze. Their perfect race strategy gave them a 2nd place finish, to overtake the Spanish and claim the final spot on the podium.

At the Closing Ceremony, teams enjoyed an evening of celebrations and massive applause for the podium finishers.

Action now moves to Bulgaria for the 2015 470 Junior European Championships next week.

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Bullitt GC32 Kiel Cup Highlights Day 2


Published on Jul 31, 2015

Alinghi dominates in shifty Kiel winds

Even Alinghi skipper Morgan Larson could barely comprehend his team’s level of dominance in today’s racing at the Bullitt GC32 Sailing Cup Kiel. Six wins from eight races was unthinkable in such tricky and variable conditions in the narrow confines of the Kieler Fjord.

“It was one of those magical days where we did nearly everything right,” said Larson. “The conditions were hard on all the teams. Even when we weren’t doing so good, the guys kept on pushing for every boat length here and there on the race course. We probably had some extra luck with some of the bigger wind shifts, but we also put ourselves in some good spots, and the team’s boathandling was superb in the tight situations.”

Alinghi’s performance was the perfect way to bounce back from their capsize the previous day, from which both crew and boat emerged unscathed. The only two teams to take a race off the Swiss were Team ENGIE winning race 4, and Spindrift racing fended off Alinghi in the 8th and final race of a very long day on the water. Although there is no doubt who tops the leaderboard in Kiel, the points are very tight between 2nd and 4th place.

Yann Guichard’s victory in race 8 puts Spindrift just a point in front of Sultanate of Oman, with Team ENGIE 4 points further back. “It was good for our team spirit to win the last race, it was a tricky day for everybody,” said Spindrift’s skipper. “The race course is small, narrow, and very challenging, especially with the GC32. I did a few bad starts earlier on, but then we started to race well. For sure we are a better team at the end of the day than we were at the beginning.”

Racing on such short courses in such fast boats is a steep learning curve for everyone here, but none more so than for offshore racer Seb Rogues helming Team ENGIE. “We were very pleased to win a race today. The starts are difficult for me. I’m used to racing for 25 days, not just for 15 minutes! But I am here in the GC32 to learn. It’s perfect for me, to learn how to sail and race multihulls for the first time. We are pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and we are enjoying it.”

The forecast for Saturday is much lighter, so there may not be many opportunities to wow the crowds with the hydrofoiling of today. Guichard believes light winds will make the field more open. “It will be harder for one boat to dominate,” he said. The regatta leader was the first to agree with Guichard’s assessment. “Light winds have been one of our weaknesses at past events,” said Larson. “We’ve watched video of some of the good teams in the light airs, like ARMIN STROM and Sultanate of Oman, and hopefully it will be our turn to be fast in the light tomorrow!”

Saturday’s racing for the Bullitt GC32 Sailing Cup Kiel is scheduled for a 11am (local time) start.

 

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Storm Trysail Club Takes Over Ownership of Key West Race Week

 

Storm Trysail Club Takes Over Ownership of Key West Race Week

Quantum Sail Design Group remains onboard as title sponsor of popular regatta

 

LARCHMONT, NY – Quantum Key West Race Week will continue thanks to the organizational expertise of a new ownership group and the ongoing support of its title sponsor – Quantum Sail Design Group.

 

The Storm Trysail Club is pleased to announce that it has come to an agreement with Premiere Racing to take over ownership and management of the prestigious regatta.

 

The Storm Trysail Club, established in 1938, is well known for running Block Island Race Week, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. Storm Trysail Club also organizes the Lauderdale-to-Key West Race that has long served as feeder for Key West Race Week.

 

“Key West Race Week is a terrific bookend to the club’s long-standing Block Island Race Week,” Storm Trysail Club commodore Lee Reichart said. “We believe we will be able to utilize our experience at Block Island to ensure that Key West remains the most prominent winter big-boat event in North America.”

 

Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 will be held Jan. 18-22, 2016 with many of the same elements that made the regatta so popular remaining in place. Foremost is the sponsorship of Quantum, the second-largest sail-making company in the world.

 

Quantum Sail Design Group came aboard as title sponsor of Key West Race Week in 2012 at a time when its future was uncertain. Quantum and its backers provided the financial support that enabled Premiere Racing to continue organizing the regatta.

 

“We recognize Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this country and has been for well over two decades,” Quantum president Ed Reynolds said. “This midwinter, big boat regatta is very important to North American and international sailboat racing.”

 

Reynolds says the worldwide company is happy to see the event continue with such an accomplished regatta management group. “We recognize the complexity of managing Key West Race Week. There are probably very few organizations that could do it. Storm Trysail is uniquely qualified and we’re confident and excited about the future of the event under its direction.”

 

Reynolds thanked Peter Craig and his team at Premiere Racing for 21 years of dedication to ensuring Key West Race Week remained a highlight of the racing calendar, both within the United States and abroad. Reynolds also acknowledged an appreciation for Premiere Racing’s commitment to ensuring a smooth transition.

 

“Through Peter’s leadership, Key West Race Week has become an internationally-renowned regatta. It would be a huge loss to the competitors and the industry if the regatta were to go away,” Reynolds said. “We’re pleased to continue as title sponsor and look forward to working with the Storm Trysail Club and our industry peers to build on the success of this great event.”

 

Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987 and seven years later brought Craig aboard as race chairman. At the time, it was a single division regatta with 112 boats. Craig took over as event director in the late 1990s and under his leadership Key West Race Week evolved into an iconic international keelboat event.

 

Craig, longtime assistant Jeanne Kleene and an army of volunteers has always worked hard to ensure that Key West Race Week is always top-notch both on and off the water. Those two principals of Premiere Racing are very happy to hand off the event to capable new stewards.

 

“The Storm Trysail Club is uniquely qualified to manage an event of this magnitude, given their extensive experience with Block Island Race Week, Lauderdale-to-Key West Race and the considerable number of their members who have been actively involved with Key West Race Week over the past 21 years,” Craig said.

 

Craig applauded Quantum Sail Design Group for staying on as title sponsor. “Quantum and its backers hold true stature in the industry. It is hardly surprising to see that they will continue to play a crucial role in the continuation of this event,” he said. “Quantum, like Storm Trysail Club, has expressed a strong belief that Key West Race Week is important to performance sailing in North America. I would expect other industry leaders to step up and play an active, contributing role as Storm Trysail takes this great regatta forward.”

 

Storm Trysail Club members are in the process of contacting all past sponsors and will be working to bring new partners into the mix. Jeff Johnstone has pledged the support of J/Boats, a worldwide leader in high-performance sailboats.

 

All sorts of J/Boats designs have competed at Key West Race Week over the years, either in one-design, PHRF or IRC classes. Johnstone challenged other industry leaders to do their part in making Key West Race Week a success.

 

“Key West Race Week has been a favorite for J/Boat sailors since its inception 20-plus years ago,” Johnstone said. “We’re very excited to see the Storm Trysail Club take the helm and we encourage all of our sailing industry peers to join us in supporting this great event that means so much to the sailing community. We’re looking forward to being back in sunny, breezy Key West next January.”

Storm Trysail Club announced that longtime member John Fisher will serve as event chairman for Key West Race Week. Fisher has been involved with Block Island Race Week since 1999, serving as chairman for three editions of the biennial regatta. Reichart said Fisher, a past commodore of Storm Trysail Club, was selected for the role because of his proven strength with logistics.

 

“Key West Race Week has long been the best winter venue the U.S. has to offer, given the consistency of conditions and obviously the incredible weather,” Fisher said. “Veteran competitors at Key West have come to expect top-notch race management and that will not change! Storm Trysail Club is a proven commodity when it comes to on-water organization.”

 

Dick Neville, another Storm Trysail Club veteran, has been appointed race committee chairman. Neville has been working Key West Race Week for nearly two decades as right-hand man to Division 2 principal race officer Dave Brennan. Neville is expecting to conduct starts in most of the classes that have traditionally competed at Key West.

 

Fisher said Nick Langone will serve as shore-side committee chairman while John Storck Jr. will oversee mobile marina logistics. The Storm Trysail Club hopes to retain the services of numerous dedicated volunteers that worked for Premiere Racing for many years.

 

“It is important to point out that many Storm Trysail Club race committee members have been involved with Key West Race Week over the years. So we are not novices when it comes to this particular regatta and its unique elements,” Fisher said. “Because of the accumulated knowledge available to us, I expect the transition from Premiere Racing to Storm Trysail Club to be very smooth.”

 

Skippers wishing to register for Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 should visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1390.

 

About Storm Trysail Club

Storm Trysail Club is one of the world’s most respected sailing organizations. Established in 1938, its membership includes skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors who have flown a storm trysail or severely reduced canvas during an ocean voyage. The club is headquartered in Larchmont, N.Y., and has regional stations throughout the U.S. It hosts Block Island Race Week in odd-numbered years, the annual Block Island Race, Lauderdale-to-Key West Race and the biennial Miami-to-Montego Bay Race among many other events. The Club’s affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, The Storm Trysail Foundation, holds annual junior safety-at-sea seminars and the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta for college sailors using big boats. For more information, visit www.stormtrysail.org.

 

About Quantum Sail Design Group

Founded in 1996, Quantum Sail Design Group has grown to become the world’s second-largest sail-making company with more than 75 sales and service outlets around the world. Quantum designs, engineers, and manufacturers racing and cruising sails for sailors who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. The company is known for its Fusion M™ membrane sails and winning one design sails in dozens of classes. Quantum’s US headquarters is located in Traverse City, Michigan with European headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

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KEY WEST to CUBA sailing club KWACS


Uploaded on Feb 12, 2009

CUBA from Key West is only 90 miles. That makes Havana closer to Key West than MIAMI. These intrepid adventurers took to crossing the Florida Straits on HOBIE CATAMARANS! Crazy.

Don’t you think it’s about time for the KWACS (Key West Association of Catamaran Sailors) to do it again?

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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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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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USA Grand Slam Match Racing

Chris Poole and David Gilmour both currently with three wins in the USA Grand Slam – Oakcliff International. Get updated results instantly at the link below.

 

http://www.matchracingresults.com/2013/usa-grand-slam-oakcliff-international/

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