Big breeze greets the three boats competing in the Mini Max class. Peter Isler reports back from Shockwave.
Racing began with a bang today for us on the big boat course. Luckily we’ve been practicing in some big breeze the last few days because Key West served up some more smoke in the second race, when we enjoyed great racing in 22-knot winds that had built from about 18 knots in the first race.
Terry Hutchinson reports back after Quantum Racing nabs two bullets on the first day of racing in Key West.
We had champagne sailing conditions today in Key West. Seventeen to 23 knots greeted the fleet in Division 1 today, and in the IRC 2 class, we have eight 52-footers doing battle. It was absolutely fantastic sailing, and dare I say one of the better days that I have experienced in the last 17 Key West Race Weeks that I have participated.
Onboard Warpath, Mark Towillputs a couple of difficult races behind him and gets ready for the next day of racing.
The conditions in Key West could not have been better for racing—18-22 knots of breeze, big waves, blue skies, and warm water. Onboard Warpath, a mix of bad luck and unforced errors forced us to play catch up more than we would have preferred.
Nick Turney's team aboard the Farr 400 Spaceman Spiff wraps up their boatwork and gets ready for the racing.
It has been a very interesting few days of practicing down here in Key West. We have had fantastic breeze, and lots to work on. All five Farr 400s have made it to Key West, and we saw four of them out sailing today. For our team on Spaceman Spiff, it has been one project after another. All new boats have their issues, and we have been spending the past three days sailing for a few hours, and then spending the rest of the day going through our work list.
While the competition in Key West is top-notch, Peter Isler is drawn to this event by the camaraderie.
No question about it, this regatta has a lot going for it. Scheduled in “mainland” US’s most tropical clime, about a month after things really start getting cold up north it has the “thawing out” attraction going for it. It’s an “everyman’s” regatta that really works to cater to classes and fleets – its got the “you bring ‘em – we’ll fit you in mentality”. And the regatta organizers have a history (count them – all 25 years) of delivering the goods – with excellent – really cutting edge race management and an instant yacht club in the form of the race village.
After a breakdown curbed his ride in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, the author is prepping for Race Week aboard Steve Howe's Melges 32 Warpath.
I feel like everyone who has ever taken sailboat racing seriously has been to Key West Race Week. It’s simply a staple event on the calendar. With world-class sailing conditions and an always-entertaining social venue, it’s no surprise why people travel across the globe for this regatta. Hats off to Quantum for their support in keeping the event alive.
After a slow trip down in the Fort Lauderdale-Key West Race, a morning run with the chickens has the author in the mood for Race Week.
I love this place. I’ve been coming to Key West since I was a kid, and it still has that great “outside of mainstream U.S.” tropical feel in some parts of town. We sailed into town a couple days ago after a pretty brutal race down the coast from Fort Lauderdale on the Rambler. We had 12 of the 21 team members who survived the capsize of the R100 in last summer's Fastnet Race. It was the first time we’d all been together since being “shipwrecked” in Baltimore, Ireland, and you can be assured that the pre-race safety briefing held special meaning for everybody on board.
Skipper Robin Team mans the winch on his J/122 Teamwork as the boat works downwind along the Florida keys in a light easterly during the 2012 Key West Race.
A DNF doesn't define a distance race. There's a lot to be learned from competing and overcoming adversity even if the finish line is never crossed.
I was surprised when, early Friday morning, Robin Team fired up the Yanmar with just six-tenths of a mile to go to the finish line and decided to retire from the 2012 Key West Race. For the previous 36 hours, he’d been the primary reason we hadn’t pulled the plug.
Some unconventional high-speed preparation for Key West leaves Air Force Racing with a scar or two before the big regatta.
Every sailor and every team has its own way of preparing for high-level competition. What I find interesting is how this varies from sailor to sailor and team to team.
For some, the preparation ritual consists of a precise and calculated procedure of logistics, boat work, pre-regatta tuning, looking at new sails, video debriefs, strategy meetings, etc…The high performance teams have this scheduling down to the minutes and seconds of the day. On the other hand, you have the sailors who prefer to wing it or sink their nerves at the beer tent the night before.