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.
Making the trek down I-95 with the J/80 in tow has become an annual adventure for the Storck family.
Some things never change. For me, many aspects of Key West Race Week are a given.
First is the anticipation of the week to come. There's the excitement of seeing your sailing buddies who you haven't seen since the summer, along with the guarantee of high-quality racing and competition. The mood sets in right after the New Year. For those of us traveling from colder climates, the potential of warm sailing conditions is another source of happiness to get you through the lead up.
Puma Ocean Racing trails Camper/ ETNZ at the finish of Leg 2, headed into Abu Dhabi.
The crazy course of the second leg of the 2011-'12 Volvo Ocean Race taught me three things: the format is absurd, it's still anybody's game, and reliability may be the biggest factor in the final results.
Ryan O'Grady, a veteran follower of the Volvo Ocean Race and a top amateur sailor, is providing regular insight and analysis on the 2011-'12 Volvo Ocean Race for SailingWorld.com.
To help get the Farr 400 Spaceman Spiff ready for Race Week—and make sure Duval Street hadn't dried up—tactician Nick Turney arrived in Key West extra early.
This year for Race Week, I'll be sailing the new Farr 400. Key West is the class's first one-design event, and I'm racing with team Spaceman Spiff from Cleveland, Ohio. The owner, Rob Ruhlman (aka Spaceman), and his spacechick/wife, Abby, purchased the boat at the end of last summer. The boat was delivered shortly after Thanksgiving to Sailing Inc. in Cleveland, where it was prepped and groomed into a beautiful racing machine. The team at Sailing Inc. faired the bottom and foils and rigged the boat.
Matt Rutherford's voyage around the Americas doesn't have the glitz of a high-tech sailing campaign, but that's what makes his accomplishment all the more inspiring.
By all means celebrate the fact that that Banque Populaire just circumnavigated the globe non-stop in the Jules Verne Trophy record time of 45 Days, 13 Hours, 42 Minutes. Banque Pop is a spectacular, monster tri that measures in at 131-feet and is the fastest oceangoing sailboat ever built. Her professional crew, ably skippered by the supremely talented Loick Peyron, sailed smart and fast and deserves full credit for taking almost three days off the old record.
We didn't have a white Christmas in Cleveland, so I put in some hours with the Sled.
Without much snow on the local ski hill, I had no excuse not to spend some time indoors over the holidays, working on the Sled. Though my father and I have been working on the boat for the past few months, the results are only just now beginning to show.