Entries Lining up for 2017 Key West Race Week

Over 40 boats and 6 classes have already signed up to compete in the 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week.

KWRW
The J/111s will return as a prominent class in Key West in 2017.Sara Proctor

One month from the first entry discount deadline (after Oct. 1 the entry fees increase), the list of teams competing at the 30th Quantum Key West Race Week includes 44 boats. Top classes signed up to compete include the C&C 30 One-Design, J/111, Melges 24 and J/70. Also slated to compete is the TP52 Class, which will kick off its 2017 Super Series in Key West.

“The TP52 Class is excited to return to Key West,” said class manager Rob Weiland. “It was a popular decision for the class to make. We have owners from many countries like Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Turkey, the UK and Sweden who’ve raced there before in IRC or other classes such as the Melges 24 or Farr 40, and they, as well as our American owners, wanted to return for the 30th anniversary. I expect we’ll have 10 to 12 boats on the start line.”

The TP52 Class bristles with talent from the America’s Cup, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Race and innumerable World Championships and represents the highest caliber racing in the game where every second counts. Quantum Key West Race Week also offers something for the more casual racer—the Performance Cruising Class. Featuring one race each day that starts and ends in the harbor, monohull and multihull entries will enjoy courses that tour the area south of the island and provide an opportunity for long legs to better enjoy sailing on the turquoise palette of the Florida Keys.

“We are very excited to return to Race Week in January,” said Ken Johnson (Stoughton, Wisc.), owner/skipper of the C&C 121 Grateful Red. “The new format of one race a day and now pursuit starts suits our crew perfectly. We are looking forward to a great season, and this is the perfect start.”

Johnson berths Grateful Red in Key West and has campaigned and cruised all over the world, including the 2011 ORC World Championship in Croatia. His winter plans are similarly ambitious, with plans to do the Pineapple Cup race to Jamaica, followed by a race to Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Cuba, before returning to Key West.

The Performance Cruising Class in 2017 will feature pursuit starts, to which Johnson gave his approval. “Every boat starts at a different time, so there are no starting line issues, and if we all sail our rating we finish at the same time,” said Johnson. “In a number of races last year using ORC ratings the corrected times were really close but the distances at the finish were large. Competition makes the race more exciting and the crew more motivated. We would much rather all finish together than all start together.”