Quantum Key West: Appleton's Updates — Vincenzo Likes It

From the grand-prix game, to the America's Cup and on down to the J/70, this guy has found his new excitement in sailing.

Key West Race Week

Hanging in Key West, Vincenzo Onorato, on the helm, gets pushed by the talent of the J/70 fleet.Paul Todd/Outside Images

It was another tough day in Key West, with great conditions making for a challenging day. On Mascalzone Latino, we’re getting close but, we still have a lot to learn on the execution.

Vincenzo Onorato has been one of the great owners in our sport, owning and racing to success in many classes and much larger boats. The J/70 seemed to him like a great idea as the worlds this year are in Porto Cervo, his home club.

After getting our boat and sailing a lackluster event in Monaco in early November with no wind it was hard to know if this boat would offer him the satisfaction we all get from sailing. The past few days have been in his words "absolutely amazing" and we are now trying to add regattas to our schedule.

I posed the question to him on the way in of why he likes this boat? “It’s just brilliant to learn to sail a new class,” he tells me. “I've been having a wonderful time because the fleet size is big and the teams are very good and to be able to beat them, we have to learn to sail the best we can. There are many of my friends racing and there is a friendly environment. After doing so much sailing over the years, it's just great to be challenged and the J70 is a comfortable boat that really will test me and push me to learn new skills.

“I have to be thinking ahead and really on my toes to sail well as these boats have different characteristics than I've been use to in the past.”

It's always great when I see so much excitement and passion from one of the great owners of this sport. It encourages us to develop our team so we can push the top boats.

We slid down the rankings today by struggling to convert on a few areas I've mentioned all week, but the good news is we are fast enough if we can do all the basics. Onto Day 3 with the Mascalzone Latino.