Quantum Key West: On the Hunt

Steve Hunt reports in from the C&C 30 Roxanne at Quantum Key West Race Week.

Key West, Bull Shark
Hey there diver. How's that bottom cleaning going? With bull sharks roaming the Key West Harbor these days, cleanings are better done on the racecourse.Sydney Morning Herald Archives

We all know it’s fast to have a clean bottom during major regattas, but is it worth losing a leg or your life? The big story here in Key West is the bull sharks coming into the harbors to feed on fisherman’s chum as they clean their fish. Bull sharks are extremely aggressive and considered to be more dangerous to humans than any other shark.

Its attack style is to head butt its pray first to stun and disorient before following with a bite. Divers here in Key West have gone on strike until the harbors are cleared. Fisherman have been hooking up the bull sharks and towing them out of the harbors.

So the question for the 99 racing teams in town remains, “Who’s cleaning the bottom?”

I’m glad I’m not the youngest person on the boat. Not it!

It’s always been said that the cool thing about Key West Race Week is the chance to hang out and with the best guys in the sport and nowadays you’re not only able to hang with the, but you learn from them too. So even for me, I feel fortunate to be able to sit in on the Quantum Key West Race Week's video debrief, with Ed Adams and Ed Baird this afternoon. The session was followed with. a panel discussion, called “Winning Strategies for Key West.” It was a first class presentation from Ed and Ed, using drone footage of today’s practice races from the C&C30 and J/70 fleets.

The debrief, which they will do for all of the classes throughout the week, was immediately followed by a panel discussion of how to win in Key West from Terry Hutchinson, Mark Mendelblatt, Tony Rey, Jonathan Mckee, Allen Terhune, Marty Kullman, and David Flynn, moderated by Ed Baird. This high powered panel shared their secrets of winning not only in Key West, but in all venues around the world. A few of the nuggets taken from the presentation were:

-Often regattas are won by the comebacks from a bad first beat, rather than the few races you do well.

-Try to get better each day and finish the regatta strong.

-Have a process and stick with it, leave the dock at the same time, do your homework, remain diligent.

-And one of the funnier tips, if you want to win the event, don’t go out partying on Duval Street late into the night. If you want to party on Duval Street, that’s fine, just don’t expect to win.

That, and don't dive the bottom when the chums getting dumped.