The Hutch Files, Quantum Key West Race Week: To the Top

After their hump-day slump, taking a good hard look on where and how to turn things around made the difference.

Key West Race Week
Putting a 2,1,1, into their scoreline after struggling mid-week earned Quantum Racing a win in the first event of the TP52 Super Series and Quantum Key West Race Week Boat of the Week honors.Paul Todd/Outside Images

There’s nothing like an absolute beat down on Wednesday to change the outcome for for Quantum Racing. On Thursday, we were greeted with a dock delay, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As a speed team, we reviewed lessons learnt from Wednesday’s racing and we committed ourselves to a slightly cleaner starting style. Our coach, James Lyne, was adamant that we just needed to be a bit more aggressive on the line and focus on our time and distance.

He was right.

For the last three races on Thursday and Friday, the biggest change to our game was hitting the line at pace. When in clear lanes, Quantum Racing was fast and it was simply a matter of getting her into that spot. From there, we went 2,1,1 to win our first event of the season and Boat of the Week.

An interesting trend this year on the Division 1 racecourse was that the left side was favored more often than not. Even in conditions where the forecast talked about right shift or shear, the upper left would win, which made it the hardest Key West Race week I have done in a long time.

Going into the final race, there were seven boats that could win the event, and when the second-place team scored 49 points and the seventh placed team scored 51points, it demonstrates how tight the racing is. Everybody struggled for consistency. At the last event in the 2016 season, the winning average was 3.1. In Key West, a 4.3 average won, demonstrating the difficulty of the racecourse and competition.

Yet, Key West delivered what was the most spectacular week of racing I’ve experienced in this venue: champagne conditions, perfect weather and a great event hosted by Storm Trysail Club. There was a lot of talk about 2018 and beyond, but how lucky were all of the competitors this year to experience what we did. Just perfect. Many thanks to Quantum Sails for taking on the title sponsorship and all the supporters for delivering. Our sport is lucky to have them.