Full Day of Full-On Racing at Key West

Key West Tuesday

Kos Picture Source

KEY WEST, Fla.-Whether the wind was actually any lighter Tuesday is a subject for some debate. While strong winds kept some classes ashore on Monday, all four circles were sent out for two races on Day 2 of 2005 Key West Race Week, after a short delay. The strong northerlies that have been buffeting the Florida Keys for the past three days had sailors once again reaching for their small jibs and even saw numerous boats sailing with a reef. And of course, there were reports of some damage, possibly one mast going down on the Melges 24 course. But for those who survived the winds and the competition and were able to walk up on stage to pick up their daily prizes, it was a fabulous day of racing. The Mumm 30s were one of the classes held back on Monday, a decision that didn't sit well with many of the owners. But regardless, they came into day with a clean slate, and fired up for some heavy-air racing. Veteran Mumm 30 owner Bodo von der Wense of Annapolis, Md., put himself in a strong position to replicate his class victories from 2004 and 2003 with a pair of first-place finishes. "[A day like today] gives you the confidence that you can do it," said von der Wense. "It was tough conditions today, but we worked through them." Having an experienced crew that was prepared to deal with little issues before they could become big issues was a key to the wins, he added. It was a similar tune sung by Mike Manila who had a first and a third today and won the day in the J/109 class. "There was no flawless racing today," said Manila of South Lake, Texas. "It was the crew being able to recover when we made mistakes and take advantage when our competition make mistakes. I can't say enough about the crew." Manila and his team on Antaean are currently third in the 6-boat J/109 class, but are just a point out of first. After finishing 10th place last year in a combined J/109 and J/120 fleet, Manila has his eyes on taking some hardware home this time around. "Obviously, we brought a better game this year," he says. In PHRF 1, it was Makoto Uematsu's TP 52 Esmeralda which once again dominated, winning both races. With Uematsu and Tom Lihan sharing driving duties and Ken Read calling tactics, the dark green Farr design was impossible to touch in the heavy air, planing downwind at close to 20 knots. Michael Brennan's TP 52 Sjambok was close on Esmeralda's heels in both races, even leading around the first mark of the second race, but was unable to score the win. Just like in Monday's sole race, Roger Sturgeon's Rosebud was third in both races on Tuesday, taking a 20-percent penalty in the second. The first non-Transpac 52 in the PHRF 1 standings is Tom Hill's Titan 12 in fourth. In the 58-boat Melges 24 fleet, Pegasus 575, with Bill Hardesty at the helm is winning the regatta by a point over Maspero Giovanni's Joe Fly. Dave Ullman is in third. Thomas Carruthers' Invisible is winning the 40-boat J/105 class by a point over Thomas Coates on Masquerade. In the Farr 40 class, Peter de Ridder's Mean Machine team is picking up right where they left off last January, when they won the Farr 40 class and Boat of the Week honors. De Ridder is winning the Farr 40 class after three races with Hasso Plattner, with Russell Coutts calling tactics, in second. Racing in Key West Race Week will continue through Friday. The forecast for Wednesday is calling for an easing in the wind strength, though it's still expected to be breezy and blowing from the north. For complete results, www.premiere-racing.com