Its hard to complain when youre down in Key West but, quite frankly, it could have been a little windier today. A forecasted breeze of 10 to 14 knots never appeared and racing was cancelled at 1:15 for Division 2–PHRF 6, 7, 8, 9, J/29, and J/80 and Division 3–Melges 24. Divisions 1 and 4, however, had the dubious pleasure of racing 4-leg windward-leewards in winds ranging from 3 to 8 knots.
Division 1, the land of IMS racers, big PHRF boats, and a fleet of 13 F-28R trimarans, started racing at 11 oclock . Plenty of holes and a light breeze meant that everybody spent as much time looking bad as they did looking good. With their tall rigs and light displacement, the sleds looked happiest, especially Stephen Murrays Andrews 70 Decision, which won the PHRF 1 class over Tom Hills Andrews 68, Titan XI.
In IMS A, Isam Kabbanis Farr 60, Rima, was involved in a starting line incident with Larry Bulmans Farr 49 Javelin, and opted to raise the I flag rather than take it to the room. This gave the win to George Davids Idler, one of the four IMS 50s racing in the class. Idler topped the four-boat IMS 50 fleet but not by much; Doug Crokers Canvasback lost to Idler by only four seconds.
Making history at Key West today was Tim McKegnys F-28R, LiL Joe, which became the first multihull to win a race at Race Week. We were very successful at keeping our air clear and finding lanes, said Lil Joes trimmer, Andre Lacour, of San Diego. We never went over 4.5 knots today, so Im hoping that the breeze fills in a little tomorrow. McKegnys win was all the more sweet because the second-place boat, Dealers Choice, was helmed by U.S. multihull ace Randy Smyth.
In Division 2, where the Farr 40s, 1D35s, and Mumm30s play, the English crew of Warp Factor, a Mumm 30, won the day. It was pretty difficult, said trimmer Richard Faulkner. It was hard to figure out where the breeze was but we had a good start and managed to get ahead of Turbo Duck by the first mark. It was very nerve-wracking out there. Bodo and Nick von der Wenses Turbo Duck finished second.
In the 1D35 class, Chris and Kara Busch, from San Diego nabbed 1st, with Zsa Zsa and Roxanne rounding out the top three. In the Farr 40 class, Masimo Mezzaromas Nerone was numero uno, with Virago and Atalanti taking the next two podium spots. Nerone also earned Boat of the Day honors for the victory.
Not everyone at the tent tonight was a winner, but everybody seemed to be pretty happy. Its hard to be depressed when four more days of racing in Key West stretch out in front of you. Even the crew of Sequoia, a J/46 that finished deep in PHRF 4, maintained a certain sense of perspective about their frustrating day. Once the starting gun went off for their class, the air conditioning was shut off.