Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Key West Race Week 2013 - Heavy air overwhelms 'Moving Day'

by Bill Wagner on 24 Jan 2013
Melges 32 fleet at Key West Race Week 2013 © Max Ranchi Photography http://www.maxranchi.com
Key West Race Week 2013 has already reached its halfway mark on Wednesday, which brought the strongest winds so far of the five-day regatta.

Wednesday has always been critical at this annual race week off the Florida Keys. By the time Wednesday is complete, the racing is usually more than half over. Event veterans have even given it the moniker of 'moving day.'

This year, Wednesday brought what is predicted to be the strongest winds of the five-day regatta, challenging crews to really ramp up their performance. There were some sail and gear failures in the heavy air, which held steady between 18 and 22 knots.

Several teams made major moves on Wednesday at Quantum Key West 2013 - none more dramatic than that pulled by Decision in the High Performance Class.

Spookie, skippered by North Sails professional Steve Benjamin, opened the regatta with four straight victories - all in convincing fashion - and it appeared the rout was on. However, Decision, skippered by Stephen Murray of New Orleans, turned the tables big-time on Wednesday by winning both races. Meanwhile, Spookie finished last in Race 6 after shredding its spinnaker on the last downwind leg.

'We were really getting frustrated,' admitted Murray, whose team opened the regatta with three straight seconds. 'But we knew if we just hung in there and caught some breaks that we could beat them. Today, we sailed really well. We had clean mark roundings and clean sets.'

Decision and Spookie are identical HPR Carkeek 40 designs with the former having been launched in March and the latter in September of last year. Murray said the boats, which have subtle differences in terms of sails and crew weight, have been evenly matched this week.



'They are a bit faster upwind and we may be a click faster downwind. All around, they are awfully close in performance,' he said.

Suddenly, Decision now holds a three-point lead over Spookie with two days and four races remaining. 'We certainly feel better about our chances now, but there is still a lot of racing to be done. With no throwouts, you're one bad race away from going from the penthouse to the outhouse,' Murray said.

Another climber on Wednesday was Arethusa, which moved from third to first in Swan 42 class. Skipper Philip Lotz (Newport, RI) steered Arethusa a first and a fifth on Wednesday and now leads the seven-boat fleet by virtue of tiebreaker over Stark Raving Mad VI (James Madden, Fort Lauderdale, FL).

'Conditions were great today. The breeze was enjoyable, but very shifty and hard to figure out, which was a challenge,' Lotz said. 'A premium was put on boat-handling with a higher level of breeze and the tactician was kept very busy in this highly competitive fleet.'

There was also a lead change in IRC 2 - the 52 class - as Azzurra overtook Ran after posting a pair of seconds on Wednesday. Guillermo Parada of Argentina is steering while Vasco Vascotto of Italy is calling tactics aboard Azzurra, which suffered a sixth in Race 2 after snagging a lobster pot. Now Azzurra is winning a tiebreaker with Ran (Niklas Zennstrom, Sweden) by virtue of having two first place finishes.

'We were not worried about the last place because we knew it was a long regatta. We just had to keep chipping away and learning every day,' Parada said. 'We are in a better position now, but there is still a long way to go.'

Azzurra, which is actually owned by Alberto Roemmers, has a very international crew comprised of Argentinians, Italians, a Croatian and an Englishman. Parada said English is spoken onboard until a crisis situation and all sorts of languages break amid the excitement. Quantum Key West 2013 is first stop on the 52 Super Series circuit, which Azzurra won last year.

'We have a good blend of sailors, a very organized program and Vasco is one of the best tacticians in the world,' Parada said. 'We have the talent and craziness of the Latin culture.'

It appeared there was a new leader in J/70 class after racing concluded on Wednesday. Newport-based pro Tim Healy and his Helly Hansen team won Race 6, finished third in Race 7 and threw out a 23rd suffered in Race 1. That briefly allowed Helly Hansen to overtake Moxie for the overall lead in the regatta's largest class with 39 boats.



However, Healy lost a protest and was hit with a penalty that changed the seventh race result to 19th and dropped Helly Hansen to fourth in the overall standings. Moxie, sailed by brothers Cole and James Allsopp (Annapolis, MD), remained the leader for the second straight day with 34.5 points, 1 ½ better than Relative Obscurity (Peter Duncan, Rye, NY).

Healy was disappointed with the protest decision, but remained confident his crew could wind up on top at the end. 'We're going to give it our best shot. We just have to keep plugging away,' he said.

There is a tight duel in the 23-boat Melges 24 class between the hedgehog and Full Throttle teams, which are now tied with 11 points. Full Throttle, skippered by Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI), wins the tiebreaker on the strength of three first place finishes.

'Those guys are like a bad piece of corn. We can't get them out of our teeth,' hedgehog skipper Alec Cutler said of Porter and crew. 'We started right next to each other in both races today and it was a drag race upwind and downwind. Sometimes they're quicker and sometimes we're quicker. It's really close, competitive racing.'

Full Throttle was named Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day after posting a third and first in what was declared the most competitive class on Wednesday. Cutler (Pembroke, Bermuda) had high praise for his rival who erased a four-point deficit to hedgehog.

'Those guys have been sailing together for 20 years and that is very evident by the fact they don't have any crew mistakes,' he said. 'They are also true gentlemen and a pleasure to sail against. We're in a good battle, but we enjoy the people we're battling against.'

Barking Mad, skippered by Jim Richardson of Newport, didn't rest on its laurels after capturing the Lewmar/Navtec Boat of the Day honor on Tuesday. With renowned pro Terry Hutchinson making the tactical calls, Barking Mad tacked on a third in Race 5 before scoring its second bullet in Race 6 and now leads the Farr 40 class by six points over Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA).

'It's tough sailing out there, kind of like a heavyweight fight,' Richardson said of the competition among the six Farr 40s. 'We may only have six boats, but five of them have won world championships. It's just a real solid fleet. It's a game of inches and we just have to keep sailing consistently well in order to maintain this lead.'



Bombarda, with owner Andrea Pozzi driving and past world champion Lorenzo Bressani, calling tactics, remained atop the 11-boat Melges 32 class for the second straight day thanks to a first and second on Wednesday. Bombarda leads fellow Italian entry Mascalzone Latino (Vincenzo Onorato) by three points.

Bill Sweetser has been racing his J/109 Rush in Key West since 2004 and has been class runner-up more times than he cares to remember. The Annapolis resident moved one step closer to finally being crowned champion by holding his lead for a third straight day. Conditions were not ideal for Rush, which excels in moderate winds, but Sweetser posted a third and second to remain seven points ahead of another Annapolis boat - Gerry Taylor's Cape Fear 38 Tangent.

'We knew with the high winds that we couldn't show the full capability of our boat. Our goal was to survive and live to fight another day, which we were able to do,' said Sweetser, noting that Rush did not lose any points to Tangent.


KWRW Division 1 Course

High Performance Class (HPR - 9 Boats)
1. Decision, HPR Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray , New Orleans, LA, USA, 2-2-2-4-1-1; 12
2. SPOOKIE, HPR Carkeek 40, Steve and Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT, USA, 1-1-1-1-3-8; 15
3. Santa, Farr 400, Jesper Bank / Michael Hestbek (T) , DEN, 3-3-3-8-6-2; 25



IRC 1 (Mini Maxi Class) (IRC - 2 Boats)
1. Shockwave, Reichel/Pugh mini maxi, George Sakellaris , Framingham, MA, USA, 1-2-1-1-1-2; 8
2. Bella Mente, Judel-Vrolijk Mini Maxi, Hap Fauth , Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2-1-2-2-2-1; 10


IRC 2 (52 Class) (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Azzurra, TP 52, Alberto Roemmers , Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, 1-6-4-1-2-2; 16
2. Rán, TP 52, Niklas Zennstrom , Southampton, Hampshire, UK, 5-2-1-2-3-3; 16
3. Quantum Racing, TP 52, Doug DeVos , Ada, MI, USA, 4-1-5-3-1-4; 18


IRC 2 (52 Super Series) (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Azzurra (SS), TP 52, Alberto Roemmers , Buenos Aires, Caba, ARG, 1-6-4-1-2-2; 16
2. Rán (SS), TP 52, Niklas Zennstrom , Southampton, Hampshire, UK, 5-2-1-2-3-3; 16
3. Quantum Racing (SS), TP 52, Doug DeVos , Ada, MI, USA, 4-1-5-3-1-4; 18


IRC Sub-Class (IRC - 4 Boats)
1. SPOOKIE (IRC), HPR Carkeek 40, Steve and Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT, USA, 1-1-1-1-3-4; 11
2. Catapult (IRC), Ker 40, Marc Glimcher , New York, NY, USA, 3-3-2-2-1-2; 13
3. Decision (IRC), HPR Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray , New Orleans, LA, USA, 2-2-3-4-2-1; 14


Farr 400 One Design (One Design - 4 Boats)
1. Chessie Racing (OD), Farr 400, George Collins , Miami Beach, FL, USA, 3-1-1-1-1-3; 10
2. Meridian X (OD), Farr 400, W.S. Shelhorse , Virginia Beach, VA, USA, 2-4-2-3-2-2; 15
3. Spaceman Spiff (OD), Farr 400, Rob Ruhlman , Cleveland, OH, USA, 4-3-4-2-3-1; 17
4. Team Premier (OD), Farr 400, Hannes Waimer , Dubai, UAE, 1-2-3-4-5/DNF-5/DNS; 20


Farr 40 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Barking Mad, Farr 40, James Richardson , Boston, MA, USA, 1-4-2-3-3-1; 14
2. Groovederci, Farr 40, John Demourkas , Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 2-2-3-6-5-2; 20
3. Struntje light, Farr 40, Wolfgang Schaefer , Lueneburg, GER, 5-1-1-5-6-3; 21


Swan 42 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Arethusa, Swan 42, Philip Lotz , Newport, RI, USA, 6-4-1-3-1-5; 20
2. Stark Raving Mad VI, Swan 42, James Madden , Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, 5-2-4-5-3-1; 20
3. Apparition, Swan 42, Ken Colburn , Dover, MA, USA, 7-3-2-1-4-4; 21

KWRW Division 2 Course

Melges 32 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Bombarda, Melges 32, Andrea Pozzi , Milano, ITA, 1-8-6-1-6-1-2-[8]; 17
2. Mascalzone Latino, Melges 32, Vincenzo Onorato , Milano, ITA, 6-10-1-2-4-4-3-[10]; 20
3. Swing, Melges 32, Keisuke Suzuki , Nishinomiya, Hyogo, JPN, 5-4-8-4-2-3-5-[8]; 23


Melges 24 (One Design - 23 Boats)
1. Full Throttle, Melges 24, Brian Porter , Lake Geneva, WI, USA, 7-1-2-3-1-3-1-[7]; 11
2. hedgehog, Melges 24, Alec Cutler , Pembroke, BER, 2-2-3-1-2-2-2-[3]; 11
3. West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes, Melges 24, Bora Gulari , Detroit, MI, USA, 6-4-1-4-4-4-


J 70 (One Design - 39 Boats)
1. Moxie, J 70, Cole / James Allsopp , Annapolis, MD, USA, 5-10-14-4-3-8-4.5-[14]; 34.5
2. Relative Obscurity, J 70, Peter Duncan , Rye, NY, USA, 19-6-7-9-5-3-6-[19]; 36
3. Savasana, J 70, Brian Keane , Weston, MA, USA, 15-25-1-19-2-2-1-[25]; 40


J 70 (Corinthian) (One Design - 12 Boats)
1. B Squared (COR), J 70, Brian Elliot / David Hyer (T) , Sayville, NY, USA, 1-1-9-1-4-2-2-[9]; 11
2. Nostalgia (COR), J 70, Blake and Lud Kimbrough , Newport, RI, USA, 4-6-1-7-2-1-1-[7]; 15
3. Spring (COR), J 70, David Franzel , Somerville, MA, USA, 3-5-4-2-1-3-7-[7]; 18

KWRW Division 3 Course

J 80 (One Design - 4 Boats)
1. Vayu 2, J 80, Ron Buzil , Evanston, IL, USA, 1-1-1-2-1-1; 7
2. Participant III, J 80, G. John Krediet , Stamford, CT, USA, 2-2-3-1-3-2; 13
3. Courageous, J 80, Gary Panariello , Manhasset, NY, USA, 4-4-2-3-2-4; 19

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT - 6 Boats)
1. Teamwork, J 122, Robin Team , Lexington, NC, USA, 1-2-1-2-2-1; 9
2. White Gold, J 44 MOD, James D. Bishop , Jamestown, RI, USA, 3-1-5-1-1-6; 17
3. Lake Effect, J 111, Robert Hesse , Youngstown, NY, USA, 2-3-2-4-3-3; 17

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT - 8 Boats)
1. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2-1-2-1-3-2; 11
2. Tangent, Cape Fear 38, Gerald Taylor , Annapolis, MD, USA, 5-5-1-2-2-3; 18
3. Alliance, Summit 35, John Borowski / John Cooper , Springfield, MO, USA, 3-6-4-4-4-5; Key West 2013

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
T Clewring J-classSouthern Spars - 100Schaefer 2016 660x82