Sure-fire cure for the wintertime blues—Sailing news from the U.S.
Winter. Depending on your coordinates, this word can be spelled with as little as four letters and uttered at all volumes, with all phonic inflections. But for anyone attending this year's Quantum Key West Race Week, winter has all six letters and nobody is complaining (at least not too loudly).
|Key West Week 2012 David Schmidt|
Really, what's not to like about Key West, both the town and the event? Take colorful Duval Street, whose diverse storefronts are populated by everything from upscale restaurants and bars to roadside stands where little old Cuban ladies patiently hand-roll cigars. Or the sailing, which is typically the perfect mid-winter salve: warm water, killer breeze, and some of the world's best racecourse management. Or the nightlife, which is colorful to say the least...
|Melges 32 Starting Line Action - Melges 32 at Key West 2012 ©2012 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association|
Racing started Monday and runs all week. Several classes, including the J/80 and J/105, use this event as their official mid-winters, while other prominent One Design classes, including the Melges 24s, Farr 30s, Melges 32s and Farr 40s are enjoying their own starts. The serious wind machines are also lining up - including eight IRC 52s and a smattering of mini-maxis - for IRC honors, and the PHRF fleets also promise plenty of drama and excitement. Also, new this year to the racing line-up is the J/Boat Specific Handicap Classes (sub-class One Design racing), as well as a new title sponsor.
For you souls lucky enough to be down in Key West, remember: Karma is a constant companion. For the rest of us, buck up: days are (begrudgingly) getting longer and the early season sailing isn't that far away. In the meantime, be sure to get the full Key West media blast and great images, inside this issue.
But if you're the kind of sailor who chews gravel and spits salt, your winter blues (if you have any) can likely be kicked with an update from the Volvo Ocean Race, where the fleet is currently pushing hard to get from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China. Get the full update in this issue, and stay tuned to the site for more VOR action, as it unfurls.
And if this still doesn't work, there are only three known cures, depending on how many letters comprise your spelling of 'winter': join a frostbiting fleet, take up ice-boating, or get smart and head to a Caribbean regatta.
May the four winds blow you safely home.
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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