by Joy Dunigan
The 26th edition of Key West Race Week (KWRW) is expected to be a thrilling event filled with wonderful weather, dependable breezes, and crystal clear water. The Melges 24 fleet is representing Melges in a significant way with 23 boats registered -deeming it the second largest fleet in attendance. This is a major increase from last year's participation and is credited to great class leadership working directly with event organizer Premiere Racing.
Melges 24 fleet action
Rob Britts, U.S. Class Vice President and owner of Hot Mess headed the efforts in producing big numbers for the Melges 24s in KWRW stating, 'Some of the most fun I've ever had sailing a Melges 24 came from Key West. Screaming downwind in 20 knots of breeze with warm water and 80 degree temperatures is a blast'.
Scrolling down the scratch sheet, all Melges 24 boats participating are enormously competitive. Several teams have made their way back to Key West to compete once again for a spot on the the podium. Defending KWRW champion Bora Gulari sailing West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes is sure to keep the competition on their toes. Another major frontrunner for this event is fourth place finisher in both the 2012 KWRW and the U.S. Melges 24 National Championship, Bruce Ayres. Among the higher-up American contingent returning to Key West is Guy Mossman on Battle Rhythm, Don Wilson on Convexity, Britts on Hot Mess, Catherine Evans on Mojito and Brian Porter on Full Throttle.
Premiere Racing is hosting a competition for the Corinthian Division of the Melges 24 fleet. Trophies will include the Top Corinthian team daily and Top Corinthian Overall for first through third place for the series. The Melges 24 fleet has several teams in contention for this coveted trophy including Marty Jensen on Zig Zag, Jens Wathne on Party Girl, Dunnery Best on Sheva, Loren Colahan on Lounge Act, and Bo Boho Pedersen on DEN-701.
Key West Race Week is always a perfect way for the Melges 24 fleet to kick off its sailing season and prepare for competitive racing throughout the year. Registration, practice, regatta preparation and opening ceremonies happen on Sunday and racing takes place Monday through Friday with shoreside activities, prize givings, and evening parties throughout the week.
As with many previous Melges 24 events in North America and around the world, racing updates will be posted online at the Official Melges 24 Facebook Page.
Full Entry List
1.) Guy Mossman, Battle Rhythm
2.) Stefan Schulze, Blue Steel
3.) Manfred Schmiedl, Brio 620
4.) Don Wilson, Convexity
5.) Bo Boje Pedersen, DEN 701
6.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle
7.) Curtis Jazwiecki, Gnarly Ruca
8.) Alex Cutler, Hedgehog
9.) Rob Britts, Hot Mess
10.) Bent Dietrich, Kleine Rainbow
11.) Loren Colahan, Lounge Act
12.) Catharine Evans, Mojito
13.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon
14.) Mike Keefe, OXYGEN
15.) Jens Wathne, Party Girl
16.) Mark Beck, Risky Business
17.) Argyle Campbell, Rock N Roll
18.) Dunnery Best, Sheva
19.) Steven Boho, The 300
20.) Thomas Ritter, Tramp
21.) Evgeny Neugodnikov, USA 515
22.) Bora Gulari, West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes
23.) Marty Jensen, Zig Zag
US Melges 24 website