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23 Jan 2014

Key West Race Week and Sir Ben—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Quantum Key West Race Week
52 Super Series  Martinez Studio/52 Super Series
Key West Race Week continues to drive international sailing headlines as the sailors approach the event's final days. According to reports, the event's first few days featured everything from light airs, rain and some dark clouds to passing storm bands, but this certainly didn't stop the event organizers from delivering high-quality racing across all classes. Yesterday, however, delivered the best conditions of the week thus far, with 12-16 knot northerly winds and clear skies.

The 52 Super Series class is proving to be fiercely competitive, with some great racing taking place amongst these purpose-built steeds. Despite having amassed a fine lead at the beginning of the regatta, 'Quantum Racing' has now fallen astern of both 'Rán Racing', who is now sitting in first place in this six-boat fleet, and 'Azzura', leaving the American-flagged boat in third place.

Quantum Key West Race Week
52 Super Series  Martinez Studio/52 Super Series


'The breeze was a little shiftier than we expected it to be, especially in the later races,' said Tom Burnham, 'Quantum's' stratagist. 'It was really up and down with big shifts. And we made a couple of mistakes, which cost us. But the biggest disappointment was catching the lobster pot in the first race when we had to do a back down and we had to go from second in the race to last... But the rest of the time it was just shifty and some of the others just had a better day.'

As for the rest of the regatta, Burnham was both realistic and optimistic about the team's best course forward. 'We will just keep chipping away,' Burnham continued. 'There are four more races in the series left and we won the first three races of the regatta we just need to go out and win a couple more, the objective being to be in the hunt in the last race.'

Richard Goransson, Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden - Melges 32 Quantum Key West Race Week 2014 - Day 3  JOY - International Melges 32 Class Association ©


While racing has also been extremely tight across all classes, the Melges 32 class is reporting a strong rivalry between the frontrunners for the podium's top step. Currently, Alec Cutler's 'Hedgehog' is sitting in first place, followed by Dalton DeVos' 'Delta' and Richard Goransson's 'Helly Hanson Inga From Sweden'. According to reports, Cutler and DeVos spent the majority of yesterday's racing exchanging tactical blows and vying for bullets, which the two boats commanded.

Inside, get the full Key West Race Week report, and be sure to stay tuned to the website over the next few days as final results becomes known.

Dalton DeVos, Delta - Melges 32 Quantum Key West Race Week 2014 - Day 3  JOY - International Melges 32 Class Association ©


Meanwhile, in America's Cup news, former Cup winner and respected writer Gary Jobson recently sat down with Sir Ben Ainslie, the winning tactician aboard 'Oracle Team USA' during last year's 34th America's Cup and the most-decorated Olympic sailor of all time, to get his pulse on how AC34 was won, as well as the kind of pressures that Ainslie has had to stare down on his road to becoming one of sailing's all-time greats.

Ben Ainslie, Oracle Team USA tactician  Oracle Team USA©


'What an awesome venue and great hosts and all the rest of it,' said Ainslie about San Francisco's racing conditions. 'It's no secret that we would like to have a British team involved with the [next] Cup. Having said that, as we all know it's a big boy's game. You can't go into it without the right level of funds. You know this... You've got to have the team with the wherewithal to win [the Cup], otherwise there's no point-you're wasting everyone's time. Within the next couple of weeks we've got to decide if we can get that together [for a British-flagged challenge]. So things are moving quickly and hopefully that can be the case.'

Get the all three parts of Jobson's interview with Sir Ben, inside this issue.

Mount Gay Monster Project sets new outright record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.  Peter Marshall


Also inside, get the full scoop from the Round Barbados Race, where the Volvo Open 70 'Monster Project' just set a new course record, don't miss the full ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami regatta preview, and be sure to check-in with the Clipper Round the World Race fleet.

2013 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Day 3  Leighton O'Connor ©


And finally, for anyone who could use a shot of Vitamin D on this fine January morning, the racing previews from this year's St. Maarten Heineken Regatta could be your elixir.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



America's Cup: Jobson goes one on one with Ainslie (Part 2)
ISAF Media,
ISAF Vice-President Gary Jobson sat down previously with Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. He now continues in his series of interviews with Ben Ainslie who was drafted in to replace John Kostecki mid-way through the 34th America's Cup on-board Oracle Team USA and played a key part in one of the finest sporting comebacks of all time.... [more]
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52 Super Series Key West - Quantum Racing's unbeaten record halted
52 Super Series,
52 Super Series Key West 2014 - On the regatta rankings both Rán Racing and Azzurra vault ahead of Quantum Racing whose unbeaten record was halted when they hooked a lobster pot in the first race. The back down required to free themselves forced them back to a sixth place finish. They seemed unable to reach the same levels as the first two days of racing as they went on to a third and fourth... [more]
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Contender World Championship - Italian applies pressure on day 3
Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team,
Day three of the Contender Worlds proved to be a very long and difficult day for all concerned including the race committee, although young Harry Morton, local Belmont boy out of 29ers - first time in Contenders, was all smiles after finishing third and ninth in today's races 5 and 6.... [more]
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Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series a huge success overall
Sue Pelling,
The 2014 Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating a series of coastal races as well as the iconic Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, and a final 300-mile sprint to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup, was deemed a huge success.... [more]
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Cumberland Cup - New York Yacht Club will return to defend their title
Royal Thames Yacht Club,
At the Royal Thames Yacht Club's International inter-club team racing challenge for the Cumberland Cup, being raced in London 30th April – 4th May this year, one place yet remains.... [more]
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Quantum Key West - Broad smiles and weary bones
Bill Wagner,
At Quantum Key West, broad smiles and weary bones usually means a successful day on the water for sailboat racers. There were plenty of both on the docks around the Conch Republic on Wednesday after organizers of Quantum Key West 2014 completed three races in strong winds.... [more]
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Melges 24 Australian Open - Best scorecard for Melges 24 founder
Lisa Ratcliff,
The first points in the Gill Melges 24 Australian Open Nationals, one of the Festival of Sails' opening events, went to Harry Melges and his Star crew from the USA. Melges, who founded the class in 1993 with his brother Hans and crewman Andy Burdick, began their Australian foray impressively with a perfect scorecard.... [more]
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Quantum Key West Race Week - Sunshine and breeze on Day 3
International Melges 32 Class Association,
Quantum Key West Race Week 2014 - The racing conditions were a vast improvement over Tuesday's gloomy and rainy weather, not to mention Monday's light and difficult breeze. Instead, teams arrived to a beautiful 13-15 knots, relatively calm seas and plentiful sunshine.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet battle the elements
Clipper Ventures,
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race it's been another night of close match racing amongst the fleet, as all 12 teams' battle the elements desperate to make gains on its nearest competitors in fickle wind and unfavourable currents.... [more]
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Rose Cup National Youth Match Racing to take place in Oyster Bay
US Sailing,
The 2014 Rose Cup, a national youth match racing event, is being organized by the US Sailing Match Racing Committee, Oakcliff Sailing and the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club. The event is scheduled to be held June 18-22 in Oyster Bay, N.Y. This is the fifth running of the Rose Cup. Ten skippers from around the U.S. will be invited.... [more]
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ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds: US Sailing decides Selection Process
US Sailing,
ISAF will be holding its inaugural Youth Match Racing World Championship on July 21-27, 2014, in Helsinki, Finland. Racing will be conducted in J/80s. Sailors must be under 23 in 2014 in order to compete. US Sailing announces that the selection process for the skipper representing the U.S. will be by resume.... [more]
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Championship of Champions - Dave Ullman to be special guest competitor
US Sailing,
The Championship of Champions is recognized as one of the more unique adult racing events in the United States. All helmsmen have qualified for this event by winning a one-design class National, North American, or World Championship in the over the past year.... [more]
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Contender World Championship - Its all happening on Lake Macquarie
Sail-World.com,
At the 2014 Contender Worlds, after four races have been completed, the Pre-Worlds Champion Mark Bulka leads. In second place is Christoph Homeier of Germany with Antonio Lambertini of Italy in third.... [more]
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America's Cup: Jobson goes one on one with Ainslie (Part 3)
ISAF Media,
After having sat down with Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, ISAF Vice-President met with Ben Ainslie (GBR) shortly afterwards. Ainslie was drafted in to replace John Kostecki mid-way through the 34th America's Cup on-board Oracle Team USA and played a key part in one of the finest sporting comebacks of all time.... [more]
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Contender World Championships underway at Belmont
Sail-World,
At the 2014 Contender World Championships, racing has commenced at the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie about 100 miles north of Sydney.... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: Improved multihull rating this year
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta,
Since the 1970's, multihull racing has been popular in the Caribbean, and has steadily grown ever since. Peter Spronk designs put Multihulls in Caribbean waters even before the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta became a success, and Mulithull participation is now at an all-time high. In 2013 there were 29 entries divided among five classes making it the largest Multihull fleet in the region.... [more]
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Round Barbados Race - Monster Project sets new absolute record
Sue Pelling,
In the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, the Mount Gay team aboard the British VO70 Monster Project set a new absolute record in yesterday's racing with a time of 4 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds, knocking 21 minutes off the previous record established in 2012 by Idea – Reichel Pugh 78 (John Wilson, UK). Idea, however, broke the CSA record for corrected time.... [more]
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ORC World Championship - Early entry discount soon to expire
Herman Hell,
Following the end of this week on Friday, 31 January, the early entry discount will expire on entry fees to the 2014 ORC World Championship being held at Kieler Yacht-Club over 2-9 August. Those interested in attending this event, the official ISAF offshore World Championship, are urged to sign up this week and take advantage of the discount offered until 1 February.... [more]
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52 Super Series Key West Day 2 - Azzurra takes second place
Azzurra Sailing Team,
On day two of the US 52 Super Series Key West 2014 Azzurra takes a brilliant second place behind Quantum in the day's only race that was marked by big rain squalls and unstable winds. Ran finished third... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - High calibre of entrants
ISAF Sailing World Cup,
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is being held from Monday 27 January to Saturday 1 February 2014. Over 550 sailors from 50 nations will head to Miami, Florida, USA to race.... [more]
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Quantum Key West Race Week - Wet and Wild Day 2
International Melges 32 Class Association,
At the 2014 Quantum Key West Race Week (KWRW) regatta, after two days and three races in Key West, Fla, Alec Cutler from Bermuda sailing hedgehog remains in the overall Melges 32 Class lead, ahead by two slim points. Deneen Demourkas on Groovederci traded places with Dalton DeVos on Delta to take second, after a somewhat wet and wild day.... [more]
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52 Super Series - Quantum Racing extends lead
52 Super Series,
In the 52 Super Series 2014 from a race sailed in unusually wet and squally conditions, somewhat atypical of the annual regatta's reputation for regular breezes and sunshine, the Quantum Racing team managed to keep their unbeaten record intact to increase their overall lead at the top at Quantum Key West.... [more]
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Quantum Key West - Severe storm bands on Day 2
Bill Wagner,
Quantum Key West 2014 is currently underway in Florida Keys. Rain squalls and wind shifts couldn't put a damper on the competition during day two. Multiple storm bands that were quite severe at times challenged the race committees and forced delays. Ultimately, perseverance and patience paid off as Division 1 completed a race while Divisions 2 and 3 got in two each.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - OneDLL battles to retain lead
Clipper Ventures,
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race while OneDLL battles to retain its lead, a series of gritty duels have been fought in the last 24 hours, as the marathon race to Singapore continues.... [more]
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Key West Race Week - Slow first day in Florida + Video
J/Boats,
At Key West Race Week, the prognosticator 'extraordinaires' of all things weather were, for one of those rare moments, remarkably accurate in their predictions for a light air day with next to no wind or just enough wind to make it happen.... [more]
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Giant swell and light winds challenge Weta sailors at Muscat Regatta
Brett Hall,
Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman, is making big strides to bring it and the region onto the world sailing stage. Brett Hall reports on the recent 2014 Muscat Regatta in which several Wetas competed. Close to 1000 of the 16ft Weta trimarans have been sold internationally, with a fleet now established in Oman.... [more]
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49er and 49erFX North Americans - Pressure rises on final day in Miami
Ben Remocker,
At the 49er and 49erFX North Americans, with a poor forecast, the prospects for racing were low, but enough wind filled in for an exciting three races in each class. Both the 49er and 49erFX fleets had clear leaders heading into the final day, with 11 and 14 point leads respectively, but first race blunders put each leader under pressure for the final two races.... [more]
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