Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Quantum Key West 2013 – Fierce battles at hand in sunshine state

by Bill Wagner on 15 Jan 2013
Melges 32 will be in action at Quantum Key West 2013 ©JOY | IM32CA http://melges32.com/
The Quantum Key West 2013 will feature interesting story-lines and the emergence of new boats such as the J/70, the IRC/TP 52, and the HPR class. Moreover, the upcoming war off the picturesque shore of Key West will showcase elite sailors as they gun for the top prize in one of the most popular sailing events in the United States.

Many of the world's top sailors will duke it out in the 52 class with Key West serving as opening stop on an ambitious 2013 series. Organizers of the recently introduced High Performance Rule are eager to showcase Version Four of the rating system at the renowned winter regatta held off the southernmost tip of Florida. The J/70 class will make its Key West debut in dramatic fashion as it is the regatta's largest with an impressive 39 boats.

The J/70 has taken the sailing world by storm with J/Boats having already sold 350 of the small one-design racers. Many top-notch skippers who have competed in Key West in other designs will do so this year in the latest J/Boats design, including successful pros Tim Healy and Kerry Klingler. Klingler noted that most owners are still learning the boat, particularly how to handle the oversized spinnaker, which will be critical to success next week.

'Key West has always been a tremendous showcase for any new design and we are looking forward to launching the J/70 to a wider audience with great competition at one of the world's most renowned regattas,' Rod Johnstone, the founder of J/Boats said.



A strong fleet of six boats - three from Europe, three from the U.S. - will do battle as the curtain rises on the new 2013 '52 Super Series.' Defending series champion Azzurra (Italy) and past MedCup champion Quantum Racing (USA) headline the fleet of exciting speed machines.

'Overall, we are pretty happy with the entries. Given the reputation and popularity of Key West we can be sure that we are looking forward to a good week of racing,' said Rob Weiland, class manager for the IRC/TP 52 and co-organizer of the Super Series. 'It will be interesting to see how the American boats fare against the Mediterranean boats. My feeling is that it might be quite even.'

While the 52-footers are crewed entirely by professionals, an owner-driver rule is in place for Quantum Key West 2013. Michigan owner Doug DeVos will try to repeat as regatta champ after dominating the competition with six bullets in 10 races a year ago.

Tactician Ed Baird, a past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and veteran of numerous America's Cup campaigns, is the only newcomer to a crew that captured the Audi MedCup and the IRC/TP 52 World Championship in 2011. Andy Horton (strategist), Juan Vila (navigator) and Warrick Fleury (trimmer) are other key members of the Quantum afterguard.



Argentina owner Guillermo Parada will steer Azzura with Italian pros Vasco Vascotto and Francesco Bruni aboard as tactician and strategist, respectively. The newest generation 52-footer, off the boards of designer Botin Partners, performed quite impressively while winning the 2012 Super Series under the flag of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Class president Niklas Zennstrom (Sweden) is no stranger to success in Key West, having won the Mini-Maxi class last year. Zennstrom will helm Ran, which finished third overall in the 2012 52 Super Series behind Azzurra and Quantum. Volvo Ocean Race winning navigator Jules Salter will handle tactics for Zennstrom aboard the United Kingdom-flagged Ran.

Gladiator, led by British owner-driver Tony Langley, posted two podium finishes in the 2012 Super Series and will be seeking to improve its consistency with American professional Chris Larson calling tactics.

Newcomers to the 52 Super Series, but not to Quantum Key West, are Interlodge (Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Newport, R.I.) and Rio (Manouch Moshayedi, Corona del Mar, Cal.), both of which sail with largely amateur crews. Moshayedi just took delivery of a brand new boat in November.



Veteran North Sails professional Steve Benjamin has been the driving force behind the HPR class, which was created to better suit the new wave of high-performance designs. Benjamin and fellow pro Dobbs Davis introduced the HPR at last year's Key West and the rule authority has spent the past year developing and further refining the formula.

HPR racing made its debut at the Storm Trysail Club IRC East Coast Championship and One-Design Regatta this past October with a diverse fleet of eight boats. Benjamin said getting its own start at Key West marks a major milestone for the rule.

Benjamin believes so strongly in HPR that he commissioned a new boat designed to fit the formula. Spookie, an HPR Carkeek 40, made its debut at the Storm Trysail Club regatta and placed third. Now Benjamin is eager to gauge Spookie's performance against Decision (Stephen Murray, New Orleans), a sister ship that was launched later.

Competition off the Conch Republic figures to be interesting as the nine-boat fleet features such diverse designs as a Ker 40, GP 42 and Farr 400. This marks the second Key West appearance for the Farr 400, which will feature five boats and thus have a one design sub class competition within the HPR class.




No team is traveling further than Santa, a Farr 400 owned by Claus Landmark of Norway and skippered by America's Cup veteran Jesper Bank. The crew features several sailors with Olympic and Volvo Ocean Race experience and has been dubbed the 'Scandinavian Vikings.'

Another foreign Farr 400 entry is Team Premier, which is skippered by the managing director of the boat builder. Dubai-based Hannes Waimer is taking a brief vacation from his busy schedule with Premier Composite Technologies and will have Volvo veteran Gordan Maguire aboard as tactician.

'From a personal point of view I am just looking forward to getting back on the water and going racing with the Farr 400. Most of the time I am in the factory seeing the boats being built so it will be great to be on the water in Key West, and to meet again with our Farr 400 owners from both sides of the Atlantic and share the enjoyment of racing at one of the must-do regattas,' Waimer said.



The Melges 24 and 32 classes have their customary competitive, international showing. The Melges 32 class has seven foreign entries and the Melges 24s have rebounded with 23 strong programs.

There's more grand prix excitement on tap with the Farr 40s, Swan 42s and Mini-Maxis. PHRF racing, a long time mainstay at race week, will continue to have a presence with two classes racing on Division Three.

Quantum Sail Design Group is back as title sponsor after coming away pleased with its initial collaboration with Premiere Racing a year ago.

'We had such a great event last year, we felt pretty confident by the end of the regatta that we'd be back. The Premiere Racing crew is tops when it comes to race management and it's a pleasure to work with them on this event,' said Ed Reynolds, managing director of Quantum. 'We have more boats coming this year, which is an indication that the sailing community still loves Key West. We've been working hard to build on the success of last year and from all indications it's going to be another great week.'

Mackay BoatsSouthern Spars - 100Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016