Top notch sailing competition is set to take place on the testy waters of Key West, Florida next year as the finest sailors coming from different parts of the United States and abroad battle it out for sailing glory at the Quantum Key West 2013. The 26th edition of the annual sailing event will also feature the return of the NYYC Swan 42 Class, which already drew seven boats with still more than a month left before the first entry deadline.
The Quantum Key West 2013
Excitement is building for Quantum Key West 2013 as the scratch sheet continues to grow. With still a month and a half before the first entry deadline, top competitors from more than 12 countries and 20 states have submitted their official entries.
Farley Fontenot, Executive Vice President of Title Sponsor Quantum Sail Design Group says, 'It is exciting to watch the entries come in, with everything from the new J/70 class, to the return of highly competitive fleets like the NYYC Swan 42 Class. Quantum is committed to helping bring great racing and a wonderful sailing experience to everyone who participates in Quantum Key West Race Week. We're looking forward to another great event in 2013.'
Swan 42s will again grace the starting line, with seven boats registered to date. Most of these elegant racers hail from the northeast. Close competition and friendly rivalries will be renewed in the warm waters of the Florida Keys.
The IRC 52s US Super Series begins with a Key West prelude to their March World Championship in Miami. Doug DeVos's Quantum Racing (Ada, MI) will defend his 2012 Key West title against custom thoroughbreds from as far away as Argentina, the UK and the West Coast.
Featured one design competition will again center on Melges mania with the Melges 24 and 32 classes producing some of the world's very top sailors. World and European ranking Champion Riccardo Simoneschi (Milano, Italy) challenges a Melges 24 fleet that has many other ranked sailors including last year's Key West Champion Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI) and Bruce Ayres (Costa Mesa, CA).
'Key West has always been a great regatta for the Melges 24 class,' said U.S. class VP Rob Britts. 'Every year it gives us a chance to compete against some of the top Melges 24 sailors from across the country and around the world in conditions that only Key West can provide in January!'
The Melges 32 fleet already has its full international hallmark, with entries from Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Russia. Newly crowned World Champion - Californian John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti crew won class honors at Quantum Key West 2012 and will be returning to defend in 2013.
While the Grand Prix boats and international champions may draw the headlines, the heart and soul of race week is the one design and handicap classes that are present year after year. One designs such as the J/80s, and the many PHRF competitors come for the racing, camaraderie, and dependable south Florida sunshine and wind.
'We're certainly pleased to see so many quality programs making their plans for Key West,' said Event Director Peter Craig. 'Every year brings a different mix of classes and boats, but always top tier talent that produces the Key West hallmark - great racing. Along with Title Sponsor Quantum Sails, we're looking forward to another five star regatta next January.'
There is always something new at race week. The J/70s are making their Key West debut with over 25 of these popular new sport boats helmed by Key West newcomers and veterans alike.
January 2012 saw the latest High Performance designs make a debut in a subclass. This time around they will have their own class start with more new boats on the line. Steve and Heidi Benjamin's new Carkeek 40 will challenge a class that includes Farr 400s, another Carkeek 40 and the GP 40, Stray Dog, with Larry Leonard calling tactics.
by Jeanne Kleene
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4:24 AM Tue 13 Nov 2012GMT
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