sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Acura Key West gets underway

Acura Key West gets underway

'Warming up for Key West'    © Sharon Green/ ultimatesailing.com

Acura Key West gets underway - News from Key West on day 1 is that it is overcast and windy, current winds have been recorded at 18-21 knots with sea state variable from 2 1/2 -3 feet and some reports of 3-6 feet. The AP flag has been lowered, first gun will not be before 13:00H (USA) and the Consair 28Rs will not be racing today.

For the past six months, Ernesto Bertarelli, Brad Butterworth and other key figures with the Alinghi Racing syndicate have been locked in a bitter dispute over the future of the America’s Cup. For one week at least, the leaders of the Swiss syndicate are putting aside the controversy in order to compete in Acura Key West 2008. With Bertarelli on the helm and Butterworth aboard as tactician, Alinghi will attempt to defend its title in Farr 40 class at North America’s most prestigious winter regatta.

“We love coming here. This is one of the finest regattas in the world,” Butterworth said Saturday following a practice session on the Atlantic Ocean. “You’ve got great weather, great wind and great competition while the event management is as good as it gets. That is why we come back every year.”

Alinghi captured class honors at Acura Key West 2007 in impressive fashion, clinching victory with one race to spare. That feat will be tough to duplicate in a star-studded fleet of 25 boats that includes two-time defending world champion Mascalzone Latino, skippered by Vincenzo Onorato of Napoli, Italy.

Adrian Stead, British-born tactician for Mascalzone Latino, believes no less than a dozen teams are capable of winning this week. Barking Mad (Jim Richardson, Newport, R.I.) and Nerone (Massimo Mezzaroma, Punta Ala, Italy) are past world champions while class newcomers such as Joe Fly (Giovanni Maspero, Como, Italy) and Plenty (Alexander Roepers, Stonington, CT) have come on strong in recent events.

Acura Key West 2008 represents the first of three major regattas leading up to the 11th Farr 40 World Championships, being held off Miami in mid April.

Getting ready at Acura Key West 2008 -  Ken Stanek?nid=41061  
“We are three months away from the next worlds so all the teams are ramping up in terms of preparation.

Key West kicks off the New Year so everyone is looking to put their best foot forward here. An awful lot of the owners have put together very strong crews for this regatta,” Stead said.

One of the more interesting entries in Farr 40 class is Nanoq, skippered by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. This marks the second straight season the popular Prince has competed in Key West and he is looking to improve upon a 13th place finish in 2007.

Prince Frederik arrived at event headquarters in Historic Seaport on Sunday morning and was in good spirits as he attended to formalities such as registration and weigh-in.

Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking is serving as tactician for Prince Frederik, who braved gale-force winds that gusted to 35 knots in order to take Nanoq out for a practice session yesterday.

As usual, Acura Key West has attracted a strong fleet with 262 boats in 16 classes. Organizer Premiere Racing plans to conduct as many as 10 races over five days on the azure waters off the southernmost point of the United States. Forecasts call for steady 25-30 knot winds on Monday morning and event director Peter Craig said racing could be delayed or postponed.

“We will have race committee boats on the water first thing in the morning to gauge the conditions. Hopefully, the wind will lay down a bit and we can get in a race,” he said.

Acura Key West has always served as proving ground for new designs and this year is no different. Three of the most prominent – Highland Fling, Numbers and Rima 2 – will square off in IRC 1. Newport resident Dan Meyers captured that class last year aboard his previous Numbers and will try to defend with a recently-launched Judel/Vrolijk 66.

“We are very anxious to test the boat against top-flight competition from around the world. The scratch sheet is very impressive and we will certainly be challenged,” Meyers said.

Highland Fling, a swing-keel Wally 80, is owned by Irvine Laidlaw of Great Britain. Laidlaw is a two-time winner of Boat of the Week honors at Key West. Rima 2 is a Reichel-Pugh 55 owned by John Brim.

Farr 40 and IRC 1 are among six grand prix classes that will compete at Acura Key West 2008. Melges 24, Melges 32, M30 and Swan 42 are also loaded with professional talent.

Italian skipper Riccardo Simoneschi has returned to defend his crown in Melges 24, largest class in the regatta with 46 boats. Simoneschi and his crew on Giacomel Audi Racing vaulted from fourth to first on the final day of racing last year to snatch the title and earn the Acura Trophy as Boat of the Week.

California sailmaker Dave Ullman, a four-time winner of Melges 24 class at Key West, expects the competition to cutthroat as usual. Other top contenders include Full Throttle (Brian Porter, Lake Geneva, WI), Blu Moon (Franco Rossini, Lugano, Switzerland) and Excellent (John Pollard, Torquay, Great Britain) are other top contenders.

“In a fleet the caliber of this, a top five finish would be great,” Ullman said. “It’s another strong group of boats and there is no telling how it will all shake out in the end. You just have to sail consistently and hope you’re still in contention come Friday.”

No class has ratcheted up more than the Melges 32, which will have 27 entries and several notable new owners on the water this week. Michael Illbruck (Munich, Germany) and Philippe Kahn (Honolulu, HI) have enjoyed success in a slew of different designs and will now try their hand at the Melges 32.

Claudio Recchi dominated the Florida circuit in 2007 – winning both Acura Key West and Acura Miami Grand Prix in convincing fashion. The Italian skipper won five of nine races last January, but knows it will be more difficult this year.

“A lot of good teams, a lot of good sailors, have come into the class. That is good because every sportsman wants better competition,” Recchi said. “We know it will be tougher to win this year and we are excited about that. We are here to fight, not to go cruising.”

Owners in the M30 class are encouraged by the fact entries at Acura Key West have increased to 15 this year and that several promising new owners have bought boats. Ian Burman of Stagg Yachts confirmed the class is on the verge of awarding naming rights to a different sponsor and said orders for new boats are being taken by U.S. Watercraft.

Turbo Duck, sailed by the Annapolis father-son team of Bodo and Nick von der Wense, will have 2007 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jeff Linton aboard as a trimmer. Turbo Duck is only boat to win this sport boat class twice in Key West.

“I think the outlook for the class is very promising. We have four or five new owners here this year and there are several other positive signs for the future,” Bodo von der Wense said.

Groovederci (Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.) and TeamBOLD (Nelson Stephenson, Southport, CT) are also past winners in Key West. Black Seal (Kevin Young, Cleveland, Ohio) is the 2007 North American Circuit champ.




by Bill Wagner

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=41061

4:50 PM Mon 21 Jan 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

18 Jun 2013  Sail the Northwest Passage on your iPad
17 Jun 2012  IRC National Championship - Ballistic conditions on Day 2 + Video
28 Mar 2012  Solo Offshore Racing - Truant wins first race
19 Jun 2011  Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series overall
08 Apr 2011  Audi Sydney to Newcastle images by Andrea Francolini
06 Apr 2011  RORC Easter Challenge ­- A golden opportunity for sailors
26 Feb 2011  RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
14 Nov 2010  OPA Offshore Racing Series 2010 - Versus to broadcast series
15 Oct 2009  Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
21 Jun 2009  Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World









International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,


















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA












U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   
WWA Wakeboard National Championships head to Waco   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Day 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT