Racing in Key West in January, a sure sign the North American and Caribbean new racing season is underway! Quantum Key West 2014 has just wrapped up and, as usual, racing fans were weel served with fabulous conditions from January 19th to 24th. A small number of Canadian entries managed to pry themselves and their boats from the brutally cold conditions at home and enjoy the warm weather; Richard Reid finished third on Zingara in the Melges 24 fleet, Rob and Sandy Butler (Touch2Play) were top Canadian in the Melges 20 ahead of Grant Hood (Rex) and John Whynacht (Strange Brew). PEI’s Terry Mckenna and Quebec’s Svein Hubinette also competed in PHRF 2. Get all the reports and photos from the HPR, IRC, One Design and PHRF divisions below!
J/70 action at Quantum Key West 2014 - Onne Vanderwal
More action on the water from Florida, this time, we see the Olympic classes take the stage in Biscayne Bay off Miami for the annual ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of this popular event better known as Miami OCR. The Canadian Sailing Team is well represented and posted good results despite light breezes on opening day; some, like Claire Merry in the Radial, were actually able to take advantage of the light conditions and turn them to their advantage. Canadian Nacra team Luke Ramsay-Nikola Girke, sailing at the Miami Rowing Club are displaying the results of many months of training with a fourth place. Canadian paralympian results also shine; SKUD team McRoberts/Gay posted two second place finishes. Stay tuned for more news to come from the Miami; the regatta runs until Saturday.
After a week-long upwind struggle, the conditions are easing somewhat for the Clipper Round the World Race fleet on their way to Singapore in Race 8. News of a shortened course are coming out today though given the unseasonable weather conditions. One DLL is currently leading but it’s still anyone’s race; fleet leaders are now expected in Singapore around February 10th.
In other offshore racing news, giant multihulls are taking the spotlight once again. The Maxi80 trimaran Prince de Bretagne has capsized off the Brazil coast while attempting to break the Mauricienne solo record from Port-Louis in France to Port-Louis in Mauritius. French multihull sailor, Lionel Lemonchois has triggered his EPIRB but has communicated with his shore team to inform he is safe inside the hull. Rescue plans involve French sailors flying to Rio de Janeiro to coordinate a recovery but it will take days to reach Lemonchois who is drifting some 800 miles from shore.
Armel Le Cléac’h is having better days on Banque Populaire VII during his long distance record attempt on the Discovery Route between Cadiz (Spain) and San Salvador (Bahamas ). Armel just set a new singlehanded distance sailing record for a distance of 677 nautical miles sailed in 24 hours, an impressive average of over 28 knots! Well known countryman Francis Joyon held the previous record.
The June 2014 Newport Bermuda Race is attracting many newcomers this year; a sign that offshore racing is well in North America. After only two weeks, entries have already topped 80 with 24 new skippers; early Canadian entries include Toronto’s Jonathan Bamberger (Spitfire – J/145C) and Québec City François Brassard (Zoé II – First 40).
All the best, Guy
Sail-World Canada Managing Editor
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7:40 PM Tue 28 Jan 2014GMT
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