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

 

Sail-World.com : Key West Race Week preview

Key West Race Week preview

'Steve Howe | Warpath - Key West 2011'    ©2011 JOY

Quantum Key West Race Week 2012, sponsored by Quantum Sails, 25th anniversary edition is being held from 15th to 20th January in Florida, USA.

High profile fleets, intense competition and superb sailing conditions have made Key West a showcase event for many one design classes. The popular Farr 40 class, which debuted in 1996, is certainly one of them. Jim Richardson recalls many fond memories and looks to next week for more.

'I absolutely love Key West. It is one of my all-time favorite regattas,' said Richardson, who bought the 12th Farr 40 ever built. 'It's an incredible venue and Premiere Racing always does a terrific job. I just think Key West is the Super Bowl of sailboat racing. It's as close to an industry-wide convention as you will find.'

Richardson has skippered Barking Mad to three Farr 40 world championships, but his 2008 victory at Key West remains one of the highlights of his sailing career. Richardson had fallen short in 10 previous attempts to add that notch to his belt, finishing as runner-up on three occasions.

When the Barking Mad team broke through and took the Key West title, earning Boat of the Week honors in the process, Richardson was on cloud nine. He embraced long-time tactician Terry Hutchinson while the tears and the booze flowed.

'It was certainly a great thrill to finally win Key West. That was a major goal that had eluded us for so long and it was such a relief to finally finish on top,' said Richardson, who splits time between residences in Newport and Boston. 'When you do well in Key West you feel really good about it because the competition is always so tough and the venue can be challenging. There is a lot of subtle current and wind shifts that keep crew on their toes.'

After a one-year hiatus because its world championship was held in Australia last winter, the Farr 40 class is returning to the southernmost tip of the United States for the 15th time. Barking Mad is among seven boats entered in Quantum Key West 2012, being held Jan. 16-20 on the azure waters off the Conch Republic.

'We've been going to Key West ever since the class got started. The event is iconic and the boat is iconic,' said Geoff Stagg, who has managed the Farr 40 class since its inception. 'Key West is always one of the most anticipated events on our annual schedule. The level of participation we've had in Key West over the years is indicative of the high regard in which the event is held among our owners.'

Stagg said it speaks volumes that the second-largest Farr 40 regatta in class history came in 2001 off Key West. That is the year George Andreadis and his Atalanti XI crew fought their way to victory in a talent-laden 37-boat fleet.

As usual, the Farr 40 class in Key West will feature a slew of big-name tacticians, including multi-time America's Cup champion Hamish Pepper (Barking Mad) and match racing champion Ian Williams (Charisma).

Another class that has carved out a reputation for high-performance and bare knuckles competition off Key West is the Melges 32, which will have 19 boats on the line this year. Samba Pa Ti, which was named Boat of the Week after winning Key West 2010, headlines a deep, talented fleet that will no doubt come down to the wire. Skipper John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Cal.) has brought on an extremely talented helmsman in past Melges 24 world champion Lorenzo Bressani of Italy.

Warpath, which finished second in Key West last year and just captured the 18-boat Melges 32 Gold Cup off Fort Lauderdale, figures to be another top challenger. Skipper Steve Howe will have veteran professionals Morgan Larson (tactician), Marco Constant (main trimmer) and Willem Van Way (jib trimmer) in the afterguard.

'I think it's going to be the same as it is every year with any of 10 boats capable of winning,' Howe said. 'Certainly, Samba is a proven program, but there is a ton of talent on a lot of the other boats as well.'

Former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ed Baird and Chris Larson are calling tactics aboard Pisces and Catapult, respectively. Former Olympic medalist and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Richard Clarke will be working with a top-notch helmsman in Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog.

Howe has competed in Key West 10 previous times as skipper of a Farr 40 entry. This will be the San Diego resident's first time racing a Melges 32 as he attempts to win the regatta for the first time.

'Key West is definitely one of those regattas on the bucket list that you want to check off. It's a great test because you have five days of racing and usually see a wide range of conditions,' Howe said. 'As always, the key is to be consistent, stay clean and manage the risks.'

Some of the most exciting racing in Quantum Key West 2012 will certainly come in the 52-foot class, which has drawn eight entries of various designs. Included in the class are brand new IRC 52 designs from Reichel-Pugh and Judel-Vrolijk along with two others that are coming right off the Med Cup Circuit.

'This is going to be one of the finest IRC 52 fleets ever assembled,' said Ed Reynolds, president of Quantum Sail Design Group, which is sponsoring the regatta and fielding an entry in that big-boat class.

Quantum Racing, which has won three of the last four TP52 world championships and two of the last three Med Cup circuits, will be skippered by Quantum primary stockholder Doug DeVos with America's Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson calling tactics.

'Nobody has been more supportive of the sport of sailing and backed that up with action than Doug DeVos so it's somewhat fitting that he's sailing in the regatta this year,' Reynolds said.

Some of the world's top amateur skippers and captains of industry such as Hap Fauth, Ennio Staffini and Irvine Laidlaw will be at the helm of the 52-footers, which feature fully professional crews consisting of sailors with vast America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic experience. Among the notable tacticians on the scratch sheet are Gavin Brady (Vesper), Tommaso Chieffi (Anema & Core) and Peter Holmberg (Highland Fling XII).

'This fleet will have fantastic racing for sure. On the typical Key West race track, the boats will be very close together. Although there will be a small span in rating difference, I expect that most of the boats will be so similar in performance that it will have a one-design feel,' said Tony Rey, who is calling tactics for Peter Cunningham aboard PowerPlay. 'Races will definitely be won and lost on the start line and in the turns, not in the design office.'

This marks the 25th anniversary of the annual race week off Key West and Reynolds said Quantum was happy to help keep the renowned regatta going during tough economic times.

'We recognize that Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this country and has been for well over two decades,' Quantum President Ed Reynolds said. 'This has been reinforced by many people we've spoken with both here and abroad. Even with the smaller fleet sizes of recent years, this midwinter, big-boat regatta is very important to North American and
international sailboat racing. We would like to see it continue and are committed to supporting the regatta during this transition period.'

Other classes to watch include the debuting Farr 400, the new High Performance PHRF boats, the Mini Maxis and the J-Class boats. There will be plenty of action on all three racing Divisions.

Event website




by Jeanne Kleene

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92809

9:06 AM Thu 12 Jan 2012 GMT






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


News - USA and the World



Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,


























470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard by 470 International Association Class,






































ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow
Rio 2016 Daylight the issue for Olympic sailing regatta   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - USA 470's and Lasers battle at top   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 5 video highlights   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander images by Jesús Renedo   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - No action on day 2   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification   
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1   
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz   
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video   
18ft skiffs: Carnage compilation from the glory days of the Grand Prix   
ISAF Worlds: Video from the British Sailing Team   
Bart's Bash expected to set new records this weekend   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Marcilio Browne wins Super Session   
470 Men and Women World Championships - Racing abandoned on day 2   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT