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J/44 wins Palm Beach “Race to the Buffet”

by J/Boats 14 Dec 2018 06:32 PST
Palm Beach “Race to the Buffet”, 2018-19 SORC Islands in the Stream Series © SORC Sailing

Elapsed time records fell in the Sailfish Club of Florida's 62nd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race to Palm Beach, the second event of the 2018-19 SORC Islands in the Stream Series, the fabled Miami to Palm Beach "Race to the Buffet" wrapped up with one of the best feasts in sailing.

Twenty-eight teams raced in near-perfect conditions on a new two-course format that started on December 7 in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"We are delighted that this year's race was a success at every level and encouraged that the excitement around our event reflects the growing momentum in the South Florida racing scene," said Wirth Munroe Event Chair, Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club.

"We had records broken, spectacular weather, a diverse fleet across a broad spectrum that included veterans and newcomers alike, and the wonderful post-race camaraderie that has made the Wirth Munroe Race such a special event."

In last Friday's second event of the 2018-2019 Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC), Chris and Karen Lewis's Texas-based J/44 Kenai won the race Palm Beach.

Their first overall finish in ORC scoring paired with their fourth overall finish in last month's first event of the SORC, the Miami-Nassau Race, puts them in first place Overall in the standings for the SORC Islands in the Stream Series.

With 12 to 15 kts easterly breezes, race managers opted for ORC's Triple Number Coastal/ Long Distance scoring model for medium wind conditions, resulting in close finishing scores for the leaders in the fleet. After six-plus hours of sailing the 60-mile course, Kenai's victory was only 5 min 27 sec on corrected time over another Texan team, Andy Wescoat's J/109 Harm's Way (who are lying in fourth overall in the series, just one point away from third).

Taking fifth place in ORC was the J/92 Hillbilly sailed by Bradley Stowers. Combined with their 3rd in the Nassau Cup Race, they are now sitting in the third spot on the overall leaderboard.

The next race, the classic Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race starts Thursday, January 17, 2019 south of Port Everglades. Another Conch Grinder Race and party at the First Flight Island Restaurant and Brewery (formerly Kelly's Caribbean) are on the agenda for the weekend.

The SORC Islands in the Stream Series consists of these five events:

  • Nov 15 – Nassau Cup Ocean Race
  • Dec 7 – Wirth M. Munroe Invitational Race
  • Jan 17 – Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race
  • Jan 27 – Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race
  • Mar 13 – Miami to Havana Race
Follow the SORC Islands In The Stream Series on Facebook: facebook.com/sorcsailing
More SORC Islands in the Stream Series sailing information at: sorcsailing.org

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