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Thread: 2017 Key West Race Week

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    2017 Key West Race Week




    BIG NAMES, POWERFUL BOATS HIGHLIGHT QUANTUM KEY WEST RACE WEEK

    Bevy of talent lined up to help celebrate
    30th anniversary regatta

    KEY WEST, Fla. -- Just 11 days remain until the start of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week and the fleet of more than 100 boats shows great strength throughout its ranks.

    In fashion befitting a 30th anniversary, the celebratory regatta bristles with a plethora of racing stars from the U.S. and 10 countries, some of the most technically developed racing boats afloat and one of the largest growing classes in the world.

    "The fleet is solid from top to bottom. There's great talent and some very successful race teams. It should be a fantastic week of racing," said event chairman John Fisher, a past commodore of the host Storm Trysail Club. "Quantum Key West Race Week always attracts the top level of the sport, because they know Key West offers great sailing conditions at a time of year where most in the U.S. have shut down their hometown sailing for the winter. There'll be first-rate competition from all over the sailing world, great race conditions coupled with our extremely capable veteran race committee and willing volunteers."

    The daily schedule calls for up to three races per day. Registration is set for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14-15, and the warning signal for Race 1 is scheduled for 1100 hours on Monday, Jan. 16.

    The fleet includes glamour classes like the 52 Super Series, featuring top professional sailors such as Ed Baird, John Kostecki, Terry Hutchinson, all past winners of the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, and past Italian America's Cup helmsman Vasco Vascotto.


    The wildly popular J/70 Class is the largest at the event with 40 of the 23-footers entered this year. The design's larger sibling, the 36-foot J/111, begins a season long march towards the class's world championship in September.

    ORC is the featured rating rule with nine boats entered, and classes such as the C&C 30 One-Design, Melges 24 and J/88 enhance the competitive nature of the race week fleet. ORC is also being used to rate boats in the Performance Cruising Class that is competing for its second consecutive year, and there are two entries in the Multihull Class.

    While the racing at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week will look and feel very similar to the past 29 editions, the shoreside venue will be much different. The Waterfront Brewery in the Key West Historic Seaport and Bight will host all shoreside activities related to Race Week, including daily morning weather briefings, post-race seminars, and the nightly awards party.

    Post-race debriefs and seminars being organized by Quantum Sails will feature luminaries such Baird, Hutchinson and Kostecki, as well as Ed Adams, Bora Gulari and others offering insights.

    "The coaching and education, along with overnight sail repairs, are key deliverables of our sponsorship," said Quantum President Ed Reynolds. "With Ed Adams and Ed Baird heading up the daily debriefs, competitors are guaranteed insights and tips they can put to immediate use on the racecourse."



    Doug DeVos will return to steer his Quantum Racing in the 52 Super Series class - photo PhotoBoat.com

    On the water, competitors will be spread across three racing circles. The 52 Super Series returns to Key West Race Week for the first time since 2014. The class bristles with talent from the America's Cup, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Race and innumerable world championships and represents the highest caliber racing in the game where every second counts.

    The lineup includes Doug DeVos' (Ada, MI) 2016 series and world champion Quantum Racing as well as longtime class members Alberto and Pablo Roemmers's (Buenos Aires, ARG) Azzurra and Niklas Zenstromm's Rán of Sweden, the 2016 Owner/Driver Champion. In all, eight of the 11 entries hail from foreign countries. The newest rocket among them will be Gwen and Austin Fragomen's (Newport, RI) Interlodge, launched in the fall and making its debut at Key West with Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker driving and past America's Cup sailor Andy Horton calling tactics.

    "The sailing conditions are fantastic," says John Kostecki (Reno, NV), who'll call tactics on the TP 52 Platoon. "Normally you get the chance of good breeze for a part of the regatta, and each day is a new challenge. It's great winter sailing in the U.S."



    Can Carlo Alberini make it a 3-peat in the J/70's? - photo Max Ranchi
    For the fifth consecutive year the J/70 is the largest class in the regatta. Among the entrants are Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network from Italy, the two-time defending class champion and 2015 Boat of the Week.

    A third consecutive title will be hard to come by because other entrants include Tim Healy's USA-2 from Rhode Island, the 2014 Boat of the Week, Joel Ronning's Catapult, of Minnesota, the reigning J/70 World Champion with America's Cup veteran Eric Doyle calling tactics, and Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity from New York, which placed second in the class last year.

    The 2003 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Hannah Swett (New York, NY) will lead Sparkle, with 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Dawn Riley (Oyster Bay, NY) counted among her crew and longtime friends Melissa Purdy and Tom Purdy, the sister and brother from Tiburon, Calif. Swett purchased a J/70 last year because of the class's large size and this will be her first major regatta.

    "Yeah, I'm a little scared at a 40-boat starting line," said the skipper who's won the Yngling one-design world championship and the Fastnet Race in a diverse and varied career. "I really just wanted an opportunity to go sailing with my friends, so I'm totally looking forward to it. I used to teach sailing in Key West so I have some great memories from the island. It should be fun."


    Another strong one-design presence comes from the J/111 Class, which will have 10 boats on the start line. The class includes last year's top three finishers - Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, which posted a 14.5-point victory in 2016, Rob Ruhlman's Spaceman Spiff (Cleveland, OH) and Bradley Faber's (Owosso, MI) Utah.



    J/88's return as a class for 2017 - photo Sara Proctor




    The C&C 30 One-Design, new to Race Week in 2016, has six boats in the cue, led by Dan Cheresh's (Saugatuck, MI) dominant Extreme2, with recent Star Sailors League champion Mark Mendelblatt serving as tactician. The J/88 class returns with seven boats, including last year's first and second-place finishers, Mike Bruno's (Armonk, NY) Wings and Iris Vogel's (New Rochelle, NY) Deviation, respectively. The Melges 24 class also has three entries with Vasyl Gureyev's Barmaley, from the Ukraine, among the farthest traveling crews in the regatta.



    High Noise sistership Low Noise II in action at the 2015 ORC World Championship - photo Maria Munoz

    ORC has replaced IRC as the rating rule of choice and nine boats of diverse design are entered. Hank Caldwell's (Dowell, MD) Henderson 30 Short Bus is the smallest boat in the class and Ian Hill's (Chesapeake, VA) XP44 Sitella the largest. Another boat to watch is Alex Sastre's (Coconut Grove, FL) Italia Yachts 9.98 High Noise, a sistership to reigning ORC Class C World Champion Bachyachting and 2015 World Champion Low Noise II. Sastre has brought together some sailing all-stars from Italy to compete on High Noise, including reigning ORC European Sportboat Champion Enrico Zennaro.

    "We're excited to make our debut with this boat at Race Week," said Sastre. "She has proven to be very competitive in ORC racing in Europe, and even though we will have competitors who are much larger and faster than us, we trust the rating system to be fair and for us to have good racing all week."



    Grateful Red enjoys the distance races in the Performance Cruisers - photo Sara Proctor
    The Performance Cruising Class is also using ORC handicaps and has four boats entered, including Ken Johnson's (Stoughton, WI) C&C 121 Grateful Red, a return entry from the debut this class made in last year's event.

    Tom Reese's (Youngstown, OH) Flight Simulator II, a Corsair 970, and Phil Lotz' (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Arethusa, a Gunboat 60, are the two multihulls in the fleet. A new addition to the fleet this year is the Flying Tiger 7.5m. The 24-foot long sportboat has been made available for charter by the National One Design Sailing Academy of Canada and is led by Nigel Brownett, who's raced Key West Race Week every year since 2006.

    Gill NA, the official apparel company of Quantum Key West Race Week, has launched its signature line for the 30th anniversary regatta. The line features a range of clothing for men and women including technical t-shirts, polos, soft shell jackets and smocks and foul weather gear. Gill will customize any clothing for crews wishing to have their boat name embroidered in time for race week.

    For more information and to enter, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week web site.
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    Looking Good For Key West Race Week




    30th anniversary regatta looks to live up to reputation of fantastic sailing conditions

    KEY WEST, Fla. – A scant three days remain to the start of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week and the long range weather forecast looks juicy. Key West Race Week’s reputation is built on close racing amid great sailing conditions, and this year looks to live up to that billing.

    According to Commanders’ Weather, the weather forecast supplier for race week, the first three days of the regatta look to offer moderate to strong winds of 10 to 20 knots from the east/east-southeast. A cold front predicted for the second half of the week could lighten the conditions, but Commanders’ Weather forecaster Chris Wasserback called the forecast for the first half of the week classic for Key West.

    “There’s high pressure to the north and it looks like good breeze for Sunday (practice day) and Monday (first race day),” said Commanders’ Weather forecaster Chris Wasserback. “The direction stays more easterly thru Tuesday and Wednesday with a fair amount of wind, around 20 knots. The high pressure off the East Coast is the dominant feature and should keep conditions there mostly settled.”




    Returning competitors from last year’s regatta might remember chilly air temperatures. Even that feature looks to be turned around this year with forecast highs in the mid-to-upper 70s.

    “Nothing else competes with Key West Race Week and it looks windy this year,” said Andy Horton, the tactician for Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (Newport, RI) new TP52 Interlodge. “It’s the perfect time of year to go there. The holidays are all done and everyone’s ready to get back on the circuit. Everyone still talks about going to Key West Race Week.”

    Interlodge, from the design board of Botin Partners, will make its racing debut next week in the highly competitive 52 Super Series, the professional circuit that begins its 2017 season in Key West. Launched last fall, Horton said the crew has sailed it a limited amount. “It’s a brand new machine. We’ve sailed only two days, but all things show it should be a nice piece of equipment,” said Horton.

    While Interlodge continues Key West Race Week’s tradition of debuting the newest designs six other entrants are on hand to defend class titles won last year. Leading the charge is Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network of Italy, which posted a 12-point win in the J/70 Class. Alberini and crew also won the J/70 Class and Boat of the Week honors in 2015, and they’ll be a marked entry in this very competitive class.

    Doug DeVos (Ada, MI), one of the top owner/drivers in the world, returns with his TP52 Quantum Racing, which won IRC 1 last year. This year Quantum Racing leads the 11-boat 52 Super Series Class, looking to get a start on defending its 2016 season championship.

    “Key West Race Week is truly one of the greatest regattas in the world and to me it’s the perfect winter break,” said Quantum Racing tactician Terry Hutchinson, who has won Boat of the Week honors twice as a tactician, including last year with Bella Mente. “It has steadily evolved over the years into an extremely high-level event in all respects.”

    Other returning class winners include Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key in the J/111 Class, Mike Bruno’s (Armonk, NY) Wings in the J/88 Class and Tom Reese’s (Youngstown, NY) Corsair 28R Flight Simulator in the Multihull Class.
    All shoreside activities will be held at the Waterfront Brewery in the historic Key West Bight. The daily schedule calls for up to three races per day. Registration is set for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14-15, and the warning signal for Race 1 is scheduled for 1100 hours on Monday, Jan. 16. Evening debriefs, panel discussions and prize-giving ceremonies are also planned.
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    Forecast Calls For Fun




    Old acquaintances and new friendships will be joined at the venerable regatta

    KEY WEST, Fla. – The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week begins tomorrow with a weather forecast calling for winds of 15 to 20 knots with gusts possibly as high as 25 knots and air temperatures in the mid-70s – conditions welcomed by every sailor in this idyllic setting celebrating a milestone anniversary.

    “We really couldn’t ask for a better forecast to begin the week,” said regatta chairman John Fisher, a past commodore of host Storm Trysail Club. “We’re happy to welcome a very competitive fleet in this anniversary regatta. Key West has been a very welcoming host through the years and we couldn’t imagine doing this regatta anywhere else. I’d also like to extend thanks to our valued sponsors and exception team of volunteers who help make this regatta a success. Without their support we wouldn’t be able to pull this off.”

    The celebratory regatta includes many sailors who’ve done a lifetime of racing in Key West. Among them are brothers Shawn and Steve Burke from Atlanta. This year they’re racing with longtime friends Andy and Melissa Fisher on the J/70 Button Fly, but they estimate they’ve done Key West Race Week no fewer than 25 times.

    “Our dad introduced us to this in 1984 when we did our first offshore race, so it’s a special place for us to come,” said Shawn Burke. “Our dad’s been coming here since early 1970s when he did the SORC.”




    “We’ve raced everything from Melges 32s to 24s, Farr 36, Swan 70, RC44s, Swan 42… and recently the J/70,” added Steve Burke. “A long time ago we raced a Lindenberg 28. Key West is a great place to come. There are lots of characters and great music and the competition is absolutely awesome.”

    Steve added that his memorable moment was winning the Swan 42 Class aboard the Fisher’s boat, Bandit. “It was a lot of fun, great competition and blew like crazy,” said Steve Burke. “It was good fun being with friends and sailing.”



    Old acquaintances and new friendships will be joined at the 30th anniversary regatta this week as a fleet of 100 boats will be racing in nine classes on three racing circles. The fleet includes two of the past three Boat of the Week winners – Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network of Italy (2015) and Tim Healy’s New England Ropes of Rhode Island (2014). Both boats are entrants in the J/70 Class, the largest class in the fleet with 42 boats entered.

    “When we won in 2014 it was a windy regatta, exceptionally windy the last few days,” said Healy. “The key is consistency; get good starts and if you don’t get a good start kick back and work hard to get a solid finish. We’re not allowed any discards in this regatta, so a bad finish could really set you back. Our boat’s going well. We just need to execute and get good starts.”





    The nine boats in the J/111 Class also stand to be very competitive. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key of California pulled out the class win last year and also finished runner-up in the World Championship. They figure to be the class marker, but Wagner downplayed the label.

    “Last year we had consistency and good boatspeed and managed to put it to work and limit mistakes that would undermine us,” said Wagner, who was a two-time All American sailor at Harvard University in the late 1980s. “The fleet has continued to raise its game and I think that some of the boats that were here last year have come back faster. Virtually anybody in the fleet could pull out a good race and several could pull out the regatta.”

    Dan Cheresh of Michigan, owner of the C&C 30 One-Design Extreme2, is someone who knows the “consistency is king” adage all too well. Cheresh finished runner-up last year in the class by 2 points because he had to carry finishes of 6, 7 and 8 in his scoreline.

    “One of the keys to winning is not having a bad day,” said Cheresh, who won nearly every other class regatta last year and is one to watch this year. “We had a really bad day last year. If you have a bad race you have to pull your head up and fight back one point at a time. The boats are so close that it all comes down to crew work and maneuvers. We got beat in a couple of those areas last year.”




    The class with the most professional sailors, however, is the TP52, which kicks off the 2017 52 Super Series here in Key West. The fleet is led by 2016 series champion Quantum Racing, featuring owner/driver Doug DeVos on the helm. Quantum Racing was the dominant boat in the class last year, but this year figures to be much more difficult.

    “This is a tough field. If you’re not aggressive and really going for it, you’re not going to have a chance to podium,” said Morgan Larson, the tactician on Russian entry Bronenosec. “I think that’s the goal for most of the teams, stay in the top three at each event and have a shot at the end. Quantum was a level above everybody last year, and I’m sure a lot of teams have worked hard to bridge that gap. They’re still strong. But I think you’re going to see some mixed results.”

    All shoreside activities for this event will be held at the Waterfront Brewery in the historic Key West Bight. The daily schedule calls for up to three races per day for some classes, with the warning signal for Race 1 scheduled for 1100 hours tomorrow Monday, Jan. 16. Evening debriefs, panel discussions and prize-giving ceremonies are also planned throughout the week.

    https://keywestraceweek.com/2017-pre...opens-tomorrow
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    Sporty Conditions At Key West




    City of Key West Day won by 52 Super Series leader Platoon of Germany

    KEY WEST, Fla. –The comments from the first day of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous – epic sailing conditions in one of the best racing venues in the world.

    “It was a sporty day,” said J.D. Hill (Houston, TX), owner of the J/122 Second Star. Hill was the first to enter Quantum Key West Race Week last June and he’s racing for the first time after having the regatta on his bucket list. “For years I’ve heard about all the great conditions and big breeze, and that’s what it delivered. We had winds between 15 and 20 knots with gusts to 25. It was a lovely day, plenty of action.”






    The fabulous conditions helped spur Harm Müller Spreer’s (Hamburg, GER) Platoon in the 52 Super Series to Boat of the Day honors. Platoon posted a 1-1 and leads Takashi Okura’s (Newport, RI) Sled by 5 points. Spreer drives with all-world tactician John Kostecki (Reno, NV) calling the shots.


    “Perfect. Perfect. It’s incredibly nice, warm, good breeze, shifty winds, great racecourse,” said Kostecki. “We had really good starts today, pretty good consistent boatspeed, good boat handling, somewhat went the right way most of the day. When you do all of those things pretty much right it means you do pretty well in this fleet. It’s hard getting them all right.”

    It might be hard getting them all right, but not when you have trusted lieutenants at your side. The 13-man crew also includes mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder and headsail trimmer Ross Halcrow. Kostecki, de Ridder and Halcrow all won the America’s Cup with Oracle Racing in 2010 and the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck Challenge in 2002.



    “We got the band back together,” said de Ridder.

    The 52 Super Series was one of five classes that sailed two races. Two other classes, the J/70 and C&C 30 One-Design, sailed three races, and the Performance Cruising Class sailed one race, all as scheduled. As is typically seen after the first day of a lengthy regatta, many class leaders have sterling scorelines.




    In the highly competitive J/70 Class, the largest class at race week with 42 entries, the story from the past two years remains the same – Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network of Italy is leading the way.

    Alberini won the class last year and in 2015, when he also won Boat of the Week honors. Along the way he and crew have been extremely consistent, never counting a finish worse than 11th in 19 races. After finishing 3-2-1 today, they’ve posted top 3 finishes an astounding 13 times over the past three years. That type of consistency is rare in one regatta, let alone over a three-year span.

    “It always turns out right for us. It’s just very nice sailing,” said mainsail trimmer Karlo Hmeljak of Slovenia, a two-time Olympian (2008, ’12). “We escape winter to come here and sail in summertime conditions. We enjoy it a lot and maybe that’s why we do so well.”




    Hmeljak said that their performance today is even more important because crews are not allowed to discard their worst finishes. So a bad finish adds points that can hinder an overall victory. Hmeljak said that their strong showing today was due in part to a good first leg.

    “The first leg wasn’t that long so the first shift was crucial,” said Hmeljak. “We did very good playing the first shift and that was it. There was quite a big swell, especially downwind, and that made for huge differences between boatspeeds. We were planing, but just below full power so sometimes we had to work hard to get the waves.”

    Henry Filter (Annapolis, MD) leads the J/70 Corinthian Division with Wild Child. “This weather is a so much better than last year, it’s just spectacular with the wind, waves and sun,” said Filter. “We got off the line OK today, and had good first legs, usually within or close to the top ten. But then we’d have a few mistakes and drop back, and in this class it can be hard to recover. A lot of these other crews have been racing together more recently, but I think our teamwork will improve as we keep racing.”




    To no one’s surprise, another class leader that bolted out of the gates is Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 in the C&C 30 One-Design Class. Extreme2 posted three 1sts and holds a 5-point lead over Kip Meadows’s (Raleigh, NC) RoXanne, which finished 2-4-2. Meadows is competing in his sixth race week, returning to help support the class.

    “You can’t beat the racing down here,” said Meadows. “We can finish better than 4th, that’s for sure. The right side of the course seemed a little better today. Whenever we came out of the left the boats on the right seemed lifted. Extreme2 is a very well-sailed boat. They’ve had the boat for a long time, have consistent crew and sail it very well. But they can be beat and we’ll give them all we can.”

    Hill’s Second Star is tied for the lead in the ORC Class with Chris and Karen Lewis’ (Houston, TX) Kenai (J/44), each with a 1st and 2nd for 3 points.

    “The chop made the racecourse a little lumpy and you had to watch out for the shifts,” said Hill. “A lot of our tactics were dictated by the faster boats on the racecourse. They took joy covering us sometimes so we had to stay out of their way. But it was all friendly competition.”



    The friendly competition comes in the form of Kenai, which also hails from Lakewood Yacht Club in Houston. Second Star won the first race by 25 seconds and Kenai won the second by 13 seconds.

    ob Rhulman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff took the early lead in the J/111 Class. Spaceman Spiff finished 1-2 and leads Jeffery Davis’ (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock by 1 point.

    Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks also finished 1-2 in the J/88 Class and also holds a 1 point lead over second place, which is held by Ryan Ruhlman’s (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff.

    Another tie exists in the Flying Tiger 7.5m Class, where Nigel Brownett’s (Long Beach, Calif.) Hogfish Racing and Brian Tyrell’s (Benton City, WA) 04 each have 3 points.

    Todd Stuart’s (Key West, FL) White Rhino, a Swan 56, won the Performance Cruising Class.

    Racing resumes tomorrow with the first warning signal for all three divisions scheduled at 11:00 am.

    Results
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    Hight Times And Hijinks

    QUANTUM KEY WEST RACE WEEK ROLLICKS THROUGH DAY 2


    Lewmar Day provided brilliant conditions once again in Key West - photo Andy Newman/Florida Keys New Bureau


    Lewmar Day won by J/88 Hijinks as conditions continue to provide thrilling racing

    KEY WEST, Fla. – To the delight of the more than 600 sailors competing in the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, Day 2’s racing nearly mirrored Day 1’s memorable conditions.

    Today, Lewmar Day, offered more stellar racing in 15- to 20-knot winds amid sunny skies and warm air temperatures. To borrow from a familiar phrase, “Race. Rinse. Repeat.”

    “It was another challenging, windy day, but these are the conditions you expect down here,” said Kris Werner (Rochester, NY), tactician for Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) J/88 Hijinks. “We made the comment sailing in both days to take a look around: it’s just beautiful here. We’ve had two perfect days of sailing and couldn’t ask for more. It’s been great.”


    Hijinks punches out ahead of the crowd to win Lewmar Boat of the Day - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com

    Hijinks is Weyler’s first boat. She’s never competed at race week before and today is a day that will live in her memory forever. Hijinks was named Boat of the Day after posting victories in both races. The crew now has the low score of 5 points and leads Ryan Ruhlman’s (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff by 6 points.

    “This is very exciting,” said Weyler. “I have an outstanding crew.”

    “It was her idea to come here and do this and get the whole Key West Race Week experience,” said Werner. “It’s a little beyond her skill set to handle the boat on the start line so she’s crossing the rail and soaking it all in.”

    Ruhlman’s father, Rob Ruhlman (Cleveland, OH), sailing the J/111 Spaceman Spiff, said that conditions like today are what keeps him coming back year after year. “I’ve done race week 15 or 20 times and like the format. I like that it’s not a two- or three-day regatta. It’s always a great experience. Very few places are like Key West,” said Rob Ruhlman.





    Spaceman Spiff off the start in the J/111 Class - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    With two 2nds today, Spaceman Spiff leads the J/111 Class with the low score of 7 points. Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the defending class champion, moved up to second by winning both of today’s races and trails by 6 points.


    Skeleton Key taking one of their wins today - photo Max Ranchi

    “Our buddies on Skeleton Key sailed really well today,” said Rob Ruhlman. “I’m happy that we were able to dig out of a few holes. We dug out from 4th or 5th at the windward mark in the first race and had a bad start in the second race. The racecourse seemed very open. There was no particular emphasis on one side or the other.”

    As for staying ahead of Skeleton Key, Rob Ruhlman said, “We beat them both times yesterday, so they can be beat. They’re a good team, but this class is very good. The boats are incredibly evenly matched; it’s close, tight racing. The winner is usually the team that doesn’t make mistakes. It’s very diff from a boatspeed standpoint to make up lost ground.”



    Tight start action in the Flying Tigers - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    In the Flying Tiger 7.5m Nigel Brownett’s (Long Beach, CA) Hogfish Racing won both of today’s races and has a 1-2-1-1 scoreline, good for a 4-point lead over Brian Tyrell’s (Benton City, WA) 04. Brownett is sailing with longtime friends Andrew Kerr (Seattle, WA), Jahn Tihansky (Annapolis, MD) and Paul Molenda (Chicago, IL).

    “We’re still getting up to speed on the boat but seem to be getting a handle on it,” said Brownett, who admitted to being a bit banged up by the conditions. “There was huge wind yesterday and today. It’s typical Key West sailing, the stuff you come to expect and why we come here.”



    Provezza IX at extreme speed - photo Andy Neuman/FL Keys News Bureau

    In the 52 Super Series, Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX from Turkey, with Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin Islands driving and Tony Rey calling tactics, had the low score of the day with 4 points from two 2nd-place finishes and climbed up to fifth in the standings with 21 points. Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon leads with 14 points.

    “We had a discussion on the way out about how badly we had done the day before and set our goal for ourselves to back each other and be a team and to rebuild our confidence and get back on the horse,” said Holmberg, a past match racing world champion. “The team did an awesome job. We sailed the boat really well and got some good results.”


    White Rhino upwind - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    Todd Stuart’s (Key West, FL) White Rhino (Swan 56) won the lone race in the Performance Cruising Class. White Rhino finished 30 minutes ahead of Ken Johnson’s (Stoughton, WI) Grateful Red and corrected out to a 13-minute victory.

    “We’re switching up the crew positions every race,” said Matthew Mullan, the boat captain. “We’re worried that if the wind gets lighter our friends on Grateful Red will bring out their new sails and give us a run. They don’t want to use the new sails in winds over 20 knots and the mainsail they’re using has done at least two trans-Atlantic crossings.”


    High Noise won their first race today to tighten the race in the ORC Class - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    The ORC Class saw Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m) take the daily win with a 3-1. High Noise moved up to third in the standings, but Chris and Karen Lewis’ (Houston, TX) Kenai (J/44) and J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) still hold 1-2 in the overall standings, separated by 2 points.

    In the J/70 Class, Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network from Italy posted another solid 1-2-5 and leads with the low score of 14 points. Tim Healy’s (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes holds second with 26 points while Glenn Darden’s (Fort Worth, TX) Hoss is third with 36 points.

    Dan Cheresh (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 also put up some more steady finishes, going 1-3-1 on the day to lead the class with the low score of 8 points, good for an 8-point lead over Kip Meadows’ (Raleigh, NC) RoXanne.

    Racing resumes tomorrow with the first warning signal for all three divisions scheduled at 11:00 am.

    RESULTS
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  6. #6
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Platoon Battle in the Trenches, But Hold Out For Key West Lead
    (Tuesday 17th January, Key West) – Even among some of the top teams in the 52 SUPER SERIES, the world's leading grand prix monohull circuit, nerves and elements of self-doubt had a negative effect on Monday, the first day of the new season and the opening races of the Quantum Key West Race Week.




    While Harm Müller-Spreer's Platoon opened with two confident, well executed wins, several among the 11 TP52 teams racing on the azure waters of the Florida Keys did not manage to start their season on their A-Game.

    But after enjoying a life at the head of the fleet on Day 1 the Platoon team spent Day 2 slugging it out in the trenches for a pair of sixths. A four-race total of 14 points keeps them in the lead, but only barely. Quantum Racing's win in Race 4 lifted them to second, a point back. Despite an eighth in Race 4, which could've been worse, Azzurra is third with 19 points. Bronenosec has the same total, but sits fourth on tie break. Provezza, which won the day with a pair of seconds, is fifth.

    Hard, honest debriefs turned around the fortunes for some such teams today. Top scoring boat over Tuesday's Races 3 and 4 was Ergin Imre's Turkish-flagged Provezza. Their lacklustre first day, an eighth and ninth, was boosted by two hard-earned, well-won second places in perfect racing conditions. So too the defending champions Quantum Racing, with owner Doug DeVos steering, eliminated the errors that cost them in the second race on Monday, and returned a solid 4,1 for the day to finish just one point off the leading 14pts tally of Platoon. And Tony Langley's Gladiator bounced back from a 10,10 first day of the 2017 term, to boost their crew's morale by winning the first race of the day.



    Platoon, with John Kostecki calling tactics, were not quite able to impose themselves as they did in Monday's dream start. In the first race they did not start cleanly enough to get to the favoured early left side of the beat but rounded sixth and stayed with that to the finish.

    In the second race they staged an incredible comeback from tenth at the top mark first time up, getting themselves to fourth down the last run, only just losing out to Interlodge and Rán Racing in the final sprint to the finish line. But for losing these two boats downwind their lead at the top of the table might have been more than the single point they now have in hand over the ascendant Quantum Racing.

    "After two days of racing to be still on top of the table, we are quite happy." Kostecki summarised, "It was less shifty today and more important to get good lanes and get off the start line. Today we got tangled up just a little bit."




    Race 3: Gladiator's big win
    Tony Langley's Gladiator crew won Race 3 for the 52 SUPER SERIES at Quantum Key West Race Week, leading from the first leeward gate. Their victory is the first race win for Langley's team since July last year in Porto Cervo and the first with multiple 52 SUPER SERIES champion Ed Baird as tactician.

    The third race of the regatta followed much the same pattern as the first two, raced Monday.

    With the steep Key West chop kicked up by the brisk 15-16kts ESE'ly breeze adding to the fun downwind and requiring accurate driving upwind, Interlodge started briskly off the pin end of the line.

    With Ian Walker steering and Andy Horton calling tactics, the brand new Interlodge showed excellent speed to the left of the first upwind and were able to lead Gladiator and Azzurra around the top mark.




    Gladiator hung further to the right side looking downwind and eased through to lead by the first gate from Provezza, who also had a blistering first run.

    Interlodge had to stop during the second upwind when they lost crew into the water when a lifeline failed, and consequently dropped way down the fleet.

    Azzurra and Bronenosec both tore their kites on the last run. Azzurra were challenging for second but they took time to replace their damaged sail but held on to third, while Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec lost out to the hard-charging Quantum Racing, who finished third.

    With two wins and a sixth place, Platoon still lead the regatta by three points from Azzurra with Quantum Racing three more points behind in third.

    Race 4: Quantum Racing's First Win of 2017
    After one general recall, Race 4 officially got underway in much the same conditions as the previous three, 15 to 20 knots from the east southeast with short choppy seas and brilliant sunshine. Once again there was a fierce battle for the pin end with Azzurra and Sled both double-tacking inside of 30 seconds, Quantum Racing sliding down to join the fray.



    Sled came out the worse for wear and was forced to bail onto port tack while Azzurra held off Quantum and edged out to an early lead in the battle for the left side. However, unlike in the previous three races, the left wasn't the key to the first beat success.

    Working the right side were Provezza and Bronenosec, and those two boats led around the windward mark, with Sled in third and Quantum Racing in fourth. It was by far the most competitive rounding of the regatta, with the entire fleet passing the mark within a minute of each other. Azzurra and Paprec went head to wind to just squeak around the mark, but lost crucial places in the process.

    After a trio of mid-fleet races to start the regatta, Doug DeVos's team on Quantum appeared determined to make a statement in this contest. They had the spinnaker drawing before the transom cleared the offset mark and blazed down the run to move into second behind Provezza.

    Sled's race came apart at the leeward mark as they held the drop until the last second and wound up sailing over the spinnaker. By the time they untangled themselves, the fleet was out of reach.

    Quantum and Provezza worked the right side of the second beat and were bow-to-bow around the final mark. Another aggressive set by Quantum Racing earned them a few crucial metres and they were able to hold on for the win with Provezza second and Bronenosec third. Platoon, after rounding the first mark in 10th, finished sixth.

    52 SUPER SERIES
    2017 Quantum Key West Race Week standings after four races.
    1 Platoon (GER) Harm Müller-Spreer (GER) 1,1,6,6 14pts
    2 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA) 3,7,4,1 15pts
    3 Azzurra (ITA) Familia Roemmers (ARG) 6,2,3,8 19pts
    4 Bronenosec (RUS) Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS) 7,4,5,3 19pts
    5 Provezza (TUR) Ergin Imre (TUR) 8,9,2,2 21pts
    6 Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 4,6,9,4 23pts
    7 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 2,5,8,11 26pts
    8 Interlodge (USA) Austin & Gwen Fragomen (USA) 5,8,11,5 29pts
    9 Gladiator (GBR) Tony Langley (GBR) 10,10,1,9 30pts
    10 Alegre (GBR) Andy Soriano (USA) 11,3,7,10 31pts
    11 Paprec Recyclage (FRA) Jean-Luc Petithuguenin (FRA) 9,11,10,7 37pts

    Quotes:
    Peter Holmberg (USVI), helmsman Provezza (TUR):

    "We had a discussion on the way out about how badly we had done the day before and set our goal for ourselves to back each other and be a team and to rebuild our confidence and get back on the horse. The team did an awesome job. We sailed the boat really well and got some good results. It was great. We realised once we analysed everything yesterday that there was quite a lot going on out there. We doubted ourselves and thought it was the boat's problem, but it wasn't. Knowing that there were plenty of opportunities for gains and losses out there, we just trusted ourselves, we sailed the boat well and Tony [Rey] did a really good job on tactics putting us in the right spots. It came good."

    Doug DeVos (USA), owner-driver Quantum Racing (USA):

    "It was a real glamour day out there, the breeze, the waves, the water colour. What could go wrong? We really had a great day. We were able hang tough in the first race and win the second race, so we are thrilled with the day. We found clean lanes and downwind we were fast. We find we sail a little higher [downwind] and just let the boat go. We just get the boat 'on the step' taking advantage of the breeze and the waves, and have Terry and Lorenzo tell me where to keep the boat to keep it fast and it is a lot fun. Not only is it fun but the boat is going so quickly. It is going well with Bora. He is fitting in, every day he get a little more comfortable and he has been adding value since Day 1."

    John Kostecki (USA) tactician Platoon (GER):

    "Today was a good day. After two days of racing, to be still on top of the table, we are quite happy. It was less shifty today and more important to get good lanes and get off the start line. Today we got tangled up just a little bit."

    The Quantum Key West Race Week will take place from 16-20 January, with races starting at 11:00 every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at www.52SUPERSERIES.com/LIVE or via the app.
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  7. #7
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Tighter and Lighter


    Day 3 featured less breeze, but closer racing, particularly in the ORC Class where Mt Gay Rum Boat of the Day winner Second Star had finishes of 1 - 1 - 2.5 - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    Mount Gay Rum Day won by first-time entrant J.D. Hill’s Second Star

    KEY WEST, Fla. – Day 3 at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week – Mount Gay Rum Day – saw a softening of the breeze on the racecourse and a corresponding shakeup on the scoreboard in some classes.

    After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today’s conditions were far more manageable. Depending on the racecourse the wind ranged anywhere from a high of 10 to 13 knots before dying away to 7 to 9 knots by the third race in the afternoon. The sea state, while calmer than the first two days was still lumpy.

    The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122). Competing in his first Quantum Key West Race Week, Hill’s crew won the first two races and finished tied for 2nd in the third. Second Star leads the ORC Class with 13.5 points and holds a 6-point lead over Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m).


    High Noise chasing Second Star in the ORC Class - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat

    “Winning an award like this makes you teary,” said Hill. “I was telling my wife Susan that 30 years from now, if we’re lucky to still be around, sitting on a porch with our teeth on a table beside us and sipping on a mint julep, these are the days you want to think back to. These are the memories that will last a lifetime. To be here with your friends—we have tons of friends on other boats who’ve been mentors to us—to be able to look back on a day like today with terrific competitors and good friends, those are the memories that will last a lifetime.

    “This event is something that every sailor should do at least once. If you don’t you miss out on something that can’t be replicated anywhere else,” said Hill.





    Interlodge blasts off the start line to help win the day in the 52 SuperSeries class - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/Sharon Benton


    In the 52 Super Series Harm Müller Speers’ Platoon from Germany temporarily dropped out of the lead after placing 10th in Race 5, but then rebounded with a 2-5 in Races 6 and 7 to stand tied for the lead with Alberto and Pablo Roemmers’s (Buenos Aires, ARG) Azzurra, each with 31 points. Third place is held by Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX of Turkey with 32 points.


    The low point boat of the day in the class, however, was Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (Newport, RI) Interlodge V. The newest boat in the class from the Botin design group, Interlodge V posted scores of 1-1-8 and holds fifth place overall with 39 points.

    "We had a great day on the water," said Interlodge tactician Andy Horton (Shelburne, VT) "In the first race we led all the way around. In the second we led, got overtaken on the run, but then retook the lead for the win. It was probably our best race yet in the new boat. In the third race we got caught in a little inside-out shift that dropped us to 8th and we couldn't dig out of that. But we're in the hunt and happy for that."



    Tim Healy and team closed the gap today with Calvi Network in the J/70's - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com


    In the J/70 Class it looked as if Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network from Italy was charting a course to a third consecutive class victory and then the crew finished 13th in Race 9 while Tim Healy’s (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes finished 2nd. That allowed Healy to close a 12-point deficit down to 1 point with three races remaining.

    “Thankfully we had a consistent day,” said Healy, the J/70 Class and Boat of the Week winner in 2014. “Calvi was having a good day but had a higher score in the last race and that allowed us to gain some points.”

    Healy said that one side wasn’t favored over the other and added that it was important to stay in the puffs. “Both sides of the course were working,” Healy said. “It was important to stay in the puff and in phase, and John (Mollicone, tactician, Providence, RI) did nice job for us. When you were in pressure then you could tack. You couldn’t tack if you weren’t in a puff because you wouldn’t accelerate out of the tack. Every windward leg we probably cycled through 10 puffs and lulls.

    “I don’t know what happened to Calvi, but I think they missed out on some pressure on the first beat of the last race,” Healy said. “They didn’t have a bad start but fell behind on the first leg and then it was hard to get back into the lead group.”




    Extreme2 is running away with first in the C&C 30's, with the rivals fighting for second - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com



    In the J/111 Class, Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff went 1-3 in the first two races and looked to be well in control of the class. But then the Spaceman Spiff crew finished 9th in the third race and now finds itself 1 point ahead of Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the reigning class champion. Observers on the J/111 course noted that Spaceman Spiff got stuck in both the left and right corners in the last race.

    In the C&C 30 One-Design Class, Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 won all three races today to all but lock up the class with two days to spare. Through nine races Extreme2 has eight 1sts and one 3rd for the low score of 11 points.

    In the J/111 Class, Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff went 1-3 in the first two races and looked to be well in control of the class. But then the Spaceman Spiff crew finished 9th in the third race and now finds itself 1 point ahead of Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the reigning class champion. Observers on the J/111 course noted that Spaceman Spiff got stuck in both the left and right corners in the last race.

    In the C&C 30 One-Design Class, Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 won all three races today to all but lock up the class with two days to spare. Through nine races Extreme2 has eight 1sts and one 3rd for the low score of 11 points.

    Results
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  8. #8
    Wind absent for todays 1st scheduled race.

    Go Skeleton Key!

  9. #9
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    Skeleton Key Boat Of Day




    Marine Partners’ Day won by Peter Wagner’s J/111 Skeleton Key

    KEY WEST, Fla. – Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week. Tomorrow’s lone race for all racing classes will decide the winner in the 52 Super Series, J/111 Class, J/70 Class and ORC Class.

    Two races were held today – Marine Partners’ Day – in light winds between 6 and 9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement this morning that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecast southeasterly.


    After posting finishes of 2-1, Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key was named Boat of the Day. Skeleton Key also took over the lead in the J/111 Class with the low score of 24 points.

    Skeleton Key won the class last year but got its defense off to a slow start with an 8th in Race 1. Since then the crew from Northern California has steadily climbed the leaderboard while the early series leader, Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff, has been dropping. In the past four races Skeleton Key has finished 1-3-2-1 while Spaceman Spiff has finished 3-9-3-5.




    Peter Wagner's J/111 Skeleton Key won Boat of the Day - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com

    “Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day,” said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980s. “We’re always very confident in our boatspeed, the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn’t see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed.”

    Spaceman Spiff trails Skeleton Key by 4 points and now has to keep an eye over its transom at Jeffrey Davis’ (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock, which has 29 points.

    “I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well,” said Wagner. “The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today and that’s all that we could hope for.”

    The challenging conditions led to a shuffling of the order in the 52 Super Series and J/111 classes, and a tightening of the order in the ORC Class.







    Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX from Turkey, with Peter Holmberg (St. Thomas, USVI) driving and Tony Rey (Middletown, RI) calling tactics, took over the class lead. Provezza IX posted a 5-3 today and leads with 40 points. Doug De Vos (Ada, MI) helmed his Quantum Racing to finishes of 2-1, good for low point boat of the day in the class, and moved into a three-way tie for second in the standings, 2 points behind Provezza IX.

    Quantum Racing is tied with Harm Müller Speers’ Platoon from Germany, which had led since Monday, and Alberto and Pablo Roemmers’s Azzurra from Argentina. Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran from Sweden is also in the mix, placed fifth with 43 points.

    “It’s all about team. We win together and we struggle together. The big thing is to stick together and come through it,” said De Vos, the 2016 52 Super Series champion. “We had a little delay this morning so we spent a little time thinking about what we could do to improve in each and every area of the boat. As we came in we said, ‘Hey, we did all those things, we made those little improvements and it showed.’”




    Tim Healy's New England Ropes has wrested away the lead in the J/70 Class with one race to go - photo Quantum Key West Race Week/PhotoBoat.com

    New England Ropes moved into the lead after finishing 9-7, which included an OCS in the first race. Calvi Network finished 4-22 to fall 9 points in arrears. Calvi Network was buried at the start of the second race and never found a lane to dig out of the pack.

    “Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day,” said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980s. “We’re always very confident in our boatspeed, the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn’t see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed.”

    Spaceman Spiff trails Skeleton Key by 4 points and now has to keep an eye over its transom at Jeffrey Davis’ (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock, which has 29 points.

    “I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well,” said Wagner. “The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today and that’s all that we could hope for.”

    The challenging conditions led to a shuffling of the order in the 52 Super Series and J/111 classes, and a tightening of the order in the ORC Class.




    The ORC Class is also up for grabs. J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) found the going a bit more difficult in the lighter winds and finished 3-5 while Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m) finished 1-2. One point separates the two in the battle for the class victory.

    Two other class leaders joined Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 in locking up their classes. Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks holds an 11-point lead in the J/88 Class and Nigel Brownett’s (Long Beach, CA) Hogfish Racing leads the Flying Tiger 7.5m Class by 8 points. With only one race left to sail, neither can be overtaken. Extreme2 locked up the C&C 30 One-Design Class yesterday.

    Todd Stuart’s (Key West, FL) White Rhino (Swan 56) won its fourth consecutive race in the Performance Cruising Class and also locked up that class.

    RESULTS
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  10. #10
    Well done Peter and crew!

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