Wednesday, February 6, 2013

J/122 TEAMWORK Wins Key West PHRF

J122 Teamwork sailing in Key WestJ/109 RUSH Runner-up PHRF B
(Key West, FL)- While there were lots of little boats blazing around like busy bees on the waters off Key West, the majestic beauty of the "big boats" was quite a sight to behold.  This year, the big J's all sailed on the Division 3 course, the easternmost course for Quantum Key West and perhaps one of the best sailing areas due to less current and flatter waters with minimal boat traffic to worry about.

Two particularly notable veterans of campaigning in Key West both showed their colors again, making the most of their "local knowledge" to be class leaders after sailing the full compliment of ten races.  One of them was Robin Team sailing his highly competitive J/122 TEAMWORK, who are now working on a three-peat.  Fine-tuning their performance ever more, the TEAMWORK crew rattled off six 1sts and three 2nds to win their class by a comfortable margin in what might easily be described as near-perfect "J/122 weather"- 13-19 kts of breeze most of the week.

J111 sailing off Key WestFor the next three places, it might as well have been watching the local Key West roosters engaging in a classic "cock fight" on the street.  As a veteran Key West sailor, it was clear a few feathers certainly got ruffled by the J/111 debut of Bob Hesse and gang on LAKE EFFECT.  A native Youngstown/ Rochester sailor, Hesse and his crew are no strangers to the waters of Key West, having sailed competitively in the past in the pro-based Melges 32 class.  It all came down to the last three races for the top five.  In the end, Hesse's crew managed a 1-4-4 to grab second overall, sneaking past Jim Bishop's modded J/44 WHITE GOLD who posted a 3-5-6 to finish third.  Getting the short end of the stick in the shoot-out was Bishop's WHITE GOLD, having to settle for the bronze on the podium after scoring a 3-5-6.  Sailing ever more consistently, faster and smarter, was Doug Curtiss on the famous J/111 WICKED 2.0, sailing to a 2-3-3 to tie WHITE GOLD, but lose the tie-breaker.  Another notable performance towards the end of the regatta was the J/111 FIREBALL sailed by Team Fireball, a very recent class newcomer.  With its blazing sunset orange paint job, it was a spectacular-looking boat and in the end, fired-off a 2-2 on the last day to show they had learned a thing or two from their comrades-in-arms!  Good on ya, mates!

J109s sailing Key WestMeanwhile, in PHRF B, it was a tale of three winds.  Light air Monday.  Moderate to heavy Tuesday to Thursday.  And, moderating, shifty Friday.  After the first three days, it was clear the class leader was Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH- a 2-1-2-1-3-2 would reflect that leading position.  Nevertheless, it was not to be.  A 5-5-3-2 in the last four races sunk their chances to win their class.  Other than tanking the start of the regatta, the J/120 gangsters on Glenn Gault's REBECCA just about "iced" the rest of the races with a 1-1-1-2-2-4 after they started to learn how to sail "Key West".  Mo'power to them next year.   Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal   and Tim Wilkes.   For more Quantum Key West PHRF sailing information