Monday, January 16, 2012

Key West- Day One

J/111 Wicked sailing to windward off Key WestClassic, Chamber of Commerce Conditions 
(Key West, FL)- The 25th Edition of Key West Race Week started off with yet another fabulous day of sailing for the 100+ competitors on the three race-courses.  The weekend of practicing before-hand were simply, perfect sailing days, with northerly winds filling in behind a fast disappearing cold front going out over the Bahamas.  The forecast for Monday to Wednesday has been for the northerly winds clocking into the easterly quadrants, ending up SE over 72 hours with winds blowing from 15-22 knots, sunshine and "torn-cotton" puffy white clouds whisking across the horizon.

J/80s planing at Key West Race WeekFor Monday's racing across the board, all boats saw wind directions in the 35-40 degree range and slowing moving in an oscillating-persistent shift further east so that most courses saw winds in the 70 degree plus range at the end of the day.

On the Division 1 course, IRC 3 Class has Jim Bishop's modified IRC J/44 WHITE GOLD dueling for class leadership against a very strong boat fleet.  Currently, WHITE GOLD lies in fourth with a 4-3.

J/105 sailing upwind at Key West Race WeekThe J/80 one-design class has a very competitive nineteen boat class, with a group of Texans leading the pack.  Like last year, the star for the day was past World/ North American / Key West Champion Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard sailing EL TIGRE to a 1-2.  Lying second is the SAIL BAB/ TEAM GRINGO gang from Dallas, Texas, skippered by Ryan Glaze and crew with a 2-3, obviously relishing the 16-22 knot breezes.  Third to sixth are all tied with nine points!  Third is the Swedish Champion team ROCAD RACING with Mikael Lindqvist sailing to an 8-1.  However, it was only a mistake finishing the first race while leading at the time that cost ROCAD RACING double-bullets!  Fourth lies Mike Sudofsky on BOB DYLAN with a 3-6, fifth is Rob Buzil VAYU 2 with a 5-4 and sixth is Brian Keane on SAVASANA with a 4-5.

J/44 White Gold sailing downwindIn the new PHRF/ J-Class Division,  there are many well-sailed boats in the fleet.  On the PHRF Time-on-Distance side of the equation the J's are all at the top of the leader board.  Robin Team's Key West Champion crew on the J/122 TEAMWORK sailed two solid races to earn a well-deserved 2-1 for 3 pts.  Just behind in third  is Paul Stahlberg's J/111 MENTAL with a 3-2, fourth is Doug Curtiss' J/111 WICKED 2.0 with a 4-4 and fifth is past Key West Champion Bill Sweetser on the J/109 RUSH with a 5-5.

In the J-Class Time-on-Time scoring, TEAMWORK is winning with a 1-1, with MENTAL in second with a 2-2, WICKED 2.0 in third with a 3-3, RUSH in fourth with a 4-4 and Mike Kirkman's team from Detroit on their J/120 HOT TICKET in fifth with a 5-5.

The PHRF Two class has a J/105, J/95 and J/80 racing standard Time-on-Distance handicap.  Gerrit Schulze on the J/105 MAX POWER currently lie third in class with a 4-3.  Ed and Justin Palm sailing the J/95 STILL CRAZY are in seventh with a 7-7.

Photo credits- Tim Wilkes-

For more Quantum Key West Race Week sailing results: