Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race Preview

J/122E sailing off Newport (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- Starting on Wednesday, January 13th, around noon, a fleet of forty-three boats will be experiencing one of the most famous short offshore races- the Storm Trysail Club’s and Lauderdale YC’s Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  It’s the classic “feeder” race for the famous Key West Race Week.  The race could not be simpler, start just off the Lauderdale Sea buoy and head south down around Key Biscayne, keep the right-turn signal blinker on, and continue to veer around to the southwest, then west, avoiding the chain of keel-hugging reefs to starboard and the speed-robbing 5 knot Gulf Stream to your left.  The weather can be capricious, but so far, this year’s weather patterns promises ENE on Wednesday and swinging to ESE by late Thursday- a “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” could be in the making!

J/111 sailing Key WestSeveral J/Teams are chomping on their bits to pop their Code Zero’s and A3’s to fly down the island chain.  In the IRC Class, Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION from Leesburg, VA will be up against some fast 50-footers.  In PHRF A, two J/111s will be battling a J/125 for class honors.  The 111’s include Gary Weisberg’s HEAT WAVE from Gloucester, MA and Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA.  The J/125 is a past Miami-Nassau class winner and a local offshore veteran with lots of silverware to show for their efforts- Frank Atkinson’s RAISIN’ CANE from Coconut Grove SC in Miami, FL.

In PHRF B division, two J/120s are participating- Frank Kern’s notoriously fun-loving crew on CARINTHIA from Bayview YC in Grosse Pointe, MI and Marcus Cholerton-Brown’s SUNSET CHILD from New York.  In PHRF C class, two J/88s cannot wait pop their kites and surf to Key West- Frank Kups sailing SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH and MI2 from J/World Annapolis in Annapolis, MD.  As the lowest rating boats in their class, they will be giving time to the classic J/40 SOLSTICE sailed by Jim Bordeaux from Yorktown, VA.  Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown & Allen Clark/  For more Key West Race sailing information