2012 Wags Walks the Docks

The McConaghy 38 — New in Key West

By Bill Wagner

Key West has always been a proving ground for new designs and this year is no different. The Farr 40 and McConaghy 38 are two hot, new, high-performance boats that are making their North American debut at Quantum Key West 2012, and both have received rave reviews.

Harry Dunning, the designer of the McConaghy 38, has been in town all week to observe the boat’s performance and meet with potential customers. Dunning, who has served stints with two of the country’s finest firms in Farr Yacht Design and Reichel-Pugh, took a few moments to discuss the genesis of his latest boat.

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A Beautiful Catch

By Bill Wagner

Skipper Brad Kauffman and the rest of the crew aboard the Farr 30 Mummbles knew exactly what they wanted to do when racing was cancelled on Wednesday due to lack of wind.

The Mummbles team still wanted to get out on the water, but instead of Photograph of man holding a fishchasing podium finishes they were stalking deep sea fish. It’s not easy to arrange an offshore fishing trip on the spur of the moment, but Kauffman and his teammates had a plan and they executed it to perfection.

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Key West Ambassador Trophy

By Bill Wagner

When Kristen Robinson moved to Annapolis in 2005, she and her husband were the only J/80 owners in town.

Due largely to Robinson’s outgoing personality, infectious enthusiasm and tireless effort, the J/80 fleet in Annapolis now numbers a whopping 25 boats.

Robinson’s ability to promote and grow the one-design in Annapolis caught the attention of owners elsewhere around the United States and she was selected to serve as J/80 class president. In that role, Robinson has worked hard to ensure large fleets at every regatta the J/80 attends and has enjoyed particular success in convincing owners to come to Key West. “It was kind of self-serving. I love Key West Race Week and I wanted lots of good competition when I went so I tried to get as many boats down there as possible,” she said.

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Best Around the Buoys

By Bill Wagner

When Ryan Glaze received a phone call from SAIL Magazine just before Thanksgiving, he figured they were trying to sell a subscription. Instead, Glaze was thrilled to learn that he had been chosen winner of SAIL Magazine’s second Best Around the Buoys (BAB) competition, earning a free ride to compete at Quantum Key West 2012.

“I was stoked!” said Glaze. The Texas resident quickly rounded up the members of his Gringo crew and began making plans to travel to the southernmost point of the United States.

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A Force of Nature

By Bill Wagner

Wiki Jones is truly a force of nature. The New Zealand native is a professional surfer and snowboarder who also plays high-level polo. Now Wiki the Kiwi is bringing her considerable athletic talent to the sport of sailing.

Jones currently lives in Utah, where she works as a snowboard instructor at Solitude Mountain Resort. Los Angeles resident John Kilroy and his wife have been taking snowboard lessons from Jones for years and have gotten to know her well.

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Man Overboard!

By Bill Wagner

Troy Kennedy and Barney Depledge were hanging out near the downwind mark in a Ran support boat when their day suddenly got very interesting. Scattered noise came across the Quantum Key West radio channel about a man overboard on the Division 1 course. At the time, boats from the Farr 40 class were bearing down on the mark and Kennedy, the boat driver, wasn’t sure what to do.

“We didn’t want to go charging out on the course and make a mess of the fleet,” he said. However, Kennedy then saw crew members from Flash Gordon frantically pointing toward a spot in the water. Kennedy put the throttle down on the inflatable tender and raced to the location just in time for Depledge to spot a man in the water.

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From Lake Ontario to Key West — A 1,700 Mile Adventure

By Bill Wagner

Dave Smith has been out of sailboat racing for a decade because of business commitments. The Canadian recently decided to resume his participation in the sport and wanted to check Key West race week off his bucket list.

Smith and the rest of his GameChanger team went to great effort to get to the southernmost point in the United States, hauling the 1D35 all the way from Lake Ontario. It was a daunting 1,700-mile trek through numerous states with an oversized load trailered behind the truck.

“As exciting as this boat is to sail, it is almost as exciting to drag it down the highway,” Smith said.

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US Sailing Honors Ken Legler with the Harman Hawkins Trophy

By Bill Wagner

Ken Legler was unwittingly introduced to race management as a young boy, watching his father run regattas for Mamaroneck Yacht Club in New York back in the 1960s.

Nearly a half century later, Legler is widely recognized as one of the finest principal race officers in the United States if not the world.

Legler was recently honored by US SAILING as the 2011 recipient of the Harman Hawkins Trophy, awarded annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the field of race administration. Legler was formally presented the award during the skippers’ meeting for Quantum Key West 2012 on Sunday evening.

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