2013 Wags Walks the Docks

J/80: A long time presence, looking ahead to 2014

By Bill Wagner

This is an abnormal year for the J/80 class, typically one of the largest in Key West. Due to the vagaries of the class schedule and some competition from the new J/70, there are only four J/80 one-designs competing at Quantum Key West 2013.

Event chairman Peter Craig sees that as an anomaly and has already spoken to key figures in the J/80 class about getting back to a double digit fleet next year.

“The J/80 has been a mainstay class in Key West for well over a decade. For the last five years, we’ve had 16 to 18 boats. For a variety of reasons, the class wasn’t able to realize its normal fleet size this year, but by all reports the J/80 will regain its traditional numbers next year in Key West,” Craig said.

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In Memoriam

Premiere Racing lost three long-time, valuable members of its race committee team over the course of 2012. Peter Craig, Jeanne Kleene and everyone else associated with the annual race week off Key West mourned the deaths of Arthur “Tuna” Wullschleger, Richard “Dick” Chesebrough and Dave Shaffer.

“It was an unusual and sad offseason for Premiere Racing. It’s tough to lose three of our really good, very prominent volunteers in one year,” said Craig, president of Premiere Racing.

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George Collins and Chessie Racing are back in Key West!

By Bill Wagner

George Collins was a well-known, successful sailboat racer back in the 1980s and 90s. During his days as CEO of T. Rowe Price in Baltimore, Collins campaigned such designs as a Mumm 30, Mumm 36, Corel 45, Tripp 47 and Baltic 52 – all of which were named Moxie.

Many sailing enthusiasts will remember Collins for singlehandedly funding Chessie Racing, the Maryland entry in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Race. Chessie Racing played a critical role in helping Baltimore-Annapolis become a stopover for that event, which became the Volvo Ocean Race.

Bombarda in Key West: Sorprendente!

By Bill Wagner

Andrea Pozzi competed in motocross as a hobby. That didn’t please Pozzi’s wife, who always worried he would suffer serious injury in an accident.

“One day she said it was either motocross or family. I really didn’t have much of a choice,” said Pozzi, a resident of Milano, Italy.

So Pozzi decided to take up sailboat racing, even though he had absolutely no experience in the sport. “I went out on a friend’s cruising boat and had so much fun. I got crazy for sailing and I decided I needed to have a boat,” he said.

J/70s Make Their Key West Debut

By Bill Wagner

Tate Russack was looking for a small sailboat he could trailer to major regattas around the country. The Annapolis resident liked everything about the new J/70 sloop and pulled the trigger on purchasing one when he learned enough had been sold to sustain viable one-design racing.

“J/Boats has upped the ante on the sport boat market with this design. It’s easy to sail, but highly competitive,” Russack said.

Russack was pleasantly surprised to see 23 boats show up for the Fall Brawl, hosted by Eastport Yacht Club in early November. He is downright shocked that a whopping 39 boats will be on the start line at Quantum Key West 2013, making J/70 the largest fleet at the annual midwinter regatta.

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