It’s a Wrap! Quantum Key West Race Week 2015

What a week! A full 10-race series was completed in all Divisions. The J/70 & Melges 24 classes completed 11 races, which included 1 throwout. The lowest throwout score was a 7th place finish from Melges 24 class winner Conor Clarke’s Embarr. Friday’s racing was pure perfection!

The GC 32 class had the biggest challenge, gauging the ability to foil against wind & waves. The GC 32 class was a new addition to Key West this year, and they dazzled us all posting the fastest speeds ever seen in Key West.

The Photo Galleries from the Pros on all 3 Divisions show how the racing unfolded. The returning sailors will have plenty of stories to share about their team, their boats and their week for months to come!

There were smiles, hugs and handshakes all around last evening for the final awards presentation held in the Courtyard of Kelly’s. Premiere Racing Event Chairman Peter Craig, and Terry Hutchinson, Executive Vice President of Quantum Sail Design Group, and the 2014 recipient of US Sailing’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award presented all of the trophies to the class winners.

Division 1 PRO Ken Legler announced the class and overall winners for Friday's awards presentation. Premiere Racing's Peter Craig, and Terry Hutchinson, Executive Vice President of Quantum Sail Design Group handed out all trophies. It was a fine finish to a fabulous week at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015!©2015 Ken Stanek / kenstanek.photography

Division 1 PRO Ken Legler announced the class and overall winners for Friday’s awards presentation. Premiere Racing’s Peter Craig, and Terry Hutchinson, Executive Vice President of Quantum Sail Design Group handed out all trophies. It was a fine finish to a fabulous week at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015!

An exuberant team win for Carlo Alberini's J/70 Calvi Network, which closed the regatta with a second after posting a steady string of fourths and fifths. That remarkable consistency in such a competitive class earned Calvi Network the ultimate prize at Quantum Key West Race Week –Boat of the Week©2015 Ken Stanek / kenstanek.photography

An exuberant team win for Carlo Alberini’s J/70 Calvi Network, which closed the regatta with a second after posting a steady string of fourths and fifths. That remarkable consistency in such a competitive class earned Calvi Network the ultimate prize at Quantum Key West Race Week –Boat of the Week

Paddy Bettesworth, a long-standing crew member with Joe Woods Team Red, accepts the Chelsea Shipstrike clock for the Quantum Sail Boat of the Day Award for the Farr 280 Red in PHRF-1.©2015 Ken Stanek / kenstanek.photography

Paddy Bettesworth, a long-standing crew member with Joe Woods Team Red, accepts the Chelsea Shipstrike clock for the Quantum Sail Boat of the Day Award for the Farr 280 Red in PHRF-1.

Gannon Troutman, the 12-year-old skipper of Pied Piper (center), was the talk of the regatta after finishing fifth in the talent-laden J/70 class – winning a race while also posting a second and third.©2015 Ken Stanek / kenstanek.photography

Gannon Troutman, the 12-year-old skipper of Pied Piper (center), was the talk of the regatta after finishing fifth in the talent-laden J/70 class – winning a race while also posting a second and third.

All of the photos from the nightly awards, Boat of the Day, Boat of the Week, and shoreside entertainment can be found on the Premiere Racing site or by visiting Ken Stanek’s gallery.  Winning Key West Race Week does not come easy, and the amount of talent on the water  is a testament to the “best of the best!” When I think back to the panel discussion held on Sunday titled, Winning Strategies, so many of the tips shared by the pros were used by boats in each class every day!

We had a great week on the water, and we hope you did too! Safe travels on your return, and hope the memories and stories will motivate you and your friends to return to Key West next year!

A special Thanks to the Event Sponsors: Title Sponsor Quantum Sails and Day Sponsors Lewmar (Official Marine Hardware), and Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), and Gaastra (Official Clothing and Footwear).

Key West Race Week is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Council. Sapporo USA is the Official Beer and Regatta Ginger Beer is the Official Ginger Beer.

Chelsea Clock is providing their classic Shipstrike Clocks for the Boat of the Day trophies.

20 Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 14th year.

Div 1 – Race 9 & 10 Photo highlights

Two great races were completed today in plenty of breeze. When the breeze hits 20+, boat handling, tactics and flawless execution make a statement.  They make it look easy! Each person has a role, and tasks must be completed in synch  – think of a perfect symphony or just rockin’ fast, there is a lot of practice and hard work that go into winning the series. The light air days fade away when the end of Quantum Key West Race Week wraps up  with incredible conditions. Here are just a few of the photos from Division 1 Signal Boat.

The PRO Galleries will be updated with all of the action from all divisions. Heading to the awards presentation!
Congratulations to all!

Division 1 Race Committee - PRO Ken Legler, Don Behrens, Ellyn OsmondSBenton | Quantum Key West 2015 Blog

Division 1 Race Committee – PRO Ken Legler, Don Behrens, Ellyn Osmond

Maxi Class

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Numbers and Bella Mente just after the start of race 10

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Shockwave heading toward the finish of race 10

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Numbers posted 2 seconds, and were edged out of the overall win by 2 points following today’s racing.

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Bella Mente under full power – posting two first-place finishes in races 9 & 10.

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Jerry Kirby, bowman on Bella Mente

Melges 32 Class

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Melges 32 class starting race 10. All boats were on the line. Goombay Smash and Hedgehog were OCS at the start.

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Melges 32 Volpe at the start of Race 10

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Delta (USA 1215) on the final upwind leg of race 10. Delta won race 10, Argo and Goombay Smash finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

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Hedgehog posted 2 fourth place finishes, and won overall in the Melges 32 class.

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Hedgehog crossing the final finish line in race 10.

IRC 2 Class

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The Swan 42s Impetuous (left) and Better Than in race 10.

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Otra Vez posted a 2, 3 today, finishing in second place in the IRC 2 class behind Tonnerre 4

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The J/125 Hamachi heading for the finish of race 10

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Hamachi and True in a “sprit to sprit” heading to the finish.

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Tonnerre 4 heading toward the overall win in the IRC 2 class in race 10

GC 32 Class

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ARMIN STROM posted a 1, 2 today edging out ZouLou by just one point. The GC 32s were amazing to watch. The boats are extremely physical!

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Argo (USA 128) and ZouLou (FRA007) rounding the bottom gate in race 9. Argo withdrew from race 10 due to a mechanical issue.

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ZouLou and ARMIN STROM at the start of race 10.

 

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The ARMIN STROM Sailing team – would love to know what they do to train for this type of sailing!

Sailing in Key West, course set for Rio

Stuart McNay & David HughesBill Wagner | Quantum Key West 2015 Blog

What do aspiring Olympic sailors do when they take a short break from their campaign? They come to Quantum Key West 2015 and go racing on a Melges 24.

Stuart McNay and David Hughes are aiming to represent the United States in 470 class at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They joined forces shortly after the last Olympics and have been steadily training for the past two-plus years.

McNay and Hughes have a big event next week as the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Cup is being held in Miami from Jan. 26-31. However, this week the duo is sailing with Irish skipper Conor Clarke aboard his Melges 24 named Embarr.

“This is the premiere event happening in the United States this week so it makes sense for us to be here,” Hughes said. “We are going against top level competition in this class. You always get better by going against the best.” Continue reading…

Wags Walks the Docks

Bill (Wags) Wagner is a familiar face on the docks to sailors at Quantum Key West Race Week. A Maryland native, Wags hits the docks early, with FlipCamera in hand to capture casual interviews from sailors across all classes. Wags really presents a personal side to the interviews capturing “a behind the scenes” story.

Bill Wagner (Wags) at his "office" on the docks at Key West to capture video interviews of Race Week sailors.SBenton | Quantum Key West 2015 Blog

Bill Wagner (Wags) at his “office” on the docks at Key West to capture video interviews of Race Week sailors.

If you haven’t had a chance to look through the interviews, click on the link to Wags Walks the Docks.

Today’s interviews include:

Kevin George, tactician aboard Ker 51 Tonnerre 4, talks about the boat that Peter Vroon is racing for the first time in Key West and also talks about what a great yachtsman the Dutch skipper is.

Quantum Sail Design Group executive Farley Fontenot talks about Quantum Key West 2015 and other Quantum topics.

Doug and Dalton DeVos, father and son, talk about racing against each other in the Melges 32 class.

Bradley Faber, skipper of J/111 Utah, talks about winning Thursday’sIndustry Partner Boat of the Day award, the J/111 class competition and learning from Wally Cross of the Quantum Sail Design Group.


 

I have worked with Wags over 10 years at Key West, and can attest to his commitment to “tell the story” of Race Week through video interviews, press releases and articles. I have also been a witness to his incredible typing speed. Wags can “punish” a keyboard better than any journalist I’ve ever known!

Division 1 Day 5 Races 9 and 10

The Div 1 Signal Boat is heading back to the barn.  It’s been a great week with varied conditions.  The past 2 days were superb with typical Key West conditions that made for very exciting racing.  Fantastic photo ops.   We hope to post more photos later.  If you won a trophy today, please send a rep to the tent to pick it up.  The party starts at 5:30 with awards at 6:45.   Div 1 Race Committee will be on station at the party tonight so stop by and say hello.   Hope to see you all again next year.

 

Seeing gusts up to 30 knots. Downwind finish – boats surfing.

Race 10 Preliminary Results

GC32

  1. ZouLou
  2. Armin Strom
  3. Argo (DNC)
  4. Leenabarca (DNC)

Maxi

  1. Bella Mente
  2. Numbers
  3. Shockwave

IRC2

  1. Spookie
  2. Tonnerre4
  3. Otra Vez
  4. Hamachi
  5. Vitesse
  6. Better than..
  7. Impetuous
  8. Cool Breeze
  9. True
  10. Shine (DNC)

Melges 32

  1. Delta
  2. Argo
  3. Goombay Smash
  4. Volpe

Report is that we had gusts to 28 at the starts.

Melges 32 – Hedgehog and Goombay Smash were over early.  All clear now.

IRC2 – Very aggressive start.  3 boats OCS Hamachi, Cool Breeze and Otra Vez.  All clear now.  Several boats were bunched mid line.  Tonnerre steamed from behind and leeward and forced Otra Vez over when they tried to turn down from the line.

Maxi:  Shockwave over early.  Bowsprit was clearly over the line by a couple of feet.  All clear now.

GC32: all clear.  just the Swiss and French boats in this reace.  Still reefed.

Race 10  – course #4, bearing 175, distance for B&A is 1.55 and C&D is 1.3.  Reset the axis due to wind shift.  The wind seems to be building a bit judging by the heel of the boats.


Preliminary results:

GC32

  1. Armin Strom
  2. Argo
  3. ZouLou
  4. Leenabarca (DNF)

Maxi

  1. Bella Mente
  2. Numbers
  3. Shockwave

IRC2

  1. Tonnerre4
  2. Otra Vez
  3. True
  4. Spookie
  5. Hamachi
  6. Shine
  7. Cooll Breeze
  8. Impetuous
  9. Better Than..
  10. Vitesse

Melges 32

  1. Argo
  2. Goombay Smash
  3. Volpe
  4. Hedgehog
  5. Delta

Race 9 has finished. The GC 32 Argo has radioed in to say they are withdrawing from Race 10 due to a breakdown.  Shine will not sail Race 10 to catch a flight back to Great Britain.


 

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It is surf city at the finish.

Tonnerre surfs across the finish line with a huge lead over the next IRC2 boat.
Bella Mente jibes right at the finish and crosses first in the Maxi class.  Numbers will be next.  Shockwave didn’t recover from earlier problems.   Tonnerre jibes right in front of Numbers just before the finish.

The French boat crosses next.  Leenabarca is DNF.   Sharon will post some great photos of the cats in the air along with the beefcakes on the rail!  We were commenting about the muscles on the Swiss boys – they look like  action figures in a video game.

The GC32 Argo is coming home now and launching off waves into the air.

The first GC32 finisher is launching the boat through the waves, up on foils and at times out of the water completely .   It’s the Swiss boat – yee haw!  That was something else.  We should have some photos of that to post, but also check out the helicopter photographers – they may have good shots of that too.

Tonnerre4 rounds the gate first in IRC2.

Maxis rounded the gate.  Bella is in the lead.  Shockwave had a few problems that hurt badly but they recovered .


Correction – it is not Argo who was disabled – she is coming down to the leeward gate.  It was the Argo tender that called in the problem.  Leenabarca has broken down.  The 3 GC32s took about 13 minutes on the upwind leg and about 6 minutes downwind – that is fast!   The Swiss boat was way ahead, followed by the French boat ZouLou and then Argo.

Just notified that a GC32 Argo has sails down near weather mark with rudder problem .   Appears to be disabled. Argo tender going to assist.


Melges 32:  all clear.  Very wet ride for these guys.  Hedgehog made an awesome move at the start and hit it right on.

IRC2 start: Lots of yelling.  Very aggressive start. X-ray hoisted – #18 Better Than is OCS – now clear.  They were early, Spookie was below and held them on the line with no where to go  and forced them over.

Maxi start: all clear with Numbers at the boat, Bella Mente and Shockwave down the line.  Port line boat confirmed that Shockwave’s bowsprit was about 2 feet from the line at the horn.

GC32 start:Argo hung out at the pin and did a port start and crossed in front of the other 3 by a hair then tacked over to startboard.  Whew that was close.  Nerves of steel! All 4 cats have a short reef in the main. Leenabarca isn’t pointing as high as the others and is most leeward.


Windspeed is about 18.  GC32 warning sounded.

Get ready to rock and roll.  Starting on time.

Course board posted:  Course #4 bearing 155,  distance for B&A is 1.8 and C&D is 1.5.  Reminder –  the GC32 class will be the first start followed by the Maxis.  The rationale for this change – in this kind of breeze the GC32s are fasater than the Maxis.  There will not be a 2 minute gap between the IRC2 start and the Melges 32 warning.  Offset mark just on the short windward mark.

Div 1 Signal Boat new coordinates are N 24 31.167 and W 081 51.495.  Trying to get the course set in time to avoid postponement.  The course axis will be 155 – a 15 degree shift from earlier.  Actually we were expecting 130.   Port line has pinged us so it looks like we can start on time.

Div 1 Signal Boat is moving.  The wind has shifted which compromises the course so we need to move about 1/2 mile northeast.  We hope to finish the move in time without having a postponement.  Will keep you posted.

Good Morning and welcome to the final day of Quantum Key West Race Week 2015.  It’s another gorgeous Key West day.  The wind has been blowing all night so the seas are a bit lumpy today – rolling in about 2-3 feet.  With a breeze of about 15 -18 knots, we will have the kind of racing Key West is known for.

The Div 1 Signal Boat is on station at N 24 30.872 and W 081 51.842.  Wind direction is 140.

Division 2 – Friday

It’s been an great week of racing and a couple of really exciting days as the fleets came flying into the finish, seeming to hit only the crest of the waves.  Pretty breezy today…15 to 20 all day.  Tune in later for final scores and awards.

Racing has completed for the day and the boats are headed to shore.  Scores has been posted on yachtscoring.com.

Melges 24 fleet finishes:  Embarr, Zingara, Mojo

J/70 fleet is at the gate, and the Melges 24 fleet leaders are in sight coming in toward the finish.

J/70’s at the first rounding of the weather mark:  Helly Hansen, Down the Line, Flojito Y Cooperando.

Course change is being signalled at the gate to a bearing of 180 and a distance of .8.  Melges order through the gate:  Zingara, Team RRH, and Embarr

Four J/70’s did not return and will be scored OCS:  Danger Mouse, Lickity Split, Taipan, and Helly Hansen.

A dozen J/70’s were hailed as OCS.  Race committee is checking on the list of those who cleared.

Race 11 is underway.  Two boats were hailed as OCS in the Melges 24 fleet.  They restarted.  The course is Course 4, distance 1.3 nm, bearing 155.

Protests are pending for the Melges fleet, but the crossed the line as Team RRH, Embarr, then Zingara.

No change in positions for the J/70 fleet at the gate.

Positions have changes for the Melges 24 fleet at the gate.  It is now Embarr, then Team RRH, then Mojo.

J/70 weather mark rounding, first time around:  Africa, Flojito Y Cooperando, Helly Hansen

Melges 24 fleet at the weather mark first time around:  Team RRH, Embarr, Mojo.

All J/70’s cleared the start except Late Life Crisis, who will be scored OCS.

Results have been posted for Race 9 at yachtscoring.com.

Melges 24 class started at 1145, followed by the J/70 start at 1150.  One boat was OCS in the Melges fleet, but he returned and restarted.  About 8 boats were hailed in the J/70 fleet.

 

Embarr has won the Melges 24 race, followed by Team RRH, then Mojo.

Embarr continued to lead the Melges 24 fleet at the gate, followed by Team RRH, then Mojo.

Melges 24 fleet at the gate:  Embarr, Team RRH, Mojo.

Melges 24 fleet being signalled at the gate that the course is being changed to 155 degrees with a distance of .8 nm.

J/70 fleet at the first rounding of the weather mark:  Rocad Racing, Pied Piper, Empeiria.

Melges 24 fleet at the first rounding of the weather mark:  Embarr, Team RRH, then Mojo.

Cloudsourced, Live Sail Drive, and jRhino did not start Race 9 in the J/70 fleet.

Half a dozen J/70’s were hailed as over early at their start.  All but 1 boat, Rocad Racing have returned and restarted.

Melges 24 fleet has started.  No one was hailed as over early.

We are now in sequence for the Melges 24 class.  Start will be at 1035.

Posting 140 for the bearing to the weather mark.  Starting line going in.

Course 4 will be posted with the distance to the weather mark at 1..3 nm, bearing to be determined.  Warning is scheduled for 1030 hrs.

Pretty lumpy out here this morning…we are rockin’ and rollin’.

The breeze is around 16 knots, bearing 130.

We have reached the racing area and are anchoring the signal boat.  The Division is starting an hour early again today, with hopes of getting 3 races in.  Boats are beginning to check in.

Welcome to Quantum Key West 2015 – Quantum Sails Day!

Good Morning!
Welcome to Final Friday!

We are winding up for the final day of Quantum Key West 2015. Yesterday’s conditions showed why racing in Key West is spectacular! The forecast for today shows stronger breeze for the morning with an estimate of 15-20 and trending lower as the afternoon progresses.

Division 2 warning is at 1030 – with the intent of sailing 3 races. Division 1 and 3 warning is at 1130 – with 2 races scheduled.

The Daily and Overall awards will be presented this evening @1845. In addition to the Daily and Overall awards, Midwinter Championship Trophies will be presented to the following classes:

  • Melges 24
  • Melges 32
  • J/70 – The Marlow Trophy, and the Corinthian Trophy
  • J/111
  • J/88
  • J/105

CONGRATULATIONS to  Bradley Faber and his team on the J/111 Utah who was presented with the Boat of the Day Award on Thursday.

Key West Race Week 20152015 Ken Stanek/kenstanek.com

There are some close classes going into the final race day. Slap on sunblock and hold on to your hats! Three of the four GC 32s are tied on points (16),  the same situation is in the Maxi class with Bella Mente and Numbers tied on points (15). In the J/70 class, 3 points separate Calvi Network and Helly Hansen. In J/88,  only 2 points sit between Deviation and Touch2Play . Wahoo!

Final results are posted on the Premiere Racing Event site, and fabulous photos from Ken Stanek, Tim Wilkes, Allen & Daniela Clark, Sharon Green and Steve Lapkin!

Enjoy a great day on the water, see you on the race course!