Quantum Key West Race Week

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MGR 150Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day
Le Tigre (J/80)
Glenn Darden and Ross Hillard
Fort Worth, Texas


LEW NAV 150Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day
Rush (PHRF 1 J/109)
Bill Sweetser
Annapolis, Maryland


nautica WATCHES 150Nautica Watches Boat of the Day
Groovederci (Farr 40)
John Demourkas
Santa Barbara, California


QuantumLogotype 150Quantum Sails Day Boat of the Day
Quantum Racing (52 Class, IRC 2)
Doug DeVos
Grand Rapids, Michigan


QKW2012 150Quantum Boat of the Week
Samba Pa Ti (Melges 32 Class )
John Kilroy, Jr.
Los Angeles, CA


John Kilroy stood on the dock in front of the Galleon and accepted congratulations from a steady stream of Melges 32 sailors.

Benjamin Schwartz, skipper of runner-up Pisces, shook Kilroy’s hand and told him good job. Richard Clarke, tactician for fourth place finisher Hedgehog, graciously told Kilroy that his team sailed a fantastic regatta.

“There’s nothing better than being recognized by your peers,” Kilroy said later. “This fleet is so darn good with so many great owner-drivers and so many fantastic sailors, to earn their respect means so much.”

Kilroy and his crew aboard Samba Pa Ti earned the ultimate honor on Friday night, being selected as Quantum Sails Boat of the Week for Quantum Key West 2012. Samba showed remarkable consistency in posting all single-digit results in the 19-boat fleet in winning the Melges 32 class by 12 points.

“This is one of the great events in sailboat racing, certainly in America and also the whole world,” Kilroy said. “To be named Boat of the Week at Key West is a tremendous honor and I am just so very grateful.”

Samba Pa Ti opened the regatta with a pair of bullets then proceeded to place fifth or better in seven of the remaining eight races. Kilroy’s worst result was a ninth, which he was able to throw out en route to totaling a low score of 26 points.

It was the second Key West victory in Melges 32 class for Kilroy, a Los Angeles native who also earned Boat of the Week honors in 2010. Italian pro Lorenzo Bressani called tactics while countryman and close friend Federico Michetti trimmed the jib and spinnaker. Harry Melges, whose Wisconsin-based family builds the boats, trimmed main while Justin Smart (pit), Max Bulger (bow), Lucas Tomasetti (mast) and Martino Tortorolo (all-around) completed the crew. “It was a quintessential Key West race week with fantastic weather and super sailing conditions,” said Kilroy, who also had high praise for his sailmaker — Fuzz Foster, owner of the North loft in Hawaii. “We had a lot of confidence in our boat speed and our crew work was excellent all week.”

It was interesting that Schwartz finished second because Kilroy used to race against his father in the old IOR class at Key West. In fact, the 63-year-old Kilroy sees the sons of many old sailing friends on the docks of Key West whenever he comes.

“I’m certainly one of the oldest guys in the fleet, but I’m young at heart,” he said. “It makes me feel so good to see guys like Ben Schwartz following in their father’s footsteps and continuing their legacy. Ben is a class guy and it’s a shame he had to be the runner-up.” Smart has sailed with Kilroy for three decades on a succession of boats named Samba Pa Ti. He said the boss, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corporation in L.A., is successful because he puts his heart and soul into every venture.

“John doesn’t do anything half-assed. When it comes to sailing, he’s going to have the best boat and the best crew and the best sails,” Smart said. “John is a very positive skipper, always encouraging the crew. He has a good mix of physical ability and analytical ability. He sees the big picture and is able to put it all together. Ultimately, I think John’s biggest strength is his ability to focus under pressure. Give him a target and he can hit it every time.”

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