30th anniversary regatta attracts new entrants who plan to live out a dream
KEY WEST, Fla. – Organizers for the Storm Trysail Club’s Quantum Key West Race Week announce that Coffin Marine Services will provide mobile marina services at the Truman Waterfront Property for the 30th anniversary regatta, scheduled January 15-20, 2017.
Quantum Key West Race Week is attracting many trailerable one-designs as well as grand-prix racers. Coffin Marine will provide crane services for launching and hauling and storage facilities for trailers and containers at the Truman Waterfront Property. Coffin Marine also will manage 180 feet of temporary floating docks where boats may tie up during the launching and hauling processes.
C&C 30's are among the boats being commissioned in Key West by Coffin Marine - photo courtesy of Herb Reese
“John Coffin and his team have done a bang-up job through the years and we’re happy to welcome them back to provide these important services to our regatta,” said event chairman John Fisher. “Crane services are essential with the trend we’re seeing to smaller, trailerable boats, but the grand-prix programs such as the TP52s will also value the space for storing their containers.”
Coffin Marine will provide a 40-ton crane for launching and hauling. Storage at the Truman Waterfront Property is available Jan. 3-22, 2017, and the mobile marine services will be available Jan. 9-22, 2017. Advance registration is required for use of the services. More information on registration and costs may be found at /Logistics/Truman Waterfront Property.
The next entry deadline for Quantum Key West Race Week occurs on December 1 when entry fees increase between $4 and $5 per foot, depending on a boat’s length overall. It’s the final rate increase, but any entry received after Dec. 30 will incur an additional surcharge.
“Quantum Key West Race Week has a sterling reputation as a sailors’ regatta, offering some of the most consistent racing conditions of any venue in the world,” said event chairman John Fisher. “Our new base of operations at the Waterfront Brewery will offer everyone a new look for pre- and post-race activities, so I’m confident the number of entries will increase. Our goal each year is to continue to improve on a successful formula, listen to the sailors and sponsors, and give them what they want.”
The 30th anniversary regatta is attracting entrants who are fond of the Conch Republic, where the sailing conditions in mid-January can be ideal: warm sea breezes that build and shift to the right through the course of the day, all on a turquoise palette that harkens memories of summer.
The conditions are so legendary that even in its 30th running the regatta continues to attract first-time entrants. J.D. Hill (Seabrook, Texas) entered his J/122 Second Star after dreaming about racing off Key West for more than five years. “It’s got warm water, which my wife wants, and it’s got good competition, which my crew wants,” said Hill.
Hill’s theme was echoed by another first-time entrant, Ian Hill (Chesapeake, Va.). Although he’s of no relation to the Texan, the Virginian Hill also is “counting down the days” to when he and the crew will be headed south for Quantum Key West Race Week. Having recently won their class at the Storm Trysail Club’s Annapolis Fall Regatta, he says the team is now especially fired up and cannot wait to get back onboard and start racing again in Key West in January.
“Some of my crew has competed in Key West in previous years, but this is the first time for me and it has been a dream of mine for years,” says Hill. “I regard the regatta as a Gold Cup event, the Cadillac of regattas for all its elements: the location, time of year, level of competition…all of this. When we watched the videos from T2P this year, we felt like we were there, so we can’t wait to be go and be part of it ourselves.”
Sitella in action - photo Dan Phelps/SpinSheet
Hill has been more than just dreaming of competing in Key West, he’s been meticulously planning this for nearly a year, just as he was taking delivery of his new XP-44 Sitella in Annapolis. He travelled to Race Week 2016 to be at the awards ceremony and make bookings and plans for this year, even when it was not exactly easy to get there: the day he left a snow and ice storm was bearing down on the mid-Atlantic.
“It was a real adventure to travel that day,” said Hill, “but we really wanted to get there, and we made it just in time for the final awards. That night was fantastic: the award ceremony was fun, the crowd was great, and we even got to party with [overall winners] Hap Fauth and the Bella Mente team. The next day we talked with the Storm Trysail organizers about what to expect this year, and learned a lot for our planning for housing, dockage and all the logistics. All we have left on our list now is finding a cook for the week.”
Since taking over the event this past year, Hill feels Storm Trysail has upgraded the event. “I’ve been really impressed with the level of organization and the features that are offered. We are looking forward to seeing the new venue because everything is done at such a high quality.”
Even the event sponsors have impressed Hill: “our team is outfitted with Gill gear, we have Quantum Sails, and our insurance is with Pantaenius!”
Sitella will be part of an ORC class that already includes several boats of similar size and style, including race week veteran John Cooper (Cane Hill, Mo.) on his Mills 43 Cool Breeze, two J/122’s – Paul Milo’s (Leesburg, Va.) Orion, runner-up in this class last year, and J.D. Hill’s (Dallas, TX) Second Star – and Chris and Karen Lewis’s (Dallas, Texas) J/44 Kenai.
Gold Sponsors to Quantum Key West Race Week 2017 include: Key West Historic Inns, Sailing World (Official US Magazine), Seahorse International Sailing (Official European Magazine), Dimension-Polyant, Pantaenius, Waterfront Brewery (Official Venue), and J/Boats.
Silver Sponsors include: Harken, Yacht Scoring, SpinSheet, Coffin Marine, Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), and America2, New England Ropes, Commander's Weather, Switlik, 1800 Atlantic Condominiums, and Eden House.
The racing at Quantum Key West Race Week will be conducted under permit in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadow, mangrove communities and sand flats. For more information, please visit floridakeys.noaa.gov.
The Storm Trysail Club is comprised of blue water sailors with the purpose of promoting good fellowship and to encourage the sport of sailboat racing. STC is one of the world's most respected sailing organizations, composed of over 900 members by invitation who have demonstrated their abilities as expert offshore sailors. Established in 1938, it is a not-for-profit club, headquartered in Larchmont, NY with regional stations throughout the U.S. It is well known as an organizing authority for a number of racing, social and junior events for its members and other sailors, both on the water and ashore. The Storm Trysail Foundation has a strong commitment to youth sailing and safety training, and the club has been in the vanguard of development of new events, handicap rating systems, yacht design, safety procedures...and new rum drinks. For more information, please visit www.stormtrysail.org.