Key West Race Week 2016: Always a Great Experience

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Key West, FLJanuary 27, 2016

The 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week kicked off last Monday January 18, 2016, as teams from all over the world competed in the week long regatta. With 138 total boats entered in three divisions and fifteen separate classes, ranging from J/70’s to mini Maxi’s, this premier event lays claim to some of the finest ranges of competitive sailing on the entire East Coast.

At the start of the regatta and after a long prior weekend of stormy weather, conditions improved significantly to set off the week.  Among the entries in the C&C 30 class, in Division 2, Annapolis locals and Jabin Yacht Yard frequent fliers included Anema & Core (Ennio Staffini), BobSled (Bob Moran), and Themis (Walt Thirion). With 11 boats in total, the class had its first ever one design start out of the three total regattas of the class to date. Meanwhile in Division 1, competing in the J/111 class was Velocity (Marty Roesch). Hailing from Ellicott City, Maryland, Roesch is yet another Jabin Yacht Yard resident and only skipper representing Annapolis in this one design fleet of nine from across the country.

Weather and wave conditions proved to be challenging throughout the week. Day 1 racing got off to a breezy start, with 20 knot plus winds coming out of the northeast, but slowly diminishing throughout the afternoon for a solid day of racing.  Day 2 was another story, as the northeasterly picked up to a steady 25 knots with gusts exceeding 30 knots. This produced a heavy sea state and due to the conditions, in popular opinion, officials cancelled all racing for the day.  Mid-week on Day 3, conditions were a favorable 15-18 knots across the board for all competitors, with most classes getting in three solid races. These conditions continued into Day 4 with more of the consistent northeasterly breeze carrying through the early afternoon before it changed course to the east. On the final 5th and final day, the stormy seas and big breeze returned, resulting in the cancellation all racing. As it turned out, this was a good call in the 20 plus knot weather and heavy rolling sea state.  Overall for the weeklong event, managing officials of the Storm Trysail Club did an impressive job in all conditions working hard to ensure that each division completed 9-10 races, resulting in a well-executed and largely successful event.

Key West Race Week was originally founded in 1987 by Yachting Magazine as a single division regatta with 112 boats, and has since then grown to the winter venue we know and love (and certainly look forward to!) each year.

Here are the top five results per class:
Key West Race Week 2016 Results