Entry fees for 2016 event will rise by $4/foot after October 1st; nearly 80 teams from 10 countries already on the scratch sheet; boats entered in the Lauderdale-Key West Race get discounted entry fees of $5/foot; interest building in the new Performance Cruising Class.
Larchmont, NY – Interest is building as the early entry discount deadline approaches for the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week, organized by the Storm Trysail Club. Nearly 80 entries hailing from 10 countries have already signed up and taken advantage of the $4/foot discount on entry fees that expires soon on Thursday, October 1st.
Sixty of these entries are entered in one of several one-design classes: the Melges 24 (12 entries), J/70 (14 entries), J/80 (3 entries), J/88 (6 entries), J/111 (6 entries), J/122 (2 entries), C&C 30 (10 entries), Farr 280 (2 entries) and Viper 640 (3 entries) classes are all represented at the event. The high level of competitiveness and excellence in race management perennially attracts these classes to Key West.
The non-one design entries will compete in classes using IRC, ORC Club or PHRF Multihull handicaps. One class that is new and starting to gain some interest is the Performance Cruising class, which is offering casual racing on navigational courses set around the island. Starts and finishes will be close the harbor, with one race per day lasting about 2-3 hours.
The first entry in this class is Dr. Joe Mele’s Swan 44 Triple Lindy from New York, NY. Mele is looking forward to competing in this class, which will use ORC Club ratings for scoring. He said Key West works perfectly for his family as his wife and daughter can enjoy shopping and sightseeing while he is out on the water.
“I was looking for an event to do this winter and I was very excited when I found out about this new class that was being offered,” Mele said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to do the type of racing I enjoy at such an incredible venue. My crew is very enthusiastic about the regatta.”
For Mele it will be a real family affair: he is berthing Triple Lindy alongside a trawler owned by his wife’s cousin, and his 86-year-old father-in-law will be crewing aboard.
Besides taking advantage of the early entry discount, Mele’s entry fee will be discounted even further through a special promotion offered by the Storm Trysail Club for those who also choose to compete in the 41st annual Ft Lauderdale-Key West Race, which starts on Wednesday, January 13th and is co-organized by the Lauderdale Yacht Club. Entries in both events may deduct $5/foot from their Quantum Key West entry fee.
“Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West used to serve as a feeder for Key West Race Week and we would like to see that element revived,” said Race Committee Chairman Dick Neville. “Many of the boats that typically participate in that race are well suited to the Performance Cruising class we have initiated. We have given owners of those types of boats a reason to enter our regatta and we hope they respond. We will give them a different course each day and finish them near the harbor so they get back to the dock faster.”
Another owner interested in the Performance Cruising class is Ken Johnson, who said the new class and racing format are perfectly suited to the program on his C&C 121 Grateful Red. Johnson has been competing in Quantum Key West Race Week as a PHRF entry because he loves being part of the event, but said the offshore distance racing better suits his style.
“That’s what me and my crew love to do,” Johnson said. “My boat doesn’t really do well around-the-buoys. I applaud the Storm Trysail Club for coming up with something different that appeals to a different segment of sailboat racers.”
Johnson, a Wisconsin native, has cruised all over the world and often participated in races held out of numerous foreign ports, including the ORC World Championship in Cres, Croatia in 2011. He owns a slip at Conch Harbor and therefore has sailed in and out of Key West many times upon departure or return from various voyages.
“Coastal sailing around Key West is fun, interesting and beautiful,” Johnson said. “I would recommend anyone with a cruiser-racer design like mine to take advantage of this opportunity to do some distance racing out of Key West.”
Rod Johnstone of J/Boats fame has been coming regularly to Key West Race Week since its inception over two decades ago, and believes the advent of daily distance racing is a brilliant idea. J/Boats has been a loyal supporter and sponsor of the regatta, and thinks the Performance Cruising class can really take off.
“I think it’s an absolutely great idea. That’s the type of racing a lot of people like to do these days and there are so many boats out there that would fit perfectly into that class,” Johnstone said. He also thinks a well-appointed cruising boat would provide housing for its crew.
“I would think another good thing about this new class is that skippers don’t need to strip out their boats in order to do some distance racing.”
For more information and to enter 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week, visit www.keywestraceweek.com.
The link to the complete version of the Notice of Race is http://issuu.com/glpubs/docs/qkwrw2016_nor.
For more information on obtaining an ORC Club certificate, visit www.orc.org/clubapplication.
And for more information and to enter the 41st annual Lauderdale-Key West Race, visit www.keywestrace.org.