Grand Finale for Key West Race Week
Published on January 20th, 2017
Key West, FL (January 20, 2017) – By winning the final race of the highly competitive 52 Super Series and with it the class championship, Doug De Vos’ (Ada, MI) Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week hosted by the Storm Trysail Club.
Quantum Racing was placed sixth in the pro-laden class at mid-week, 8 points off the lead, but battled back with a 2-1-1 over the final three races to claim the victory by 6 points over Harm Müller Speers’ Platoon from Germany, the early series leader.
The coveted Boat of the Week trophy came down to the 52 Super Series and J/70 Class, but ultimately was awarded to Quantum Racing. “Based on the closeness of the racing from start to finish, the 52 Super Series is the most competitive class we’ve ever had at race week,” said Division 1 Principal Race Officer Ken Legler, who’s been coming to race week for 23 years.
“Thanks to Terry (Hutchinson, tactician, Annapolis, MD) and the Quantum Racing crew for all the great work that they’ve done,” said De Vos, who previously won the award in 1997. “I want to thank and congratulate each and every competitor for making our sport special. What they do every day, the fact that they’re here participating takes the sport of sailing forward. It wouldn’t happen without the organizers at the Storm Trysail Club and we’re grateful for what they’ve done.
“It was a spectacular week. The conditions were wonderful and the competition was as tough as always,” De Vos continued. “Every year Key West Race Week has the greatest competition we can offer at this time of the year in the U.S. There’s a wonderful mix of competitors from all different backgrounds who love our sport. For me, that’s the best thing. They love our sport. They spend a lot of time and effort to come here. To be Boat of the Week is very special.”
The Corinthian Boat of the Week was awarded to Rob Britts’ (Tierra Verde, FL) Hot Mess, which finished 15th in the J/70 Class.
The Sailing World Youth Trophy, for the crew with the youngest average age, was presented to Gannon Troutman’s (Gloucester, VA) Pied Piper, which placed 12th in the J/70 Class.
The Storm Trysail Club’s Contribution to the Sport of Sailing Trophy was presented to Division 2 Principal Race Officer Dave Brennan (Miami, FL). “Brennan has been a race officer at race week for 17 years and brings his own village, boats and all,” said event chairman John Fisher, a past commodore of the Storm Trysail Club. “This year he drove back and forth to Miami on three separate occasions to deliver boats. He is 100 percent a volunteer.”
Race week was more than just the action on the water. All shoreside activities were held at the Waterfront Brewery, which was a gracious host. The nightly debriefs and panel discussions covered a host of topics pertinent to the sport. Morning weather briefings with Ed Adams (presented by Quantum Sails and Gowrie Group) got everyone ready for the day’s racing. The daily prize-giving ceremonies gave all winners a chance to vogue for the camera.
The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete 10 or 12 races, all as scheduled. The Performance Cruising Class also completed five races, as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy southeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging around to a light southerly for today’s conclusion. Many sailors felt the conditions were “typical of Key West Race Week” and they complemented the race committee’s judgment.
“The race committee work this week was very good,” said Peter Colby (North Kingstown, RI), the North American Service Manager for North Sails and mainsail trimmer on the J/111 Velocity. “Yesterday we had the harbor delay and as a racer you get it in your head that racing’s going to be blown off. Then when they took us out there I wasn’t sure it’d be good racing, but it was. We had two good races yesterday that were part of a great week of sailing. The race committee got it right this week.”
Tim Healy’s (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes won the J/70 Class, the largest class at race week. New England Ropes finished 11 points ahead of Marty Kullman’s (St. Petersburg, FL) second-placed New Wave, which won a tiebreaker for second over Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network from Italy. Calvi Network, the series leader through 10 races, stumbled in the final two races, placing 22-12.
Phil Haegler’s Cloud Nine of Brazil, the winner of the final race in the J/70 Class, won the Quantum Sails Boat of the Day trophy.
In the ORC Class, J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) fended off Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m) for the victory. The 40-footer and 33-footer, respectively, were separated by 1 point at the beginning of today but Second Star defeated High Noise by 2 seconds on corrected time to secure a 2-point victory.
Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key won the J/111 Class for a second consecutive year with the low score of 25 points. Skeleton Key won today’s race to score a 6-point victory over Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff.
Nigel Brownett’s (Long Beach, CA) Hogfish Racing wrapped up the Flying Tiger 7.5m Class with its 8th win in 10 races for the low score of 14 points.
Two class winners – Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 in the C&C 30 One-Design and Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks in the J/88 Class – had such large leads that they didn’t have to race today.
Todd Stuart’s (Key West, FL) White Rhino (Swan 56) won the Performance Cruising Class with five first-place finishes, and Phil Lotz’ (Newport, RI) Arethusa (Gunboat 60) won the Multihull Class.
The next major event for the Storm Trysail Club is Block Island Race Week, scheduled June 18-23 off the coast of Rhode Island. For more information, visit the event website.
Source: Storm Trysail Club