Force 5 Race Week & Midwinter Champs
Published on February 23rd, 2019
The 24th edition of the Force 5 Race Week and Midwinter Championships was held February 19-23 in Key Largo, Florida. Thirty-eight competitors from Canada, and the Midwest, East Coast, and Southeast of the USA enjoyed ideal Keys sailing on the sparkling clear waters of Buttonwood Sound with winds ranging from 10-15 knots out of the east-southeast.
The 2019 Nest Key Race was won by Jason Breeden of the Bloomington (IN) Yacht Club. This race is dash from the Upper Keys Sailing Club to an island in Florida Bay after which the participants enjoyed tropical libations ashore. The 2019 DoubleHanded Championship was won by Tom/Pat Welsh from the Thames (CT) Yacht Club, with Andrea Hill/Dennis Hendel in 2nd from the LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club (Canada), and in 3rd place Shelby Hatcher/Pat Crowe from the Atlanta (GA) Yacht Club.
The 2019 Midwinter Championship in the standard rig fleet saw a duel between former winners Mark Allen of the Pontiac (MI) Yacht Club and Fred Meno IV from the Ft. Worth Boat Club/New York Yacht Club with Allen prevailing. In 3rd place was Tom Welsh of the Thames (CT) Yacht Club followed in 4th by Bob Cullen of the Lake Hayward Remedial Sailing Consortium. In 5th was Doug Kinser from the Bloomington (IN) Yacht Club.
The short rig fleet was won by the regatta’s “most mature” skipper Rich Baumann (77) from the Hunterdon (NJ) Sailing Club with local sailor Tom Trump from the Upper Keys Sailing Club in 2nd and Patrick Passafiume in 3rd from the Louisville (KY) Sailing Club.
PRO for the 2019 regatta was Mike Catalano of Miami, a former Force 5 sailor and part of the original design team for the boat.
Source: Tom Trump, Upper Keys Sailing Club