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Posts Tagged ‘Key West Race Week’

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It’s not much of a secret any more, but we might as well let you in on the news that Key West Race Week will be back on the schedule for 2016, thanks to a group of Storm Trysail Club vets and run by St. Thomas YC’s Bill Canfield.

Add this news to the various efforts sprouting throughout Florida to race to Cuba and/or rekindle the SORC, and we come to one conclusion: South Florida’s big boat racing scene might well be on the road to the kind of recovery that one-designs have already seen in Miami, Pensacola, and Davis Island.

We’re quite sure Key West is capable of being re-ignited, and we know Bill is smart enough to make it happen.  We also know the STC runs a damned good regatta up in Block Island. That said, this ain’t an easy one; it’s going to take an awful lot of hard work to bring life and credibility back to a regatta that spent the last decade throwing it all away.

Canfield runs one of the most respected regattas in the Caribbean, though he hasn’t been immune from the down numbers and sponsor flight seen throughout the caribbean over the past few years.  The STC continues to flirt with success, but many of their southern efforts have fallen flat.

There are two things Canfield and his crew have going for them. The first is the astonishing pent-up demand of sailors looking to go to Cuba, and the end of KW Race Week is the perfect excuse to race to Havana.  If the STC can lock up a Cuba Race (there are now three different groups exploring such a race in 2015/16), it will be a huge boon to Key West racing.  The second tool they have to grow the event is the fact that several high-profile classes really want to race it – classes like the TP52, GC32, and similar – though we think this doesn’t really help a more general regatta at all, and could in fact hurt it.

We expect an announcement from the new organizers soon, and the way they do it will give us all a clue on whether it will succeed.  Is it the same old crap, from the same old players? Or is it something new from a group that understands the world we live in today?

We sure do hope it is the latter.  America needs a great January regatta, and there aren’t that many places as good as Key West.

 

April 22nd, 2015 by admin

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GC32 Key West Race Week

Photojourno Jen Edney got her flight wings today on a trip out to the course for Quantum Key West Race Week, and got this beautifully playful shot of the Team Argo boys, who lead Flavio Marazzi by just a point after two races.  GC32s are doing a little reporting over here.

January 20th, 2015 by admin

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Stradbroke_plastic_Marine_Debris_2013

UPDATE:  In response to this story and the volume of emails received by Key West Race Week organizers, Amendment No. 1 (NOR 2.4) permitting elastic or wool bands for spinnakers has been withdrawn.  Kudos to all of you who reached out to them, and for Peter Craig for doing the right thing; it’s up to all of us to make sure our own regattas follow suit.  Even if you don’t take it seriously, note that the USCG does, and just one photo of a banded kite will land you a DSQ and a good chance of a nasty fine.  Your competitors aren’t going to let you get away with it either; if their hoists are tougher because of Rule 55, yours had better be, as well.  

Key West Race Week Chairman Peter Craig last week further cemented his reputation as the most out-of-touch race officer we know, issuing a NOR amendment that directly contradicts the kind of environmental responsibility so embraced by not only ISAF, US Sailing, the America’s Cup and basic common sense, but by dozens of the sport’s newest sponsors and supporters.

We’re talking about Craig’s amendment last week of Rule 55, the prohibition against tossing trash into the water that ISAF clarified earlier this year as including sail stops – rubber bands or wools. NOR Amendment No. 1 suspends this ban, specifically allowing both “elastic and wool bands” to be discarded into the pristine, federally-controlled No Discharge Zone of the Florida Keys.

There’s been plenty of discussion of Rule 55 already, but even the most pollution-loving dickbag would agree that tossing dozens of rubber bands into some of America’s most environmentally sensitive waters ain’t the right thing to do. And biodegradable wool stops are no solution at all; maybe suitable for racing out in the ocean, but a few dozen big boats just a couple of miles offshore throwing dozens of wool stops into the sea at every mark rounding is not only nasty for the reefs; it’s against both Federal and Florida Law, with major fines and penalties.   We’ve all seen the required pollution placards on our boats, specifically telling everyone that trash doesn’t go in the water; did you really think the laws that keep you from throwing coffee grounds or orange peels into the sea somehow allow you to toss rubber bands or rope strips into the same water? And what does the USCG think about all this? Is it really possible that KWRW included this info on their Marine Event Permit?

The biggest new source of sponsorship for the sport worldwide is coming from either clean energy/green manufacturing companies or businesses looking to associate themselves with the environmentally friendly image that sailing represents. And here comes Key Waste, screwing not only the reefs, but also the hundreds of events, classes, and organizations that have worked so hard to create awareness and educate sailors and the public on being good custodians of our playground on the water.

What do you think of this policy? Should we just tell the reefs, wildlife, EPA, and USCG to harden the fuck up, or does Key West Chairman Peter Craig need to man up and tell his competitors to learn to set a kite without training wheels? You can comment here, or e-mail the organizers here.

UPDATE:  SA’er dcsheb notes that other races aren’t much better; for instance, the Sydney-Hobart similarly alters Rule 55 to allow ‘banding/tying of spinnakers’, and while open ocean distance races may cause less environmental impact than buoy races next to coral reefs, we still don’t understand how, in this day and age, anyone thinks tossing rubber bands or synthetic fiber over the side is any different than a cigarette butt or a plastic wrapper.

 

December 30th, 2013 by admin

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The beautiful people (including former SCOTW Molly Baxter) pose for a drunken, blurry trophy pic after taking the overall Lauderdale to Key West Race victory aboard the Gunboat 62 Elvis - even with a rating some complain is a gift.  If the rest of the crew look familiar it’s because they’ve been frequent visitors to the front page as part of Jason Caroll’s Melges 32 Argo.  Argo never races Key West Race Week, though Caroll and crew say they love the 160 NM feeder race, and will do it again.  Bella Mente was first over the line, and first corrected monohull - results are here.

In the ‘other’ Key West event, numbers are down yet again in almost every class for yet another year, especially among the bigger boats; the handicap fleet loses another ten boats this year, with just 31 handicap racers in total – and that includes the TP52s, IRC, PHRF – everything.  Yet thanks to our friends at the green donut and the nutters at J/Boats who somehow managed to get 39 J/70s registered and delivered in just a few months, Quantum Key West continues to tick along on life support.  On a positive note, the HPR fleet is a nice new addition to the Grand Prix circuit (is there a Grand Prix circuit anymore?) and the Melges 24 is enjoying something of a rebound, while the Swan 42s have shown they are indeed physically capable of leaving the Northeast. Light air is forecast for the beginning of the week, and organizers claim to be doing some kind of live coverage…hey, how innovative!  Umm…maybe not.

Best place for daily results is here.  Best place to jaw about it; here.

 

January 21st, 2013 by admin

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