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.