Friday, January 22, 2010

Key West Race Week- Day 5- Gorgeous Finale

SAVASANA Wins J/105s, LE TIGRE gets J/80s, STARK RAVING MAD Dominates PHRF A
(Key West, FL- Jan. 22)- This year's Key West Race Week was certainly one of the nicest sailing weeks in recent memory.  After the tropical downpours on Sunday, Monday dawned with gorgeous weather, nice winds that would prevail for the week.  Despite a gloomy Tuesday, the wind, sun and conditions provided competitors with a variety of shifty, streaky winds that would make it challenging for any sailor to get around the race track without making significant mistakes. 

On the Division 1 course,  David Murphy's J/122 PUGWASH sailed well in IRC2 to finish third. The light air and large wind streaks wreaked havoc on the fleet on the last day.  If you got caught out on some of them upwind or downwind, the speed differences were simply too enormous to overcome any lost distance.  As a result, Robin Team's J/122 TEAMWORK and Jim Bishop's J/44 GOLD DIGGER had unusually variable performances to finish out of the running.

The Division 2 course with J/105s and J/80s had competitive racing for the entire week.   However,  for the J/105s, it was Brian Keane's SAVASANA that simply sailed off with the series lead after Tuesday.  However, the next three places from second to fourth were completely wide open going into the last two races on Friday.  Essentially, a three-way tie existed between Ken Colburn's GHOST, Scooter Simmons BLACKHAWK and Damian Emery's ECLIPSE.  Whoever prevailed on Friday's light air would determine the pecking order.  Ultimately, Ken Colburn on GHOST finished second and Scooter Simmons finished third. 

The J/80 Midwinters concluded with Glen Darden on LE TIGRE barely hanging on to win by one point over Rod and Jeff Johnstone on board LITTLE FEAT.  In fact, going up the last windward and downwind leg, the Johnstones were winning the regatta (they got two firsts on Friday) because Glen and team were lying in sixth place.  However, LE TIGRE passed just one more boat to eliminate the losing tie-breaker scenario and won the regatta.  Third place went to Will Welles RASCAL with much improved Al Minella's team on RELENTLESS finishing fourth and current NA/ past World Champion Kerry Klingler sailing LIFTED finishing fifth. You can read more about what's happened during the J/80 Midwinters by reading Chuck Allen's Sailing World blog at

The Stock Island located Division 3 course for PHRF boats saw great performances from the J/125 and J/109.  In PHRF 1, Jim Madden's J/125 STARK RAVING MAD sailed away with PRHF A with eight bullets, winning class with a seventeen point lead!   

In PHRF 2, Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH sailed extremely well but two fourths earlier in the series hurt their chances to win class overall, losing by just one point with a 2-1 finish on Friday.

In PHRF 3,  the three J/24s had a fun week.  Mark Milne's BLAH BLAH BLAH finished second and just behind was Naroski/LeBlanc's NOJOE in third.  For regatta information and sailing results, please go to: