Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The End: Key West Race Week Wrap Up

Appropriate.
We think their sticker is pretty awesome too.
Another year, another Key West! Full of smiles and tans, Matt F., Warren R., and Lynn B. returned to APS, recalling their 2012 Key West Race Week.  Stories of sunshine, warm temperatures and great racing filling up our Monday morning.

The Conch Republic treated them well, with Matt F. placing 3rd on the Farr 30 Mummbles, Warren R. on the Beneteau 10M, L'Outrage, winning PHRF 2.  Photos of their boats are provided by Photoboat.  Lynn B. was also there, catching many days out of the water photographing the Melges fleet, where her team was racing. 

Here are their reports...

Warren:

Well, I am back from another fantastic year in Key West, but this year it seemed even more special. It’s always an awesome time; the competition is great, the weather is amazing, and there is no place I would rather be in the third week of January than with some of my best sailing friends than in Key West.

We opened the week with a bullet, setting a fantastic tone for the week, and sailed to a second in the next race to put us tied on points for the first day, with three.  Tuesday we posted a 2-1-2, good for a second for the day.

The forecast was pretty light for Wednesday, and after two extensions of postponement, racing was canceled for the day which allowed our team to relax and see some of town.   After a relaxing dinner at the house, we were very ready for the three scheduled races on Thursday. 

Thursday brought moderate breeze, and with great crew work and excellent tactical positioning, we were able to reel off three straight bullets. This set us up for a finale on Friday with two races scheduled. With a first and a second, we were able to seal the deal and sail in as winners.

The feeling is great to win such a prestigious event against some of the best competition in the world, and I would like to thank my skipper Bruce and the whole team on L’Outrage for an unforgettable week! 


Matt:
Well, now here I am, sitting in my desk in Annapolis, wearing a sweater to try to stay warm and regretting shaving my beard halfway through last week (it seemed like a good idea when it was 80 degrees out, I promise).

On Friday after racing we derigged the boat as we sailed back in, with the kite up so we could be hauled out as soon as possible. With a lot of help from the entire crew we dropped the mast and tied the boat down, all before sunset. We had celebrated one last night in town on Friday and then got on the road first thing Saturday, arriving in Annapolis on Sunday morning to 29 degrees and 1” of ice and snow on the ground.

Untying the boat on Sunday morning, I lost feeling in my hands because I still wearing flip flops and only had a sweatshirt on, but so it goes.   I shouldn’t really complain; Warren,  Lynn and I are all sporting newly acquired tans while the rest of the company is still diligently working to pick up the slack left by us (THANKS GUYS!).

Overall, my experience in Key West was a good one. I’m glad I had the opportunity to sail (Thanks Brad), even though my credit card might think otherwise.

The atmosphere was great, the regatta parties were great; it was just an all around blast. I already heard rumors there will be a Quantum Key West 2013 and look forward to the opportunity to go down to the Conch Republic once again and enjoy a mudslide or three and of course some competitive sailboat racing in the middle of January. 

For as much fun as I was having on and off the water, and as competitive as the racing was I couldn’t help but continually think to myself what Key West must have been like when they were getting total boats in 200 and even 300 range.   112 boats are all fine and good, but it would be nice to get some numbers back and see Key West as it once was…maybe next year.

Lynn:
Last, but not least, a few images from our Melges (and more) photographer, Lynn.








It's not all sailing in Key West... it's sunsets and manatees too!


Thanks APS Staffers for giving us an sneak peak at KWRW 2012.  Now, back to work!  






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