Gorgeous Bombay Sapphire Water Colors
(Key West, FL)- It’s not often that you sail in Key West Race Week and experience an equally spectacular second day in a row. The forecasters for the first time in years seemed to have gotten the first two days of wind/weather conditions right. Today’s sailing was again postcard conditions- sunny, puffy white clouds scudding across the sky, simply spectacular “bombay sapphire blue waters”, ESE winds blowing just 10 to 14 knots steady, with mildly oscillating-persistent shifts moving further SE all day long.
In a replay of the first day of racing, there were enough holes in the wind and shifts to both the right and left that no one single “formula” carried the day tactically. In fact, depending on the upwind and downwind legs, you could go left or right and make significant gains. What was prevalent were enormous wind streaks, if you could hook into them downwind, the gains were significant. Upwind it was a bit of a casino, or perhaps “Russian Roulette” for some boats.
Perhaps the best thing that took place for the fleet was that the two-race per day program starting an hour later than in the past was tossed out the window. After giving up a chance to have three races in superb conditions on Monday, the decision was made to start the fleet an hour earlier (the old time) and get in three races. Good call! All three courses got in three very good races and the fleet was still in by 1630 hours.
For the J/80s, it was incredibly tight racing with numerous position changes as they sought to divine the what the wind Gods were throwing at them during the course of the day. Rising to the challenge was the Glenn Darden/ Reese Hillard team on LE TIGRE, knocking out a strong 1-3-1 to be leading the fleet with only eight points! Sailing strongly are the SAIL Best Around Buoys Team, Ryan Glaze and the Scott’s from the famous lake yacht club, Rush Crush YC, in Dallas, Texas. Their 6-7-2 has kept them in contention for 20 points overall, but they have five teams breathing down their backs only three points behind them, collectively. Lying third is Mikael Lindqvist on ROCAD RACING from Sweden, his steady 4-4-6 kept them in contention for a total of 23 points. Fourth and fifth are tied with Chris and Liz Chadwick on CHURCH KEY leading the tie-break with a 2-2-5 record today for 26 pts and Ron Buzil on VAYU 2 with a 5-5-7 for 26 pts. Lurking just behind them are two very strong teams, including John Storck Jr on RUMOR in 6th with 27 pts and Brian Keane on SAVASANA with 30 pts.
In the PHRF One Division, the competition continues to heat up amongst the leaders. Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK continues to lead the fleet with a 3-3-1 for ten points. However, the winner of the day was Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH with an excellent showing of 2-1-2 for a total of fifteen points to climb into third position. Just behind in fourth with a 6-4-4 is Paul Stahlberg’s J/111 MENTAL for a total of nineteen points. Fifth is Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0 with a steady 5-5-5 for twenty-three points total.
Within the J/Division, TEAMWORK is leading with seven points. Sweetser’s RUSH leapt into second place after today’s excellent showing for a total of twelve points. Stahlberg’s MENTAL is third with fifteen points, Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0 is fourth and Gary Weisberg’s J/109 HEAT WAVE is fifth with twenty-six points.
In the PHRF Two Division, Gerrit Schulze sailed strongly on the J/105 MAX POWER to stay in the top five, a 5-4-4 fourth place. Ed Palm’s J/95 STILL CRAZY is hanging in for sixth place and Dave Whealon’s J/80 BOND—JAMES BOND are enjoying themselves and hanging in the top ten.
Making up for some of their magic they’ve showed in past Key West weeks, Jim Bishop and crew on the IRC Modified J/44 WHITE GOLD got a second in the second race of the day and are in a horse race for second place, just four points out.
Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- http://www.timwilkes.com
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