February 3rd, 2012
Quantum Key West 2012
from John Gluek, DIMENSION-POLYANT US
The 2012 US sailing season opened with 116 boats racing in Key West under perfect sailing conditions on 3 open race courses. Sailors from around the world came to race this prestigious event which looks to be on the rebound as the premiere site to race against the best in the US. Division 1 saw a competitive turn out of a 3 boat Mini Maxi class, a very strong 8 boat contingent representing the TP52, which included current World Champion Doug DeVos, and the return of the popular Farr 40 after an absence from last year’s event due to a World Championship conflict. Rounding out this division was the inaugural Farr 400 One-Design fleet and a mixed single start IRC fleet of standard IRC raters with a subdivision of an IRC Sport Class.
Division 2 was strictly Melges Class boats where the competition is always strong. John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti was Boat of the Week representing the Melges 32 class, while former US Sailor of the year Bora Gulari dominated the Melges 24. Looking ahead for 2013 will be the addition the new Melges 20 Class which has shown great growth potential. Division 3 rounded out the event with Farr 30, a large fleet of J80’s and the PHRF 1 and 2 classes.
Course management was exceptional as always, running the three divisions and completing all 10 races despite losing a day to no wind. Besides sailing a regatta at a world class level, the series gives everyone the opportunity to see what is new for the coming year in sailing technology. As shown by the class breakdowns, One-Design racing is taking the lead in sailing growth in the US and showing good strength in numbers for turnouts at major events. Charleston Race Week is next on the list in April with event organizers looking at around a 300 boat turnout due to simplicity of travel and cost of location.