|January 21st, 2014
Squally, Windy Day Two for Key West
(Key West, FL)- Rain squalls and dramatic wind shifts couldn't put a damper on the competition during Day 2 at Quantum Key West 2014. Multiple storm bands that were quite severe at times challenged the race committees and forced delays. Ultimately, perseverance and patience paid off as Division 1 completed a race while Divisions 2 and 3 got in two each.
"We were seeing massive wind shifts - pre-squall and post-squall. The breeze went in a circle for a while," said Ken Legler, veteran principal race officer. "We had to move the signal boat a couple times and once we got a race going we had to move the weather mark a couple times."
Boat-handling was at a premium on Division 2 as the sixty boat strong J/70 class was buffeted by the big breeze. Skipper James Allsopp and his team on Moxie showed tremendous skill and strategy in winning both races in J/70, largest class of the regatta with 60 boats. Former College of Charleston sailor Zeke Horowitz was on his game calling tactics on Moxie, which led after the first day of racing last year as well.
"We went out there with a plan and we stuck with it. Everything just kind of came together for us today," said Allsopp, who competed collegiately at the Naval Academy. "We got off the line well in both races and did a good job of managing the shifts. We had a good time today."
The top five boats in the J/70 class are quite close with just ten points separating them. Anything goes in this closely fought class of world-class competitors. While Moxie may have been dialed in on day one, the next three day’s racing will change the complexion of the top ten quite significantly. Running second just five points back is Peter Vessella’s RUNNING WILD with a 3-4 for 7 points. Third is Brian Keane’s SAVASANA with a 5-3 for 8 pts, followed by Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE in fourth with an 8-2 for 10 pts and fifth is Tim Molony’s JOUST with a 4-8 for 12 pts.
Principal race officer Wayne Bretsch and his team on Division 3 worked overtime to get in two races, staying on the water until after 5 p.m. Vayu2, the defending regatta champ skippered by Ron Buzil of Chicago, got the gun in Race 3 after placing second in Race 2 and leads J/80 class by seven points. Second with a 4-4-3 tally is Bob & Cheryl Howard’s BLUE JAY and lying in third are John Storck’s RUMOR with an 8-3-2 for 13 pts.
There is a nice duel shaping up in PHRF 2 with a pair of J/111 entries - Team Fireball (Eddie Fredericks, Annapolis) and Spaceman Spiff (Rob and Ryan Ruhlman, Cleveland, Ohio) tied with seven points after three races. Team Fireball holds the overall lead by virtue of two bullets. Jim Madden’s STARK RAVING MAD IV is lying third with a 3-1-7 tally for 11 pts.
Skipper Bill Sweetser and the Rush crew extended their lead in PHRF 2 by posting a second and a first on Tuesday. Rush is six points ahead of fellow J/109 Heat Wave (Gary Weisberg, Gloucester, Mass.).
Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal
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