Although numbers remain down from the event’s pre-recession heyday, Quantum Key West Race Week 2013 will undoubtedly go down as one of the strongest in the event’s long history. The combination of solid wind throughout and a fleet replete with top boats and sailors made for exceptional racing from start to finish.
Highlights included an impressive nine boats in the newly created, super-hot High-Performance (HPR) Class, seven boats in a Swan 42 one-design section and a whopping 39 boats in the J/70 class. In fact, nearly one out of every three boats in this year’s event was a J/70—a testament to the runaway success of this recently launched sportboat design.
Winning the HPR class—which caters to all-out racers, as opposed to those rules that factor in things like crew accommodations when determining ratings—was Stephen Murray’s Carkeek 40 Decision, which posted firsts and seconds almost exclusively throughout the week. Coming out on top in the J/70 class was Tim Healy’s Helly Hansen, which edged out Brian Kean’s Savasana by just four points.
Other standouts included Brian Porter aboard Full Throttle, who won the 23-boat Melges 24 class—always a fun class to watch at Key West—and Ken Colburn’s Apparition, which won the Swan 42 section.
“This is the best feeling I’ve ever had after a regatta. We’ve been coming to Key West since 1998 and winning here has long been on our list of goals,” said Decision’s Murray. “To me, this is the premier event in North America. Of all the regattas we’ve won over the years, this one stands out because of the history and tradition. It means a lot to be able to say you won Key West.”
For complete results, visit premiere-racing.com
Photos courtesy of Chris Odom/KWRW