Best Around the Buoys Key West Blog

Keep up with Team Gringo, skipper Ryan Glaze and his Rockwell, Texas, based crew out of Rush Creek Yacht Club as they compete in the J/80 fleet during Quantum Key West Race Week 2012!
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Join us all week as we report from Key West Race Week, where the crew of Gringo will be racing aboard a brand new J/80, courtesy of SAIL's Best Around the Buoys contest. Check here daily for race reports, video and interviews from the Conch Republic. 

January 20, 2012

Quantum key west final results 

A sixth- and a third-place finish put Team Gringo in a solid sixth place out of 18 boats in the J/80 fleet as Quantum Key West Race 2012 comes to a close.


Although the first two days of the regatta saw the Texas-based BAB team of Ryan Glaze, Gray Rackley, and Max and Jake Scott in second place, the competition was nipping at their heels the entire time, and a couple of double-digit finishes on Thursday knocked them off the podium.

Congratulations are still in order, though, for a strong regatta aboard an unfamiliar boat in an extremely competitive class. In recent years, the J/80 has been experiencing a real resurgence in North America, and the class’s renewed strength was very much in evidence at Key West.

Glenn Darden and crew aboard Le Tigre won the class with an impressive 17 points. Throughout the week, Le Tigre never once finished lower than third. Swedish sailor Mikael Lindqvist aboard Rocad Racing took second with 35 points, while Ron Busil and Vaya 2 rounded out the top three. For complete results, click here

January 20, 2012

Quantum Key West Day 4 Results 

Day 4 began strong for the BAB team with a third, but then, in Ryan’s own words, Team Gringo went against its own “intuition,” i.e., to sail conservatively, and promptly ran into some trouble. The subsequent 10th- and 12th-place finishes dropped them to sixth overall with 45 points. Glenn Darden’s Le Tigre continues to set the pace, having finished in the top three spots in all eight races thus far. Mikael Lindqvist’s Rocad Racing is second with 32 points and Chris and Liz Chadwick’s Church Key is now in third.

Things first started unravel for Team Gringo on the second leg of the second race, when the boat got on the wrong side of a shift while sailing downwind. According to Ryan, Team Gringo rounded the first mark in fourth, but then, “It looked good to the right, so we went right, and then the left came in.”

In the third race, the team got a little overly aggressive again and was called over early at the start. By this time, the wind, which had topped out at around 14 knots on the day, began to go light, putting them in a hole that was just too deep to climb out of. “We were passing boats, but when you’re that far back it’s tough,” Ryan said.

Nonetheless, spirits remain high and two good races on Friday, could still earn our BAB team a podium finish. Not only does the team plan on “going for broke,” they plan to break out their signature camo sailing gear—a sure sign they mean business. 

January 19, 2012

Team Gringo Reflects on Day 4

January 19, 2012

Day 4 Update


Things were looking grim this morning after yesterday’s windless abandonment. But the wind came in out of the north-northeast as the fleet assembled, and after a short postponement to let things settle in, the J/80 fleet was off and running on the Division 3 circle. Barring any unforeseen meteorological developments, the fleet should get in three races no problem.

January 18, 2012

Day 3 Racing Abandoned

Racing has officially been abandoned for the day, and the plan is to get off to any early start tomorrow (Thursday) with an eye toward holding three races to get things back on track. The race committee made the announcement at 1300, after warning earlier in the day that the start had been postponed to 1430 at the earliest. No complaints from either the fleet or press corps—bobbing under a sweltering sky is nobody’s idea of fun! A light overcast has moved making it a nice afternoon for a stroll on Duval Street. 


January 18, 2012

Day 3 Weather Outlook


Looks like today (Wednesday) is going to be a hot and fairly calm day, as forecast. Hopefully the seas will lie down a bit to make things easier on the skippers and crews. Even Key West has its quiet days! Good thing the fleet got in an extra race yesterday. Tomorrow is supposed to be light as well, but stronger, with winds around 10 knots. Of course, it could be worse. While checking the weather I saw that it went down to 14 last night in Boston and won’t break 32 degrees!

January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Debrief with skipper Ryan Glaze

January 17, 2012

Day 2 at Quantum Key West 2012

It was a long day with some ups and downs for the BAB crew, but when it was all over they found themselves in an even more comfortable second place overall than the day before.


Conditions were a little lighter than Day 1, with easterly breezes of 10-15 knots, and still some chop. Belying the splendor of Key West’s aquamarine waters, the drifting weeds that has been noticeably absent in recent days was also back, causing the fleet to spend plenty of time backing down between races to make sure keels and rudders were clear. 

With a forecast for lights winds on Wednesday and Thursday, the race committee got things off to any earlier start and packed in a grueling three races, so the fleet is already halfway to a full 10-race regatta.

Team Gringo scored a sixth and a seventh in the first two races, but then rallied to take second in the final race of the day. They now have 20 points, putting them behind Glenn Darden’s Le Trigre, which is in first with eight points and ahead of the Mikael Lindqvist’s Rocad Racing, which is in third with 23 points.

Elsewhere in the fleet, there have been reports of a number of accidents, despite the moderate conditions. On Day 1, the bowman Keith Glynn from the Farr 40 Barking Mad went over the side in the second race of the day and had to be rescued by the support boat for the Mini Maxi Ran.

On Day 2, there were reports that before racing began a sailor fell while up the mast doing repairs and had to be airlifted to the mainland for medical treatment. Another sailor on another boat reportedly sustained serious injury to his hand out on the water and also had to be evacuated.

For complete results click here.

January 17, 2012

Strong Start for Team Gringo 

BAB winners Ryan Glaze, Gray Rackley, and Max and Jake Scott showed more of the same form that earned them a berth at Quantum Key West Race Week, taking a second and a third in the first day of racing on Monday.

?It was classic Key West Weather—Chamber of Commerce conditions—with 20-plus knots and lumpy whitecaps punctuating glowing turquoise waters under a sunny sky. Winds remained steady from the east throughout the day, although skipper Glaze described a 20-degree persistent shift to the right that required some adjustment as racing progressed.

?“The day was good. We’re really happy with our upwind speed,” Glaze said back at the dock. “We’ve still got a few crew-work issues left, but we’re working them out.”?

According to Glaze, the team was back in the fleet on a couple of occasions, but was able to pick off boats both up and downwind. With 5 points in all, team Gringo is currently in second place, 2 points behind Glenn Darden’s Le Tigre. Behind team Gringo are no fewer than four teams with 4 points: Mike Sudofsky’s Bob Dylan, Ron Buzil’s Vayu 2, Brian Keane’s Savasana and the Swedish team Rocard Racing with Mikael Lindqvist at the helm.

?“Every time we made a mistake we lost boats,” Glaze said, as a testament to the quality of the 19-boat J/80 fleet at this year’s regatta.?

Meanwhile, over with the grand prix boats in Circle 1, two-time Fastnet Race winner Ran took a pair of bullets in the Mini-Maxi class and the TP52 Quantum Racing finished first in both races in the IRC 52 class.

?The forecast for Tuesday, Day 2, is calling for partly sunny skies and 15-knots out of the east again. For complete results, click here.?

January 16, 2012

On-water Footage from Monday's Races

January 16, 2012

Let the Races Begin!


Plenty of wind to start off the 25th Annual Quantum Key West Race week, but a bit chilly. Team Gringo—Ryan Glaze, Gray Rackley, and Max and Jake Scott—came back to the dock yesterday afternoon plenty wet after a full afternoon of practice, and throughout Key West damp sailors could be seen making their way back to their hotel rooms.

Today’s forecast is for sun, temperatures in the low 70s and 15-20 knots of wind out of the east. Sunny with east winds of 10-15 knots tomorrow as well, so both the sailors and photographers should be happy. Right now it’s looking to go light as the wind shifts into the northeast later in the week, but only time will tell.

The registering is done, and there was a skippers’ meeting last night in front of Kelly’s Caribbean Bar & Grill to make sure everybody is on the same page. Harbor start today is at 1015, with racing scheduled to begin about an hour later.

Team Gringo and the rest of the 19-boat J/80 class will be racing on circle 3, with the Farr 30s, the two PHRF classes and the dedicated J/Boats class. The Melges 32s and 24s are no circle 2, with the Mini Maxis, Farr 40s IRC 52s and other big guys are on circle one. For a complete list of entries, click here. Good luck to everybody!

January 16, 2012

A First Look at the Best Around the Buoys Crew

January 12, 2012

So Long, Boston! We're off to Key West

January 11, 2012

A Q&A with Race Organizer Peter Craig


Big-time sailboat racing is an expensive proposition. So is delivering a boat—any boat—to Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the continental United States. Nonetheless, Quantum Key West Race Week, which takes place next week, January 15-20, endures, despite the repeated buffeting of economic headwinds. We recently caught up with regatta organizer Peter Craig, president of Premiere Racing Inc. to find out why. For the full Q and A, click here

January 9, 2012

Welcome to the Best Around the Buoys Blog


Even as I post this first installment of the 2012 Quantum Key West Race Week Best Around the Buoys Blog, there are dozens of boats and crews out on the road making their way toward the Conch Republic. With this year’s freakishly warm snow-free weather, road conditions should be a heck of a lot better than 2011, when the week before Key West saw the entire country pummeled with snow!

This year marks the 25th running of the southern classic, and while numbers remain down because of the economy—around 120 boats and crews are expected to take part in five days of racing between January 15-20—the quality of the field remains as high as ever.

This year also marks the second year of SAIL’s Best Around the Buoys program, in which we arrange for a winning one-design crew to enjoy a free regatta, with the help of industry partners J/Boats, Harken, Pettit, US Sailing, North Sails and Quantum Key West organizer Premiere Racing Inc.

Flying the BAB flag this year will be skipper Ryan Glaze and the Rockwall, Texas, based crew of the Melges 24 Gringo, which sails out of the Rush Creek Yacht Club on Lake Ray Hubbard. We’ll see how they do in the 19-fleet J/80 fleet.

Other fleets to watch at this year’s regatta include the Mini Maxi IRC 1 class—featuring Daniel Meyer’s Numbers and Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran, winner of the last two Rolex Fastnet races—and IRC 2, which is made up of no less than eight, top flight 52-footers, including Quantum Racing, winner of the 2011 Audi MedCup series.

As in years past, the Melges 32s and Melges 24s are well represented, as is the Farr 40 class, which took Key West 2011 off to facilitate its world championship regatta in Australia. This year also marks the arrival of SAIL magazine’s 2012 performance boat of the year, the Farr 400, which will sail as a five-boat one-design class.

Click on the following for more this year’s Quantum Key West Race Week, including the preliminary scratch sheet, Sailing Instructions with circles and courses, and general information



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