Change is in the air at the upcoming Quantum Key West Race Week, with the Storm Trysail Club, which has taken over management of the iconic event, introducing a new performance-cruising class to broaden its appeal.
In contrast to the other classes at Key West—which is renowned for drawing the world’s top boats and sailors—the cruising section will compete in just one race per day on courses that start near the harbor, have longer legs to enjoy some reaching and running, and finish back near the harbor for a short commute to the slip or mooring and, of course, the post-race party.
Races will also employ a pursuit format, in which each boat has its own start time, with the slower boats starting before the faster boats and victory going to whoever crosses the finish line first—an increasingly popular format that has met with great success across the United States in many cruising-oriented events, including the annual Figawi Race to Nantucket.
“This is a great way to invite families, couples and other more casual racers to bring their cruising boats to our event and enjoy all its features, both on and off the water,” says regatta director Bill Canfield, summing up the reasoning behind the new class. For more on this year’s Quantum Key West Race Week, which takes place in mid-January, visit keywestraceweek.com.
Photo courtesy of Ken Stanek