Ryan Glaze and the Texas-based crew of the Melges 24 Gringo won SAIL’s 2nd annual Best Around the Buoys (BAB) competition, earning them free entry in the J/80 class at Quantum Key West Race Week 2012, January 15-20.
Glaze and company beat out approximately 80 other entries based on their one-design record in 2011. Among other successes, the crew, which includes Ryan’s wife, Jana, and brothers Max and Jake Scott, took first in the Melges 24 Black Tie Regatta, first in the Texas Independence Day Regatta and first in the Melges 24 class in the Rush Creek Yacht Fleet Championship series.
Ryan and Jana, who are both members of the Rush Creek YC, located on Lake Ray Hubbard just northeast of Dallas, also took first in the Vanguard 15 class in the Galveston Bay Championship Regatta and 8th out of 30 at the Vanguard 15 NAs.
Ryan first got into sailing at the age of 8, when his father decided to buy a Catalina 27 for his 40th birthday. He and the Scott brothers all grew up together on Lake Ray Hubbard and have sailed together on everything from Optis to Laser 2s, J/22s and the J/105 Ray sailed before he bought Gringo.
“Max, Jake and I have special bond. Not only did we grow up sailing together, we grew up doing everything together…from playing football or basketball in the driveway as kids [to being] groomsmen in each others weddings,” Ray says. “We all love to race sailboats, and we love racing with each other even more.”
Ryan describes Quantum Key West Race Week as a “bucket list regatta” he’s long been interested in. “Beautiful location, great atmosphere and even better competition: it says something about an event when a boat owner sets his build schedule for a custom racer based on getting there in time for Key West Race Week, or teams pull together their resources in order to be a part of it year after year.”
As the winning crew of this year’s BAB contest, the Gringo crew will receive free use of a J/80 from J/Boats with a race-ready bottom from Pettit Paint and a new set of canvas from North Sails. Harken will outfit the crew in full racing kit, while Quantum Key West Organizer Premier Racing will provide accommodations and waive all entrance fees. Additional support will be provided by US Sailing. In 2011, the Cleveland-based crew of the J/105 it took first place in their division racing the J/111 Kontiki V in the inaugural BAB, so the pressure is on.
Meanwhile, for those handicap racers interested in getting in on the fun, SAIL and its industry sponsors have expanded this year’s BAB program to include Charleston Race Week, April 19-23, in which a winning PHRF crew will get free use of a new Beneteau Oceanis 37. Click here for details.