January 22, 2013

Strong Winds Challenge Crews at Quantum Key West 2013

Regatta News , Key West Race Week

There were a lot of weary bones, aching muscles and exhausted bodies over at
The Galleon Dock and Truman Annex on Tuesday afternoon. That’s because the
sailors on Division 2 of Quantum Key West 2013 completed three races on the
second day of the 26th annual regatta.

Competitors in the Melges 24, Melges 32 and J/70 classes were all hopeful of
having a 12-race series and Division 2 principal race officer Dave Brennan is trying
his best to comply. With northerly winds in the 12-16 knot range, Tuesday provided
a perfect opportunity to complete an extra race.
“It was a great day of sailing. The wind was fantastic and the race committee did a
superb job of giving us some quality racing,” Melges 24 skipper Brian Porter said.
Porter and the Full Throttle team are engaged in a good battle with Alec Cutler
and his crew on hedgehog at the top of the Melges 24 class, second-largest of the
regatta with 23 boats. Porter posted a solid line of 2-3-1 on Tuesday, but has not
been able to completely overcome a seventh suffered in Race 1 that resulted from a
poor start.
Cutler, a resident of Pembroke, Bermuda, won Tuesday’s first race and has also
posted three seconds in totaling 10 points – four better than Porter.
“We have good speed and so do they. It’s all about minimizing mistakes and right
now they are making fewer than we are,” Porter said. “Getting off the line is huge in
this fleet and we’ve had a couple rough starts.”
J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 38 boats and features
several top-notch sailmakers such as Kerry Klingler, Tim Healy and Dave Ullman.
However, an upstart team of recent college graduates is leading the fleet after two
days and five races.
Brothers Cole and James Allsopp grew up sailing together before heading off to
College of Charleston and the Naval Academy, respectively. Cole is driving while
James is handling the bow aboard Moxie, which closed with a fourth and third on
Tuesday to overtake Ullman, the Day 1 leader.
“I can’t say enough about the crew work. I’m not starting very well, but those guys
are bailing me out,” said Cole Allsopp, who has former College of Charleston
teammates Zeke Horowitz and Brendan Healy aboard as tactician and trimmer.
“Brendan is really dialed in on making the boat go fast, Zeke has been putting us in
the right places while James does an amazing job of trimming the chute.”
Cole Allsopp said Moxie was among the last boats to come off the start line in
Race 5, but managed to fight through the fleet to third place. “We are catching boats
around the corners and passing boats all around the track,” he said.
Bombarda holds a narrow one-point lead over Mascalzone Latino in the Melges
32 class after both Italian entries won races on Tuesday. Skipper Andrea Pozzi took
up the sport of sailing just over a year ago and is doing only his second regatta with
the current crew on Bombarda, which features two talented professionals in
tactician Lorenzo Bressani and trimmer Frederico Michetti.
“Lorenzo is doing a really good job of calling the shifts while Andrea is driving very
well,” Michetti said. “In such a small fleet, it’s almost like match racing. The racing is
really difficult tactical-wise, especially with the wind changing so much in both
direction and intensity.” Continued…
Strong Winds Challenge Crews at Quantum Key West 2013 continued
There has been considerable trading of places in Farr 40 class, which has six well-sailed boats. Jim Richardson steered
Barking Mad to a second and third on Tuesday to take the lead away from John Demourkas and Groovederci. Skipper
Wolfgang Schaefer has Struntje Light in second place, two points behind Barking Mad and just one ahead of Groovederci.
“Our fleet may be small in numbers, but the boats that are here are high, high quality,” Barking Mad tactician Terry
Hutchinson said.
Barking Mad was named Lewmar/Navtec Boat of the Day by virtue of winning the close competition atop the Farr 40
fleet. Hutchinson noted that all four races have been won by boats that did not lead at the first weather mark.
“Our boat-handling was better today than yesterday, which it needed to be,” Hutchinson said. “We started the boat well
and were very fast upwind. We’re not so great downwind so that is something we need to work on.”
Ran, a Swedish entry skippered by Niklas Zennstrom, made a strong move in IRC 2 (52 Class) by posting a first and a
second on Tuesday. British professional Adrian Stead is calling tactics on Ran, which jumped from fourth to first in the
overall standings with 10 points. Azzurra, the Argentina entry skippered by Alberto Roemmers, is two points astern in
second after winning the fifth race.
“In this fleet, it’s about making the fewest mistakes as possible and we have sailed rather cleanly,” said Zennstrom, a
Swedish native who is co-founder of Skype. “Our maneuvers have been solid and our tactics have been strong. This is
our third season in the Super Series and we are getting to know the boat and how to sail it.”
It’s a match race situation in IRC 1 with 72-footers Bella Mente and Shockwave engaged in a heavyweight fight. Skipper
George Sakellaris (Framingham, Mass.) and the Shockwave team got the better of things on Tuesday, winning both
races. Upon returning to the dock, Bella Mente skipper Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn.) stood up and applauded
“We’re having a lot of fun racing against Bella Mente. The boats are evenly matched, both in terms of performance and
crew work,” said Sakellaris, who has legendary sailmaker Robbie Doyle as tactician. “I think it’s good training for both
North Sails professional Steve Benjamin and his crew aboard the Carkeek 40 Spookie have dominated the High
Performance Class, winning two races in moderate breeze on Monday and two more in heavier air on Tuesday. Decision,
a newer and lighter version of the Carkeek 40, has finished second in three of those starts.
There’s a new leader in Swan 42 class as Apparition jumped all the way from sixth place after winning Race 5 and
taking second in Race 4, both in photo finishes according to skipper Ken Colburn. Hoss (Philip Williamson, Forth Worth,
Texas) and Arethusa (Philip Lotz, Newport, RI) are tied for second, one point behind Apparition (Dover, MA).
“There were lots of changes of leads and the key was to be patient and play the shifts,” Colburn said. “Positions kept
changing as the fleet would split and get back together. Our team did a great job overcoming a lost jib halyard at the start
of the first race, which was an ominous way to begin the day.”
Teamwork has posted two bullets and two seconds in building a four-point lead in PHRF 1. Skipper Robin Team only
does three regattas per year, but always has his J/122 well prepared and sailed by a well-oiled team.
“We’re fast and the crew work has been impeccable. We’re going really well both upwind and downwind,” said
Teamwork tactician Jonathan Bartlett, a North Sails pro. “Robin is quite amazing for someone who doesn’t get a lot of
practice with starts and mark roundings. He’s just incredibly skilled considering the small amount of time he races.”