Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT took line honors in the 2009 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race with an elapsed time of 13 hours, 56 minutes and 05 seconds. Averaging 11.4 knots of boat speed, the international crew crossed the line at 3:01:05 just off the Southernmost City on January 15 after completing the 160-nautical-mile sprint. Organized by SORC Management, which includes members of the Storm Trysail Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club, the 34th annual race started off of Port Everglades on Wednesday, January 14, and ran along the Florida Keys with a fleet of 46 boats spread acorss IRC, PHRF, Multihull and one-design classes.
“This victory was very important to Roger and me,” said Isobel Sturgeon (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). “We have won regattas around the world, Key West Race Week, SORC in Miami, New York (Yacht Club) Regatta, Rolex Big Boat Series, etc. Roger has won the Transpac, Newport to Bermuda, Rolex Sydney Hobart and others all on his first try, but this race kept out of our reach. This was Roger’s third or fourth try, and the race is sponsored by our own yacht club: Lauderdale Yacht Club. The perpetual trophies are beautiful, but never had “Rosebud” on them. Now, winning it together, we will be able to look in the trophy case and see “Rosebud/TeamDYT” on the trophy on every visit to the club and show it to our family and friends. This means a lot to us. I can’t say it means more than any other victory, but seeing your name on a perpetual trophy in your own club is very important and rewarding.”
The race was described as “incredible” by Sturgeon, with cool weather, winds from 10 knots at the start to 18 knots for most of the night. “The boat performed beautifully,” said Sturgeon. “The redesigned keel and bulb as well as the newly faired rudder helped our performance improve by 10%! That’s amazing for a sailboat.”
This was Isobel Sturgeon’s first overnight race. “I have sailed overnight a number of times. But cruising overnight with some friends when you can have a nice meal accompanied with alcohol and racing an STP65 with 12 very competitive men on rations for four days are two different things!
“Everyone on the crew got along and spirits were always good. Naturally, this is easier when we horizon our competition, but we never knew we were winning because under the handicap system we had to be first to finish to just be in the game. As it turned out, we beat the second placed boat by a corrected time of 50 minutes! SWEET!”
In addition to line honors and overall IRC winner, Rosebud/Team DYT captured victory in IRC A class. This race is first on the calendar of 2009 Gulf Stream Series.
Overall victory in PHRF went to L’Outrage, a Benetau 34 owned by Bruce Gardner (Annapolis, Md.). “It is great to see a small, 34-foot boat win overall in its class,” said Race Chairman and Principal Race Officer Joel Bowie. “Hopefully his victory might inspire other local sailors with 30- to 40-foot boats to join in the fun next year.”
Trevelyan, a Corsair 28cc owned by Richard Stephens (Trumansburg, N.Y.) was first in Multihull Class B and First Overall in Multihulls with an elapsed time of 17 hours, 20 minutes and 42 seconds. (In 2007, Steve and Scott Liebel’s Custom 60 Stars and Stripes turned in the multihull record of 8 hours 31 minutes and 4 seconds.)
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CHARLESTON – Last Friday, Charleston-based racing yachts finished with some of the most impressive scores in the entire fleet at 2008 Key West Race Week. In PHRF 2, Will Hanckel helmed his J/120
“Emocean” to 7 straight first-place finishes in 8 races to win his class by 13 points, while Robert Hibdon’s SR-33 “Temptress” scored 7 bullets to handily win the PHRF 3 class. “We’re a crew of ex-college sailors who all grew up racing against each other, and our communication level is near-perfect on board,” Hanckel explained. “We sailed fast in Key West, though we were a little surprised to have had so many top finishes. We’re really looking forward to Charleston Race Week, where we know the competition will be at least as strong as we saw in Florida.”
The crew of “Temptress” echoed Hanckel’s thoughts. “While Key West presents significant challenges to all handicap racers, Charleston Race Week is, mathematically, a tougher regatta to win,” said Henry McCray, tactician aboard the winning SR-33 and 7-time Fireball North American and National
Champion. “The fleet splits in Charleston ensure that PHRF racers compete against somewhat more diverse designs and larger fleets than we see at any other winter event.” With 96 boats entered as of this morning, a record 40 of them newcomers to Charleston Race Week, 2008 should see some of the most competitive PHRF racing ever, with great prizes, including valuable Raymarine electronics, awarded to top performers.
STRONG ONE-DESIGN PRESENCE EXPECTED
Once again, one-design classes will produce great action, both inside the harbor and on the ocean courses. The Viper 640 sportboat will race its first-ever Charleston event as a one-design class, and with an astonishing 11 boats already registered, racing should be very tight in this hot class. J/105, J/80, and J/24 teams continue to show their appreciation for Charleston’s main event with strong registration numbers for these one-designs for 2008. With the Melges 24 US National Championship set to return to Charleston waters in September, these sportboat racers are taking advantage of Charleston Race Week to hone their skills in preparation for one of the biggest events on their annual calendar. The harbor course presents some of the most challenging conditions of any venue in the US, and local knowledge is at a premium. “We’ve got incredibly diverse conditions,” said Ward Cromwell, former college All-American and head coach of the College of Charleston’s high-ranked sailing team. “Frontal systems and sea breeze create lots of shifts, while current lines and eddies make tactical
decisions especially important.” Cromwell also commented on the College of Charleston’s influence on local sailing: “Many of our out-of-state students stay in Charleston after graduation, and quite a few C of C Alumni move into yacht racing,” he said. “This helps raise the overall level of Charleston-area racing teams.”
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LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Jim Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti grabbed an IRC trifecta in the 33rd annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race: first to finish, first in IRC class A and first for IRC overall on corrected time. Forty three of the forty nine entered boats started shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, and Kilroy charged in before midnight after the 160-mile reach. Organized by SORC Management, which includes members of the Storm Trysail Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club, the race stretched from Port Everglades to Key West Harbor. Along the way, navigators had to “connect-the-dots“ to keep the fleet between all major Florida Keys markers and the Gulf Stream. Entrants, in two classes for IRC, four for PHRF and two for Multihull, ranged in size from a 76′ catamaran to two 21′ mini Transats, but it was Kilroy’s 52-foot TP52 that stole the show. (more…)