New designs include the Club Swan / NYYC 42, which will likely have
a one design start here next year. Three new IRC designs (R/P 45
Sjambok, Rogers 46 Yeoman 32, and the Ker 50
Magic Glove) and John Kilroy’s new Botin & Carkeek designed TP52
Samba Pa Ti will test one another in IRC 2. The new Beneteau
10R and J/92s make their debut with enough entries for one design
TV and Internet Productions will
bring the racing excitement right into homes and offices around the
world. Acura is sponsoring a special daily internet production which
will be available nightly on the
official event web site and
ESPN.com. Additionally a
special Jobson Sailing production will be aired on ESPN 2, Sunday
March 11 at 1:30 PM EST.
Division 1 (Farr 40 - Melges 32 - Mumm 30)
and Division 3 (Melges 24 - J/105 - J/80) will be exclusively one
design affairs. Division 2 will host the 3 IRC classes and two
fastest PHRF sections. Division 4 has a one design (Corsair 28R –
J/109) and handicap (PHRF 3-6) mix. Here’s a preview of the racing
action and some of the boats to watch.
will race under this international rating system.
The IRC 1 class
features a Porto Cuervo Swan 601
re-match with Moneypenny, Artemis, Spirit of Jethou
and Cuordileone going
head to head again. Russell Coutts, back with Artemis, is looking to
turn the tables on Swan Rolex Cup winner Moneypenny. The
biggest Key West entry on record - the R/P 81 foot BonBon
(former Carrera) - joins 2006 Newport-Bermuda winner Bella Mente
and two Farr 60’s Numbers and Hissar.
class has four TP52’s, including
the Russian entry Rusal-Synergy and John Kilroy’s new
Samba Pa Ti. David Aisher’s Rogers 46 Yeoman 32, the R/P
45 Sjambok, Ireland’s swing keel Cookson 50 Chieftain
and Ker 50 Magic Glove, round out this competitive class.
Makoto Uematsu’s Club Swan / NYYC 42 (Seabornia,
Japan) makes its Key West debut in this 10-boat class. Peter
Conrad’s Farr design Sister Golden Hair was a 2006 class
winner racing under PHRF. IRC 3 has entries hailing from Canada,
Japan, France, the UK and the US.
O N E D E
S I G N S
Two thirds of
this fiercely competitive fleet carries a foreign flag, with entries
representing eight different nations. Italy leads the way with four,
including the 2006 World Champion, Mascalzone Latino,
skippered by Vincenzo Onorato. Other past Key West winners include
Atalanti XII with George Andreadis from Greece and Barking
Mad with Class President Jim Richardson from Newport, RI.
There will be no shortage of America’s Cup
talent in this class, especially aboard Alinghi, with Ernesto
Bertarelli, Grant Simmer and Brad Butterworth. Three of last year’s
top four finishers return including Fred and Steve Howe’s Warpath
with tactician Ed Adams. Royalty will be part of the 2007 Farr 40
storyline with the Danish entry Nanoq, skippered by the
Crowne Prince Frederik.
impressive 20 entries, the Melges 32 class will be making some noise
this week. There’s lots of talent and experience in this exciting
sport boat class and any number of programs are capable of a podium
Last year’s top 2 performers, Mike Carroll
and Marty Kullman’s New Wave and Jeff Ecklund’s Star
are back in 2007. New Wave and Star feature high
profile tacticians Mark Mendelblatt and Harry Melges, respectively.
Simon Williams’ Fresh Guidance with Steve Benjamin aboard,
Glenn Darden’s Hoss with Max Skelley calling the shots, and
Claudio Recchi’s Let’s Roll from YC Italiano all bear
The Mumm 30
class is coming off their 2006 World Championship in Miami last
month. Key West entries will renew their Miami battle with past Key
West winner Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine from Monoco (4th
Worlds) one of the early favorites. Key West veteran Deneen
Demourkas’ Groovederci (6th Worlds) hopes to
improve on her 4th place finish here last year. Last
year’s top two Key West finishers, Nelson Stephenson (Team Bold)
and Bodo and Nick von der Wense (Turbo Duck) are pre-race
favorites as well.
The Melges 24s
will once again be the largest class in Key West. They’ll display
their usual international flair with 8 different countries
represented among the 13 foreign entries. The quality of racing
routinely matches the quantity and 2007 will be no different.
A notable 5 of last year’s top 6 finishers
returns this week (Dave Ullman - US, Franco Rossini - SUI, John
Pollard - UK, Riccardo Simoneschi - ITA, Philippe Ligot - FRA).
Perennial top-3 finisher Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) and his
Full Throttle team will be back in the fray after a rare one
This class gets
more competitive every year. With last year’s 29-boat fleet growing
to 33 entries and with 7 of the top 10 returning, a 2007 class win
will be well deserved. Tom Coates (Masquerade, San Francisco,
CA) had his way in 2006 but will have his hands full with a host of
potential winners to contend with. Two Bermuda entries, Jon Corless’
Another Hazard and James Macdonald’s Passion, are part
of the second largest class at Acura Key West 2007.
are not unusual with the J/80 class – a mere 6 points separated the
top three finishers last year. 2005 class winner Kerry Klingler (Lifted,
Larchmont, NY) returns after missing last year and 2006 champion Jay
Lutz will be helmsman for fellow Texan Doug Strebel (Black River
Racing). Last year, John Storck Jr. and his Rumor team
(Huntington, NY) was a mere 3 points behind Lutz.
multi-hull class in Key West - the Corsair 28R’s - are back for
their 6th year. Key West regular Steve Marsh (Dealer’s Choice),
a mere 5 points out of first in 2006, is considered one of the
favorites this week. Bob Harkrider’s Bad Boys is always a
contender. Competition for the 2007 National Championship will be
fierce in this 13-boat class.
class, making its Key West one design debut in 2006, featured some
very close racing. Steve Rhyne’s Mojo (Seabrook, TX) is back
to defend his class win. John Halbert’s Vitesse, fourth in
2006 and a mere 2 points out of second, will be looking for a podium
finish this week. The 10-boat class has owners hailing from 7
different states and one entry from Crosshaven, Ireland (Anthony
O’Leary, Mariners Antix).
P H R F N A
T I O N A L C H A M P I O N S H I P
The Performance Handicap Racing Fleet class
winners will be eligible for the first ever PHRF National
Championship crown. A special championship scoring criteria has been
developed and is
posted on the website.
The CrossCurrent 33 design (Craig Crossley’s
Electra) is making its Key West debut, taking on a veteran cast
that includes three 1D35’s, Pete Hunter’s Thompson 30 Wairere
and Jeff Gale’s Henderson 30 Beautiful World.
1D48 Blue (Hunts Point TX), is significantly bigger/faster
than the other boats in class and has thus been assessed a rating
class will likely be one of the more closely contested classes in
the PHRF fleet. Over half of the class is comprised of
J/120’s and Beneteau 40.7’s Rick
Wesslund’s J/120 El Ocaso (Tiburon, CA), 2006 PHRF Boat of
the Week, has an eye on the National Championship trophy.
moderate to heavy displacement class is the largest PHRF class in
fleet. The 5 new Beneteau 10R’s will be competing against a group
of boats with a substantial amount of Key West experience.
Scott Piper is back from a lengthy cruise with his Tripp 33 Pipe
Dream XIV. Bruce Gardner’s Beneteau 10M L’Outrage
(Annapolis, MD), a class winner in 2006, will have a new Esse 850
design to contend with. Four new J/92s designs will be eligible for
one design sub class trophies.
Chuck Simon and
Bill Buckles are regular Key West winners with their T-10 Liquor
Box, winning their class last year with 5 bullets. This 9-boat class
will be very competitive with the Chesapeake Bay winners J/29
Rhumb Punch and Donovan 27 Remedy expected to challenge.
Mariah 27 Jazzy Jr. is the scratch boat. Key West local
legend Evalena Worthington of Schooner Wharf Bar fame returns on her
J/24 Freya. Key West bragging rights are on the line with
Peter Goldsmith’s J/24 entry Blah Blah Blah also lined up in
this small-boat PHRF section.
TV and Internet
Productions will bring the racing excitement right into homes
and offices around the world. Acura will sponsor a special daily
internet production which will be available nightly on the official
event web site and ESPN.com. Additionally a special Jobson Sailing
production will be aired on ESPN 2, Sunday March 11 at 1:30 PM EST.
View highlights from 2006 - applecart.tv/kw_preview
Title Sponsor Acura is the Official Vehicle.
Presenting Sponsor Nautica Watches is the Official
Timekeeper. Day Sponsor Mount Gay® Rum is the Official
Rum. Supporting sponsors are B&G (Official Marine
Electronics), Everglades Boats (Official Mark Boat),
Lewmar (Official Marine Hardware), New England
Ropes (Official Rope), SLAM (Official
Technical Gear), and Sperry Top-Sider (Official
Footwear). Supplier Spaten is the Official Beer.
Acura Key West is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key
West Tourism Council. The Historic Seaport at the Key
West Bight is the Official Site.
About the Industry Partner Program
Thirty-four Industry Partners bring their support through a program
that is now in its 6th year.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury
performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than
260 dealers throughout the United States. The 2007 Acura lineup
features five distinctive models, the RL luxury performance
sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan,
the turbo-charged RDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the
award-winning MDX luxury SUV. For more information about Acura
vehicles, please visit
For media inquiries, please go to
January 5, 2007 - For Immediate Release
Extraordinary Companies Key to Race Week’s Success
-- Acura Key West 2007 Racing Action Begins January
Boats and crews are heading to the
southernmost point in the continental U.S. from all points of the
compass. A twenty year milestone will be celebrated when five days
of racing begins on January 15. An impressive fleet of grand prix
and accomplished amateur programs from 20 different nations and over
30 states will gather for another classic competition in Key West.
Premiere Racing is pleased to present the
event sponsors for Acura Key West 2007, presented by Nautica.
Their participation is instrumental to the long term success of this
highly regarded international regatta.
The sponsor roster includes: Title Sponsor
Acura, the Official Vehicle; Presenting Sponsor
Nautica Watches, Official Timekeeper; and Day Sponsor
Mount Gay® Rum, Official Rum. The Supporting
Sponsors are B&G, Official Marine Electronics;
Everglades Boats, Official Mark Boat; Lewmar,
Official Marine Hardware; New England Ropes, Official
Rope; SLAM, Official Technical Gear; and Sperry
Top-Sider, Official Footwear. Supplier,
Spaten, is the Official Beer for race week.
"Support from our race week sponsors plays
a crucial role in enabling Premiere Racing to produce an event with
standards that match the level of competition on the water", said
Premiere Racing’s Peter Craig. "We encourage all racing sailors to
show their appreciation and patronize these terrific companies that
participate in our sport and provide much needed support through
Title sponsor Acura offers a
full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles
and will have on site displays. Friday is designated Acura Day.
All competitors will be vying for the ultimate Key West award this
week – the Acura Trophy – symbolic of the Boat of the Week.
returns as Presenting Sponsor, bringing their fashionable line of
watches. Adventure and discovery are at the heart of the Nautica
brand and sailing epitomizes this. Monday is designated Nautica
Watches Day. The International Team Competition, featuring
eleven 3-boat teams, will culminate with the awarding of The
Nautica Watches Trophy to the top teams.
Rum is the Official Rum of Race Week. "2007 marks Mount Gay
Rum's 20th successive sponsorship of Key West," says Todd
Schuessler, Mount Gay Rum Brand Manager. "This is a sponsorship that
our Brand values and Key West targets our loyal consumer franchise.
As a premier brand with a worldwide sponsorship commitment to the
sailing market, it is a natural association to be present at one of
the world's top regattas”. Wednesday is designated as Mount Gay
a distinguished leader in the performance sailing industry, is known
and respected by boat builders and yacht owners the world over.
Lewmar’s ongoing support as a Sponsor of this international event is
a demonstration of their ongoing commitment to the sport of sailing
and to the boat owners who race in Key West.
This is the third year that
B&G has participated at the Supporting Sponsor level.
For years, B&G has been the brand of choice among top sailors and
yachtsmen. With a 50-year reputation of helping to set records in
the world’s toughest events, B&G is trusted for absolute accuracy
and unequalled reliability.
Four companies will make their Key West
debut as Supporting Sponsors in 2007:
will be active on the race course in their capacity as Official Mark
Boat for Acura Key West 2007. The Florida based company, winner of 3
NMMA innovation awards, manufactures an exciting line of flats, bay
and offshore fishing boats.
New England Ropes
provides rope and cordage products for running rigging, standing
rigging, docking, and anchoring. For over 30 years, New England
Ropes has been the leading manufacturer of premium quality rope,
dedicated to providing the most technically advanced products
designed to meet the needs of the discriminating customer.
founded in 1979 in Genoa, Italy, features high end technical
clothing with trendy Italian style. Their advanced technology
sportswear is being used by high end racing programs around the
world and is a great match with this international event. Special event SLAM gear
will be available on site.
is a leader in performance footwear for sailors. Acura Key West 2007
marks the premiere of the Sperry Top-Sider Figawi 2. Sperry makes a
significant commitment to the sport through sponsorship, not only in
Key West but as title sponsor for the popular Sailing World NOOD and
2007 Sonar World Championship regattas.
Key West is also supported by The Florida Keys & Key West
Tourism Council, which recognizes the importance of having a
renowned, international regatta in Key West every year. The
Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight is the Official Site.
companies in the sailing industry
provide support through this program that is now in its 6th
year. A strong Industry Partner Program adds stability to the event.
December 21, 2006
Key West Line Up –
--- Key West Race Week Celebrates 20 Years of Racing Tradition
The 20th edition of North America’s premiere regatta is loaded with
international sailing talent and new designs, promising intense
competition on all four courses.
54 foreign entries, representing a record breaking 23 different
countries, and a domestic contingent from more that 30 U.S. states
are sending their best to Acura Key West 2007, presented by
Nautica (Jan 15 – 19).
For two decades now the debut of new and exciting racing designs has
been a staple for this showcase event. 2007 will be no different
with the list of new boats including 3 IRC designs: Michael
Brennan’s R/P45 Sjambok, the Ker 50 Magic Glove (IRL)
and Rogers 46 Yeoman 32 (UK). Three other designs that will
likely be one design classes in Key West beginning in 2008 include
the Club Swan 42 (Esmeralda - hull #2), and the J/92 S and
Beneteau 10R, both boasting 5 entries this year.
quality of this year’s fleet is extraordinary and the competition
will be world class”, said Event Director Peter Craig.
“We’re really looking forward to celebrating 20 great years with
another memorable regatta in January.”
International competition will be at it fiercest in the IRC fleet
and the perennially hot Farr 40 class. 27 IRC boats (11 foreign),
hailing from nine different countries, will race in three classes.
The IRC 1 class will feature a Porto Cervo Swan 601 re-match with
Moneypenny, Artemis, Spirit of Jethou and
Cuordileone going head to head. Russell Coutts, back with
Artemis, is looking to turn the tables on Swan Rolex Cup winner
Moneypenny. The biggest Key West entry on record - the R/P 81
foot BonBon (former Carrera) - joins Newport-Bermuda
winner Bella Mente and two Farr 60’s Numbers and
The lighter displacement boats in IRC 2 have 4 TP52s including the
Russian entry Rusal Synergy. David Aisher’s Rogers 46
Yeoman 32, the R/P 45 Sjambok, and Ireland’s swing keel
Cookson 50 Chieftain and Ker 50 Magic Glove round out
this competitive class. Makoto Uematsu’s Club Swan 42 Esmeralda
will have last year’s PHRF 2 champion Peter Conrad’s Sister
Golden Hair to contend with along with 9 other entries from
Canada, France, the UK, and the U.S. East Coast and Mid West.
The Farr 40s come with their usual hallmark of talented
owner-drivers and all star afterguards. America’s Cup winners and
class champions take on royalty with Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik
making his first trip to Key West. America’s Cup defender Alinghi
with Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth, 2006 World
Champion Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino and 2006 Mumm
30 World Champion Erik Maris will ensure an intense week of
The PHRF handicap rule was a cornerstone of the first Yachting Race
Week in 1988. It is fitting that the rule continues as a major draw
with more than 60 boats in six classes competing for their first
ever PHRF National Championship twenty years later. A special
championship scoring criteria has been developed and is posted on
event web site. PHRF class winners will be eligible for the National
Championship crown. The all-important class breaks are in process
and will be posted soon.
Eight one design classes will make up two thirds of the 2007 fleet.
In addition to Key West class championships, many will be vying for
additional class honors. The Corsair 28R National Championship and
the Melges 32 and Melges 24 Mid Winter Championships are at stake.
The Melges 32 class, which debuted in 2006 with 8 boats, will
feature an astonishing 20 boats in 2007. The Melges 24s are again
the largest and one of the most competitive one design classes with
5 of last year’s top 6 returning (Dave Ullman - US, Franco Rossini -
SUI, John Pollard – UK, Riccardo Simoneschi – ITA, Philippe Ligot –
J Boats designs, competing in PHRF and one design classes, will
comprise nearly one third of the 2007 fleet. 35 J/105s and 17 J/80s
will compete for their Mid Winter Championship honors, as will the
J/109 class. The J/92s make their Key West debut in PHRF with 5
boats competing for PHRF and sub-class honors. Five J/120s will race
boat for boat in a sub-class within PHRF with Rick Wesslund’s El
Ocaso defending his 2006 class and PHRF fleet wins.