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Boat of the Week

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Glenn Darden and Ross Hillard

Fort Worth, Texas

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Bill Sweetser

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Quantum Racing (52 Class, IRC 2)

Doug DeVos

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

Quantum Sails logoQuantum Boat of the Week

Samba Pa Ti (Melges 32 Class )

John Kilroy, Jr.

Los Angeles, CA

 

John Kilroy stood on the dock in front of the Galleon and accepted congratulations from a steady stream of Melges 32 sailors.

Benjamin Schwartz, skipper of runner-up Pisces, shook Kilroy’s hand and told him good job. Richard Clarke, tactician for fourth place finisher Hedgehog, graciously told Kilroy that his team sailed a fantastic regatta.

“There’s nothing better than being recognized by your peers,” Kilroy said later. “This fleet is so darn good with so many great owner-drivers and so many fantastic sailors, to earn their respect means so much.”

Kilroy and his crew aboard Samba Pa Ti earned the ultimate honor on Friday night, being selected as Quantum Sails Boat of the Week for Quantum Key West 2012. Samba showed remarkable consistency in posting all single-digit results in the 19-boat fleet in winning the Melges 32 class by 12 points.

“This is one of the great events in sailboat racing, certainly in America and also the whole world,” Kilroy said. “To be named Boat of the Week at Key West is a tremendous honor and I am just so very grateful.”

Samba Pa Ti opened the regatta with a pair of bullets then proceeded to place fifth or better in seven of the remaining eight races. Kilroy’s worst result was a ninth, which he was able to throw out en route to totaling a low score of 26 points.

It was the second Key West victory in Melges 32 class for Kilroy, a Los Angeles native who also earned Boat of the Week honors in 2010. Italian pro Lorenzo Bressani called tactics while countryman and close friend Federico Michetti trimmed the jib and spinnaker. Harry Melges, whose Wisconsin-based family builds the boats, trimmed main while Justin Smart (pit), Max Bulger (bow), Lucas Tomasetti (mast) and Martino Tortorolo (all-around) completed the crew.

“It was a quintessential Key West race week with fantastic weather and super sailing conditions,” said Kilroy, who also had high praise for his sailmaker — Fuzz Foster, owner of the North loft in Hawaii. “We had a lot of confidence in our boat speed and our crew work was excellent all week.”

It was interesting that Schwartz finished second because Kilroy used to race against his father in the old IOR class at Key West. In fact, the 63-year-old Kilroy sees the sons of many old sailing friends on the docks of Key West whenever he comes.

“I’m certainly one of the oldest guys in the fleet, but I’m young at heart,” he said. “It makes me feel so good to see guys like Ben Schwartz following in their father’s footsteps and continuing their legacy. Ben is a class guy and it’s a shame he had to be the runner-up.” Smart has sailed with Kilroy for three decades on a succession of boats named Samba Pa Ti. He said the boss, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corporation in L.A., is successful because he puts his heart and soul into every venture.

“John doesn’t do anything half-assed. When it comes to sailing, he’s going to have the best boat and the best crew and the best sails,” Smart said. “John is a very positive skipper, always encouraging the crew. He has a good mix of physical ability and analytical ability. He sees the big picture and is able to put it all together. Ultimately, I think John’s biggest strength is his ability to focus under pressure. Give him a target and he can hit it every time.”

Boat of the Week — Past Winners

YearBoatModelOwner
2011Blu MoonMelges 24Franco Rossini
2010Samba Pa TiMelges 32John Kilroy, Jr.
2009StarMelges 32Jeff  Ecklund
2008Barking MadFarr 40James Richardson
2007Giacomel Audi RacingMelges 24Riccardo Simoneschi
2006BellicosaSwan 45Massimo Ferragamo
2005Pegasus 525Melges 24Team Pegasus
2004Mean MachineFarr 40Peter DeRidder
2003Zuni BearJ/105Richard Bergmann
2002Atalanti XIFarr 40George Andreadis
2001Atalanti XIFarr 40George Andreadis
2000Heartbreaker1D35Robert Hughes
1999Hi FlingCM 60Irvine Laidlaw
1998Abracadabra1D48Jim Andrews
1997Windquest1D48Dick and Doug Devos
1996BrightstarN/M 47Richard Breeden
1995InfinityN/M 49John Thomson
1994Thomas I-PunktMumm 36Thomas Friese
1993Highland FlingSwan 53Irvine Laidlaw
1992GauchoFarr 44Christian Schmiegelow
1991Lonia Bene 1st 41John Matney and Cylde Stacey
1990Babe RuthlessN/M 30Larry Harvey
1989DiablesseBeneteau 42Rod Sellers
1988BrigadoonFrers 41Robbie Pierce

 

The ultimate prize at Key West is the Boat of the Week Trophy. This prestigious award will be presented to the boat which triumphs in the class with the closest, most competitive racing.

A tradition since the very beginning of “Key West Race Week”, the scoring criteria has evolved from what was initially the lowest point total to a dual criteria, utilizing various factors and formulas that were refined over time. The criteria were further enhanced when a qualitative assessment was included in the analysis, and has been used successfully for more than six years. This mix of quantitative and qualitative assessment and comparisons remains in play for 2010.

The quantitative criteria takes the series score into account, subtracting the points of the class winner from the 5th place boat. The fewer the points between 1st and 5th the better the result. We also review finish times, deltas and course distances among the top boats in the classes and use this as part of the qualitative criteria. For boats in handicap classes, corrected times are used. This assessment will also be a factor in determining Boat of the Day winners.

The qualitative component considers the varying conditions and classes on each of the 3 courses. Class size, starts, finishes, mark roundings, protest decisions, boats that drop out and other situations not reflected in finish times and series scores are all factors that can be taken into consideration. The Race Chairman will call upon his Principal Race Officers and their Spotters to report their observations before determining the Boat of the Day and Boat of the Week winners. Each class is eligible for only one Boat of the Day Award during race week.

No criteria are perfect — including ours. We'll continue to look at this issue and strive to develop the very best method for ensuring that the Key West Boat of the Week Trophy is presented to the class winner which triumphs in what is truly the most competitive, closely contested class during race week.