Saturday, December 26, 2015

Glorious Wirth Munroe Race

J/30 sailing offshore of Palm Beach, FL (Palm Beach, FL)- The 59th annual Wirth M. Munroe Memorial Yacht Race is held on the first Friday in December. First sailed in 1957, the race begins the winter ocean racing circuit in South Florida. The course, from Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach, presents challenging conditions as yachts must consider the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and the passing of the season’s first frontal systems.

In 1957, members of the Florida Station of the Cruising Club of America, led by Dick Bertram, decided to sponsor a race from Miami to Palm Beach and to hold it in early December as racing yachts from the north had arrived by then in preparation for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference held in January and February. Over the years, yachts have raced under numerous rating rules, CCA, IOR, IMS, and now sail in three classes, IRC, PHRF, and Multihull. The original course has been shortened and now starts in Ft. Lauderdale to allow the yachts to finish before dark. In the 1960’s the Sailfish Club of Florida became a co-sponsor of the race and hosts the well-known awards party following the finish.

Taking advantage of the good weather conditions were local southern Florida J teams.  The J/30 PAPARAZZI, skippered by Don Lasky from Port St Lucie, FL and member of Palm Beach Sailing Club sailed to 2nd in PHRF B.  In the PHRF A big boat class, the J/125 RAISIN CANE helmed by Frank Atkinson from West Palm Beach, FL and sailing for Coconut Grove Sailing Club sailed to a 6th in PHRF A.   For more Sailfish Club Wirth Munroe sailing information