Friday, January 24, 2020

STC Lauderdale to Key West Race Preview

J/121 sailing Lauderdale Key West Race
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The third week of January has traditionally marked the start of the American offshore sailing season on the east coast. That event is the next race in the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series- the famous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race that starts on January 23rd, 2020. The race is a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port. The Storm Trysail Club and Fort Lauderdale YC host the race.

It is always a challenging race in light or strong breezes as teams are forced to sail in a narrow band of water to avoid the adverse, northerly-flowing, Gulf Stream currents and the precipitous walls of coral on the northern side of the course that are the Florida Keys.

The race track is simple enough, start off the Ft Lauderdale inlet, then head south to several key turning marks to be left to starboard- 68.0nm to Elbow Key Light, 12.0nm more to Molasses Reef Light, 53.0nm more to Sombrero Key Light, 45.0nm more to Key West Channel buoy #2, then a short 6.0nm sprint north up the Key West Channel to the finish off Truman Annex Navy base.  Because of the current off Key West (a channel that seemingly has half the Gulf of Mexico empty through it), the last 6.0nm can often be the most frustrating in the race in an ebb tide and light winds!

J/44 sailing offshore Lauderdale to Key West RaceSailing in ORC B class is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX and Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Bristol YC in Bristol, RI.

Racing PHRF A Class is Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG from North Cape YC in Toledo, OH and Hanson Bratton & Thomas Anderson's J/120 KAIROS from Bayview Yacht Club from Michigan.

Finally, sailing PHRF B is the J/92 HILLBILLY, sailed by Brad Stowers from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL. For Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race results.  For more Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.