Quantum Key West Race Week Offers Alternate Racing Formats for Broader Audiences

Flexible formats and new rating options will increase participation, diversity and quality of the event.

Organizers from the Storm Trysail Club are pleased to announce new features to Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 to increase the event’s flexibility to accommodate more sailors and classes to enjoy this world-class international sailing event.

Firstly, a one design or handicap class that can organize a minimum number of 8 entries may consider using an alternative format being offered of three days of racing starting on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 and concluding on Friday, January 22nd .  This will be in addition to the standard format of racing held over Monday, January 18th through Friday, January 22nd. Classes competing in the standard format will be ineligible to also compete in this alternate format.

Those that opt to race on Wednesday-Friday will receive the same high-quality race management being provided to the other classes at the event, and may be included in course areas provided for other classes during the week, or given their own courses, depending on their needs.

“We are offering this flexibility feature so that we may interest classes of competitors who cannot make the full-week commitment yet still want to be a part of this exciting international sailing event,” says STC event manager Bill Canfield“It is a formula that has worked extremely well at other popular international regattas, such as Kiel Week in Germany and Cowes Week in the UK, so we see this being a positive new feature to also offer for Key West.”

Classes interested in this alternate format will have to register their interest and commitment by September 1st in order to have an amendment made to the official Notice of Race.

Secondly, in addition to the return of IRC and HPR rating systems, Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 is pleased to offer handicap scoring using the ORC system, the largest science-based rating system in the world. Managed by the Offshore Racing Congress, the ORC rating system is used in 40 countries with over 9000 certificates issued each year, and is an organizer for annual ORC World and ORC Continental championships sanctioned by ISAF, the international governing body of the sport. Boats with either ORCi or ORC Club valid certificates may enter, with classes formed for each.

“The ORC system has shown tremendous success overseas in the last several years, with measurements and ratings for many of the same boat types we have here in the US,” says QKWRW Race Committee Chairman Dick Neville“It is a fully web-based transparent system that is easy to access for sailors and gives race managers lots of scoring options not offered by other systems, so we feel its use here will not only increase the international caliber of the event, but also increase the accuracy of results while reducing the previous hassles we had getting through the PHRF rating process.”

A Fact Sheet on ORC and a list of ORC ratings for common boat types can be found on the Yacht Scoring regatta management site at www.yachtscoring.com. More information on the ORC system is available at www.orc.org, and applications for ORC Club ratings can be made online at www.orc.org/clubapplication

Thirdly, event managers are prepared to add short navigational races to the format for Performance Cruising classes that have expressed interest in participating at Quantum Key West Race Week. This is a style of racing popular for the casual and/or shorthanded sailing teams, who wish to be part of the larger event but typically enjoy just one race per day.

Note that the first early discount entry fee deadline for Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 is September 1st , 2015 – fees increase by $4/foot after this date. To register, go to the event website at www.keywestraceweek.com.

For more information on the race formats for classes in Quantum Key West Race Week 2016, contact event manager Bill Canfield at bill@keywestraceweek.com.

Media inquiries can be made to Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 Media Manager Dobbs Davis at dobbs@keywestraceweek.com.

For general regatta questions and sponsorship inquiries, contact Amy Gross-Kehoe at info@keywestraceweek.com.


The Storm Trysail Club is comprised of blue water sailors with the purpose of promoting the sport of sailboat racing. STC is one of the world’s most respectedsailing organizations, composed of over 900 members by invitation who have demonstrated their abilities as expert offshore sailors. Established in 1938, it isa not-for-profit club, headquartered in Larchmont, NY with regional stations throughout the U.S. It is well known as an organizing authority for a number of racing, social and junior events for its members and other sailors, both on the water and ashore. The Storm Trysail Foundation has a strong commitment to youth sailing and safety training, and the club has been in the vanguard of development of new events, handicap rating systems, yacht design, safety procedures…and new rum drinks.

For more information, please visit www.stormtrysail.org.

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6 Useful Lessons from the 2015 Transpac Every Sailor Should Read

As you can imagine, the annual race between LA and Honolulu schools even the best of sailors…which is why the best sailors never stop learning. Regardless whether you are a racer or a cruiser, amatuer or pro, here are some great lessons everyone should read.

The 2,225-nautical mile Transpac from Los Angeles, CA, to Honolulu, HI, is an ultra-marathon of a regatta. And as with any sporting event of this caliber and difficulty, it is a test of not only on-the-water sailing skill, but also persistence, preparation, emotion, and will power.

With highly uncertain weather conditions—a tropical storm to the south and the mother of all ridges to the north—the 2015 Transpac was particularly challenging for navigators and crew alike. From the rookie boats like Adrenalin—it was the first ocean crossing for the majority of the crew including the navigator—to seasoned champions like three-time winner Grand Illusion, there was a lesson to be learned lurking along every layline.

Lesson 1: Don’t underestimate the need for focus, patience, and routine.

“You can’t give up, you have to stay focused the entire race … The course went much further north than we’ve ever gone before—I’ve only done the one—but with light air for three days, in the first three days we only made 150 miles. So we had to be quite patient. The last day of the race we hit a really bad squall that sent us off in the wrong direction. We were all sort of stunned by that and we had to regroup and get back in the game. We just went back to our routine. Routine is king.”

Erik Gray, Skipper of the SC50 Allure – first place in Division 5 by just over two minutes!

Lesson 2: You’ve got to have the right sail for the conditions!

“We were in the first start on July 13. We cleared the west end of Catalina Island, and our strategy was to go southwest, but the charts said don’t go southwest no matter what. We got pounded for two days with Atlantic Ocean-style waves—a frequency of every two to three seconds and 12-feet-high. We had only one sail onboard that could deal with that tough situation and it was the jib top that Quantum built for us right before the race. Will Paxton did a fabulous job; George Szabo did the service end of it. It powered us through a day and a half of going through a horrendous sea state that no other sail on the boat could have done. It enabled us to be in a position when we came out of that to go like hell. Our hats off big time to Quantum for making a fabulous jib top.”

Harry Zanville, Skipper/Owner and Navigator of the SC37 Celerity – the first boat to finish on July 24, the winner of Division 7, and seventh overall.

Lesson 3: Sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

“You have to expect that things are going to get rough and everybody has to realize that they have to get over anything about themselves. If they’re offended by something, they have to let it go and take one for the team. It has to be a team effort. Things are going to get tense, you have to diffuse the tension and get on with the sailing … Keeping the moral of the crew up, being the one that’s up even if you’re not—that’s a harder job than I thought it would be.”

Del Olsen, Co-Skipper and Watch Captain of the SC50 Adrenalin – finished seventh in Division 5.

Lesson 4: It’s not always easy to sail the shortest course.

“The weather reports were not that great, so we tried to sail the shortest distance for the first half of the race, at about latitude 32. At the halfway point five boats in the class were all within 10 miles of distance to go. We gybed at the halfway point and sailed 1,200 miles to Honolulu on port gybe. The guys who have done it the most knew to play the west side of the course.”

Sam Heck of Quantum SoCal, Tactician on Rick von Heydenreich’s SC52 Paranoia – fifth in Division 5.

Lesson 5: Try not to be too conservative, but also don’t be over early!

“Don’t be over early. We didn’t leave a lot on the racecourse; it was tight. We could have cut the corners from the weather grids. We took them for what they were saying and I think I would have shaved the corners off and smoothed out our course a little bit. We sailed 12 miles further than Lucky Duck, and being over early didn’t help. I should have been a little less conservative and stomped on the throttle all the time. We didn’t make very many mistakes; the over early thing was to avoid a collision. People always say, why are you pressing the start so hard. Well, to get clear air, going to Catalina, you want to get there first, you can control things off the bat. The four top finishers in our class all finished within an hour of each other. It becomes more like an in-shore race. We fought everyone on the screen.”

Bill Durant, Skipper/Owner of the SC52 Relentless – third to finish in Division 5 and corrected to fourth.

Lesson 6: Be ready and willing to change with the times.

"The modern boats with asymmetrical kites really put a premium on always staying pressed up a little bit as opposed to the traditional squared-back running mode … We used to sail with eight people and square the pole back and we always had good drivers and we were very efficient at running and sailing deep. The other boats with bigger budgets and more time went about learning how to sail better and spent time with the designers, ratings, and sail inventory, and started sailing with bigger crews at hotter angles. In 2013 we didn’t have an answer to that. This year we put it upon ourselves to change our mode a little bit; to sail the boat hotter to its polars, and it was faster.

“When you’ve been racing the boat for 20-something years with this core group of people, as technology changes and sail technology changes, and computer understanding of how to get more out of the boat, to sail to the targets and to the router, you have to be evolving the boat. In any kind of competition, if you’re static, you’re going nowhere.”

Will Paxton of Quantum Pacific, Watch Captain on James McDowell’s SC70 Grand Illusion – winner of Division 3 and the overall Transpac title. This equals the 88-foot Lurline for most wins; Lurline won the first two Transpac races in 1906 and 1908; its third win came in 1912.


You can find all kinds of great information about 2015 Transpac, including a full list of results, here!

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To the Next Challenge

At Quantum, we are sailors and like you we relish the challenge. It’s what makes us Quantum and what makes us relentless about delivering a higher standard of service, customer care, education and mentorship. So put us to the test. Give us a chance to make your sailing challenge our own. We're ready when you are.



"We’re not in it just for scenic locales, sunset toasts, and sea-sprayed hor d'oeuvres (although, those are nice perks).

No. We’re here to be challenged. Because out on the water, the challenge is the reward.
We don’t take shortcuts. We don’t cut corners. We don’t give up.

So, challenge us mother nature. Answer our call. Give us what you’ve got so we can beat you at your own game. Don’t hold back. We’ll always find a way to go further, or faster, and sail a bit better than we did yesterday.

We are sailors. And every time we hit the open water, it challenges us. All over again. Another skill to master. Another obstacle to overcome.

Because the moment it gets easy. The moment there is no challenge. Is the moment we stop being sailors.

We are Quantum."


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