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- Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
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- Quantum Racing
- Ronnie Simpson
By Scott Nixon
From Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
There’s no place much better in mid-January than the Conch Republic. Warm water, great temperatures, good breeze and fantastic people are trademarks of this historic Southernmost city.
Really looking forward to this year’s race week with a new team and new one design class in the J/111. We have seven boats here in Key West all preparing for the upcoming Worlds in Newport this June. I am sailing with George Gamble and his very fun team on My Sharona from Pensacola, FL. On board, our team is very excited to start the racing as we have had three long days of productive training in Key West.
Our first few practice sessions were a bit challenging and hard on our group. We spent two days on boat handling and perfecting the basic maneuvers of tacks, spinnaker sets, gybes, take downs and mark roundings. These hot laps are hard as you have little time before the next maneuver, but they really force each team member to think ahead and outside the boat in anticipation of the next move.
Our first day was not pretty! Day 2 went better as everyone really kept their focus on the task at hand and we improved dramatically. Day 3 was even better as our boat handling has really come together. Great sets, douses and mark roundings have us feeling much better and ready for Monday’s racing. The real-time training should have us well prepared to be able to sail with the top boats in our class.
Time will tell after a few days of racing, but is always a great feeling for the entire team to see, feel and experience improvement. Should be a fun week as we are all ready and open to learning as much as possible about the J/111 and preparing for the challenge of five days of racing at this great venue.
C: (410) 703-2578
Twelve year-old brothers Jordan and Sam Bruce started racing three years ago at the Annapolis Yacht Club. What started as a summer camp activity has turned into a passion for the young sailors. Though they train and compete together, they’re reaching for their goals for different, personal reasons.
When did you start racing? Why?
Jordan Bruce: I started racing at the Annapolis Yacht Club in 2011 when I was 9 years old at summer camp and I soon realized that I loved the competition.
Sam Bruce: At first, sailing was a fun activity during the summer, but after I started going to winter regattas such as the Orange Bowl, I realized it was something I wanted to participate in more seriously.
Where and how do you train?
JB: For the last two years, we’ve trained almost every weekend in New York with Sailstrong Youth Racing and coaches Peter Strong, Leigh Kempton, and Scott Norman. This fall, due to the large increase in school work for seventh grade, we started training at least two weekends every month in New Jersey with the Colie Elite Race Team (CERT) and coach Clay Johnson. We also practice locally as much as possible on weekends and after school at Annapolis Yacht Club with coach Tomas Ruiz. We are US Development Team members and try to get to as many USDT practices as possible.
What’s your favorite part of racing?
JB: My favorite part of racing is the competition and the people I meet while sailing.
SB: My favorite part of racing is the reach in medium wind and waves, when I am in the front of the fleet. I like this scenario because I can surf waves without the whole fleet upon me, and it is a good time to pass other boats.
What’s the hardest part of racing?
JB: The hardest part of racing for me is the first leg, because all the decisions made in the first leg, such as the favored side of the course and playing puffs and wind shifts, affects the rest of the race more than anything else.
SB: For me, the hardest part of racing is the stress and the anticipation of a big regatta, since it can destroy someone’s performance before it begins. It is always so important to keep a clear head and minimize stress before a big event.
What was your biggest failure? What did you learn from that experience?
JB: My biggest failure was getting two black flag disqualifications at the 2014 Team Trials in Stanford. The second BFD eliminated any chance of going to IODA North Americans, and I did not make the US National Team, which was a goal for the regatta. I learned that pushing too hard to get one great race can take you right out of the regatta.
SB: My biggest failure was at Team Trials 2014, where I received a measurement penalty after I finished third in a race. The penalty pushed me from 15th to 20th overall, but luckily I still qualified for the IODA North Americans. I learned that you have to be very careful and observant and should check everything that could be involved with a measurement check because you never know when you will be called over to the measurement boat.
What’s been your greatest success? What did you learn from that experience?
JB: Last summer I participated in the Youth Sailing Exchange and went to Barcelona, Spain to sail for three weeks. While there we went to France, and I placed 14th overall in the French Nationals. From that experience I learned that consistency is better than a bullet.
SB: My greatest success was at the 2013 Atlantic Coast Championship at the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in New York. I was very consistent there despite the shifty wind conditions, and it gave me an edge over the competition. I learned that you don't have to go to take big risks to win every race, but if you consistently sail in the top ten, you will always perform well overall.
What are your sailing strengths?
JB: My strengths are starts, when I am not over, heavy air down winds, and gaining as much as I can on the last upwind beat.
SB: My strengths are my upwind sailing, and my ability to come back from a mediocre or bad start.
When did you start using Quantum® sails? Why?
JB: I started using the Quantum Radial Light sail in the spring of 2013 while preparing for team trials. I switched to the Radial Light because I needed a new sail and, after testing the sail, I liked it very much. The Radial Light was faster for me because I could change to setup for almost any condition. Last spring, I outgrew the Radial Light and changed to the XR-1 Green after testing it for several weeks.
SB: I started using the Quantum XR-1 Green in the spring of 2014 in preparation for team trials. I switched at the suggestion of my coach, because my previous sail was getting too underpowered for me as I grew, and the XR-1 Green was the right size.
How have Quantum sails helped your racing?
JB: Quantum sails have helped my racing a lot by improving my speed, pointing, and racing in light and heavy wind.
SB: The XR-1 has helped me with my speed. Before I switched, I could point really high, but wasn't going as fast as I was when I was lighter. After I switched, I was going as fast, or faster, than the competition. The XR-1 has also helped me because it has a wide range of power between the fastest, most powerful setting, and the most de-powered heavy-wind setting. This helps because I can deal with practically any wind condition with just simple tweaks.
Who supports and encourages your sailing? How?
JB: My parents support my sailing by driving me around and buying me equipment. Also, I have been lucky to have the support of many great coaches.
SB: My parents support my sailing more than anyone else. They make sure I get practice time with the right coaches. They also wake up at 5 a.m. every other Saturday to drive me to New Jersey for a CERT practice, and waking up at 5 a.m. and driving for three hours takes real dedication.
Do you have other interests beyond sailing?
JB: When I am not sailing, I play the drums, soccer, and other sports, and enjoy all water activities.
SB: My non-sailing interests include playing flute in my school band, playing guitar, waterskiing, paddle-boarding, biking, archery, soccer, and swimming.
The next step for the Bruch brothers is Team Race Midwinters in New Orleans, then off to Palamos, Spain with Team USA in February. Good luck!
Quantum Service Loft
Providing overnight repair services.
520 Front St., Key West, FL 33040
Drop-off parking in front of building
Street and lot parking on Ann St.
Thursday, Jan 15: Noon-7pm
Friday-Sunday, Jan 16-18: 9 am-7 pm
Monday-Friday, Jan 19-23:
Sail Pick-up: 7-9 am
Sail Drop-off: Within three hours immediately after racing (closing at noon Friday)
For special arrangements or questions, contact service manager Jason Massaroni at 231-492-7797.
Coaching & Daily Debriefs, Quantum Tent at Race Village
Two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Ed Adams will be on the water daily with cameraman Keith Brash covering different race circles. Daily debriefs will be held at the Quantum tent along with America’s Cup winner and Quantum Racing helmsman Ed Baird and a Quantum class expert.
Sun: 5:45 – Individual debriefs
Mon: 5:00 – Division 3 J/111 and J/88
Tues: 5:00 – Division 2 J/70 (main stage) and Melges 24 at 6:00 pm, Q Tent
Wed: 5:00 – Division 1 GC32, M32, IRC, Maxi
Thurs: 5:00 – Division 3 J/111 and J/88
Monday, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
We invite you and a guest to join us for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at the beautiful Gallery on Greene, 606 Greene Street.
Quantum has 15 VIP seats on the spectator boat America 2.0 available on first come, first served basis. Departure at 10 am daily. For availability, contact Libby Tomlinson at 231-313-8898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racing updates, features, photos and video offered up at http://www.quantumsails.com/news and the Quantum Sails Facebook page.
Shoreside Entertainment Highlights
Premiere Racing has a full schedule of post-racing entertainment. Join us daily, including these programs featuring members of the Quantum team.
Sunday, January 19 – 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Winning Strategies for Key West
As most experienced Key West afterguards know, there are strategic challenges unique to each of Key West’s three course areas. One sure way to enhance your chances this week is to stop by the Race Week shoreside venue just prior to the Skipper’s Meeting and hear from proven winners. Join Ed Baird and this distinguished panel of racing champions as they provide insight and take your questions about race week preparation and the strategic intricacies of Key West.
Moderator: Ed Baird, Ed Baird, America's Cup and 52 Super Series winning helmsman
Panelists: Terry Hutchinson, Jonathan McKee, Jud Smith, Taylor Canfield, Nick Turney, Scott Nixon
Tuesday, January 21, 5:00-6:00 PM
J/70 Boat Speed Tune and Trim to Win (Social immediately following)
This panel comprised of world and class champions, sail makers and industry stalwarts will discuss tuning and trimming tips and share their J/70 boat speed secrets. This program will be followed by a J/70 social with a complimentary drink and hors d’ oeuvres.
Moderator: Ed Baird, America's Cup and 52 Super Series winning helmsman
Panelists: Allan Terhune, George Szabo, John Mollicone, Jud Smith, Heather Earl Gregg
Q™ Team At Your Service
Don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Quantum® team in Key West if there is anything we can do for you.
John Bowden, 843-754-9547, email@example.com, M24 Mojo
Alex Clegg, 401-301-7068, AClegg@quantumsails.com, Swan 42 Impetuous
Wally Cross, 586-596-8854, firstname.lastname@example.org, J/111 Utah
Farley Fontenot, 281-381-9030, Farley@quantumsails.com, Coaching M32 Delta/Volpe
Terry Hutchinson, 443-994-4663, email@example.com, MiniMaxi Belle Mente
Kerry Klingler, 914-924-3466, firstname.lastname@example.org, J/88 Deviation
Marty Kullman, 727-560-0164, email@example.com, J/70 Reach Around
Gary Leduc, 508-965-7897, firstname.lastname@example.org, J/111 Wicked 2.0
Jason Massaroni, 231-492-7797, email@example.com, Service Manager
Clarke McKinney, 301-481-0672, firstname.lastname@example.org, Farr 30 Rhumb Punch
Scott Nixon, 410-703-2578, email@example.com, J/111 My Sharona
Ed Reynolds, 616-350-1810, edreynolds@Quantumsails.com
George Szabo, 619-226-2422, firstname.lastname@example.org, J/70 Simply Irresistable
Allan Terhune, 732-644-1051, email@example.com, J/70 Heartbreaker
Libby Tomlinson, 231-313-8898, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Turney, 419-346-4197, email@example.com, J/111 Spaceman Spiff
Gera Witte, 616-901-0301, firstname.lastname@example.org