It is with a heavy heart, and a tear in my rum punch that I say goodbye to Quantum Key West Race Week 2013. Each year I feel humbled to be a part of this event, and the extraordinary personalities that make it so special. It feels kind of like a world-wide sailing family that comes together once a year in this quirky little tropical town. There is something magical about being here for this event, and there's always good stories to bring home!
The standout feature of of this year's regatta had to be the unbelievable weather. Racers and organizers were in awe of the consistent, perfect wind conditions every day along with ample sunshine and glorious temps. Racers were worked to the bone by the end of the week, but still able to muster some energy for one last party night on Caroline and Duval streets. The big winners from Annapolis were in PHRF 2 with Tangent taking first place and Rush in second. Annapolitan Terry Hutchinson helped bring a first place win to Barking Mad in the Farr 40 class, and Moxie took a healthy 7th out of 38 J/70s. I didn't realize until later in the week how many Chesapeake sailors were also racing on out of town boats. We were well represented in just about every fleet, which goes to show how many sought after racers come from our area.
The final regatta party on Friday was definitely the liveliest of the week. The entire place was jammed with sailors and spirits were high, regardless of final results. You just can't beat a week of racing in Key West! You could feel the comaraderie and brotherhood (and sisterhood) between racers, slapping each other on the back and toasting to another great regatta. I personally feel indebted to the regatta photographers who always accept me into the mix, even as a non-professional from a local magazine. These guys travel the world photographing major sailing events and taking mind-blowing shots. It was a privilege to watch them work, and I have to thank them for always getting the best spots to shoot. Unfortunately I will be leaving fantasy island today, and going back to the cold and reality of home. Though I am sad to say goodbye, there's really no place I'd rather be than good ol' Naptown!