Save the Date for 2016:
Skipper's Meeting - January 12
Race Starts - January 13
Awards Party - January 15
Recent Race News:
Photo courtesy of johnpaynephoto.com
January 18, 2016
Deja Vu All Over Again
Friday night was a big night at the Oldest House for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin, his wife Heidi, and their Spookie team, winning just about everything they could possibly win at the awards presentation for the 41st Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Just as their former, smaller Spookie did last year, their new (to them) TP52 rose to the head of the class in it’s first Key West Race, winning the loaded IRC Fleet and the Committee Trophy for Best Overall Performance. Navigator Anderson Reggio won the IRC Navigator’s Trophy for his efforts. Just about the only thing they did not do was win line honors. The much larger, and also very well sailed Wizard was the first to finish.
Anson Mulder’s Oyster 575 24 Heures cleaned up similarly in the PHRF Fleet, winning a tight battle with Dr. Ulrich Rohde’s former overall race winning Swan 53 Dragon Fly Plus for the class win in PHRF B, and keeping Bill Bollin’s Melges 32 Badfish, winner of PHRF A, from repeating it’s overall PHRF win from last year. It was a big night for 24 Heures, and Navigator Joe Goulet, winner of the Navigator’s Trophy for the PHRF Fleet.
Phil Scalise’s venerable Peterson 38 Santarella capped an amazing past year by literally rising from the depths of summer... and racing to the top of PHRF C. Norman Church’s equally well-traveled Morgan 41 Obsession was just as impressive in the PHRF D Class, continuing the impressive performances by East coast Florida boats in the PHRF Fleet.
Jason Carroll’s Gunboat 62 Elvis, reveled in the classic Key West Race conditions, and benefitted from some recent performance upgrades (not to mention an all-star crew), winning on line honors and corrected time in the Multihull Fleet. Ryan Breymaier collected the Multihull Navigator’s Trophy to add to his recent collection of offshore records.
After three races and one final race left, there is a tight race for the top spot in the Islands in the Stream series.
Photo courtesy of johnpaynephoto.com
January 14, 2016
Restless Not Shiftless....
It was a typically busy night for competitors in the 41st Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. Riding the edge of a frontal system, racers found continuously shifty conditions as they made their way south and west to Key West. Shifts of up to 90 degrees, and velocity increases from 8 to 22 knots were the norm, not the exception. While not a night for an easy ride around the bend, conditions did provide for big gains and losses, reflected in the results. While David & Peter Askew's Wizard was first across the line, preliminary results show Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s new Spookie in roughly the same position as their former Spookie, atop the IRC Fleet. Bill Bollin’s Badfish repeated last year’s PHRF A class win, but not the fleet win, with Anson Mulder’s 24 Heures the early leaders in the clubhouse for PHRF B and the PHRF Fleet. Jason Carroll's Elvis leads the Multihull division.
Stay tuned as the rest of the fleet trickles in, to see if results change. The final awards party is scheduled for Friday, 1/15/16 at the Oldest House.
Photo courtesy of johnpaynephoto.com
January 13, 2016
Southbound n 'Round
Classic South Florida conditions welcomed sailors to the start of the 41st Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, and managed by SORC, the race sends 41 competitors around the curve of the Florida Keys and westward to the tropical climes of Key West.
Defending race champion Steve Benjamin hit the line with speed after a gybe-set in the new Spookie, to win the start for the IRC class, chased closely by the Cookson 50 Privateer, to win a hotly contested start at the coveted pin end. The J-125 Raisin Cane battled the Swan 80 Chessie for the start of the PHRF A class, with the J boat wanting the pin and getting it.
The breeze built and shifted a bit to the NE as the classes made their way through the sequences, with the multihulls starting in a brisk 12-15 knot breeze. Follow the fleet on the SORC Tracking Page, and watch for race updates on the SORC Facebook Page.
January 12, 2016
Beep Beep Zip TANG!
10:24:02. That is the monohull race record for the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, and managed by SORC. Given NOAA’s forecast for stout northeasterlies for Wednesday afternoon’s race start, a number of boats may be taking aim at the record set in 2005 by Joe Dockery’s R/P 81 Carrera. It is safe to say that those challengers will differ from Carrera in a couple of very important ways other than design and size; they will probably finish the race with their rudders in place and they will be sailing the race without the leadership of the amazing Ken Read.
Tune in to the race tracking page to follow the action as the boats make their way down and around the bend. Last year’s race winners Steve and Heidi Benjamin have raised the game of their Spookie program from last year, bringing their TP52 to the line this year. David and Peter Askew’s R/P 74 Wizard will also be pushing to lead the way to Key West, but only time will tell whether the wind gods will cooperate with their assault on Carrera’s record.
Photo courtesy of imagesbymarco.com
Those are far from the only contenders in a loaded IRC class. Stephen Murray’s Carkeek 40 Decision has wins in the first two races of SORC’s inaugural “Islands in the Stream” series, and looks to make it a sweep in this the third race of the series, which wraps up next month in Havana. Watch local racer Stu Hebb’s Thin Ice for a possible “death from behind” handicap challenger.
The winners of the PHRF Fleet for the last two Key West Races are back for more, with last year’s winner, Bill Bollin’s Melges 32 Badfish taking on a talented group in PHRF A, and Dr. Ulrich Rohde’s venerable Swan 53 Dragon Fly Plus bringing the charge in PHRF B.
Competitors will gather tonight at Lauderdale Yacht Club for registration, the Skippers Meeting, and the Mt. Gay Rum party. The fleet makes their way down the coast tomorrow afternoon, with the first scheduled start at 13:00. What happens in Key West stays in Key West...except for race results and race updates. Watch for updates on the SORC Facebook page, as the fleet makes their way to the finish.
January 5, 2016
Race Time Approaches
Lauderdale Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club and the Southern Ocean Racing Conference welcome you to the 41st Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. The Wednesday, January 13 start is fast approaching, with the Skippers Meeting and Mount Gay Rum Party scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club. The entry deadline is this Friday, January 8, to join the 44 entries already gearing up for third leg of the inaugural SORC Islands in the Stream Series.
Unseasonably warm and calm weather (for South Florida standards) has recently given way to the usual winter cycle of cold fronts, which seem cold to the locals but are like a summer breeze for those from the currently frosty north. Last year’s winners, Steve and Heidi Benjamin are back with a bigger, stronger, faster Spookie, a Transpac 52 fresh with Spookie colors, after a summer of racing in Europe. In order to pick up where they left off last year, when they won the race overall, they will have to top a loaded IRC fleet which includes past line honors winner Ron O’Hanley’s Privateer, and Steven Murray’s Decision, a sistership to the former Spookie and current leader in the standings for the Islands in the Stream Series. Who will rise to the top this year? The best way to find out is to enter HERE, and bring your boat out to see for yourself.
After race festivities will be held on Friday, January 15, beginning at 17:00 hours, at The Oldest House, located at 322 Duval Street.
October 2, 2015
Round the Bend
A winter ride around the curve of the Florida Keys, to the warm, clear waters of Key West beckons sailors to the 41st Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. The race starts Wednesday, January 13 and is hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club, the Storm Trysail Club and SORC. The typical sleigh-ride conditions draw loyal competitors back for more, year after year.
Last year’s race saw Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek 40 Spookie winning the IRC fleet for the second year in a row, and claiming the Committee Trophy for best overall performance. Will Steve and Heidi be back on the course with their bigger, stronger, faster TP52 Spookie? The best way to find out is to enter the race and see for yourself. Spookie always puts on quite a show...for as long as she remains in sight.
The IRC Fleet was not the only place for good action last year. Bill Bollin’s Melges 32 Badfish, crewed by a bevy of race veterans, held the inside line to win PHRF A and the PHRF Fleet, when the early leaders on Andrew Price’s Melges 30 Peerless strayed offshore a bit, in their first try at the race. Eammon deLisser and Jim Bill’s Farr 395 Senara nipped Dr. Ulrich Rohde’s venerable Swan 53, defending winner of the Committee Trophy from the 2014 race, on the final tack to the finish to take PHRF B, making that post-race breakfast at Blue Heaven all the more sweet.
This Key West Race is the third race of the Inaugural Islands in the Stream Series, consisting of the Miami to Nassau Race, Wirth Munroe Palm Beach Race, Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, and the Miami to Havana Race. Notice of Series is available here.
Festivities begin at Lauderdale Yacht Club on Tuesday, January 12, with Registration at 16:00 and Skippers Meeting at 18:30. Post race headquarters will be on the upstairs deck at Turtle Kraals, and the awards presentation will once again be at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Grill, on Friday, January 15, beginning at 17:00. Make plans now. January is right around the bend.
August 26, 2015
The 2016 Notice of Race
The Notice of Race is now posted for the 2016 Fort Lauderdale to Key West race. Mark your calendars!
Multihull Record Holder:
Custom 60 - Stars and Stripes
Steve and Scott Liebel
8 hours 31 min 4 sec
Monohull Record Holder
R/P 81 - Carrera
10 hours 24 min 2 sec