Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting Ready for Key West Race Week

by Kelly Stannard

We are inbetween college sailing seasons, and I've been lucky enough to make it down to Key West Race Week and compete on Melges 24s with and against some great sailors.

Key West is a long way from Rhode Island and I've got to say, the weather is much more enjoyable right about now. Not having to scrape the frost off the car in the morning or wear mittens has been a treat. I've gladly traded those things in for some shorts and lots of sailing for the week.

I flew in on Thursday night and met up with my teammates including, Bora Gulari, Jeremy Wilmot, Sam Rogers, and Andrew Wills. Bora, a former Moth World Champion and US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, asked me to race with their team this week. I was honored to accept this offer. What an amazing opportunity!

We have spent the last few days getting the boat and ourselves ready to go for Monday, and the remainder of the week. We've successfully weighed in, settled into our beautiful condo, tested sails and worked on our boat handling. The last part for me has been fun and quite the learning experience. I have had never been on a Melges 24 before the first day if practice.

While practicing these last few days we've seen conditions from relatively light breeze the first day, to some gusts in the low 20s yesterday. Looking into the week the forecast looks great today and tomorrow, expecting to see 15 to 20 getting lighter going into Wednesday. Racing starts today, wish us luck!

Follow all the action this week in "the Keys" on the event website.

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