While some diehard sailors brave frostbite regattas throughout the country in January, most sane sailors know that the best place to catch some spray this time of year is south, and the further south the better. Nowhere in the United States is further south than Key West, home of the famous southernmost point buoy marker.
Lauderdale Yacht Club’s 38th annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race launches the 2013 racing season with a skippers meeting Jan. 15 and the race starting Jan. 16. More than 25 boats from 30 to 48 feet had signed up as of early December, hailing from throughout Florida, the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Rhode Island, the Carolinas, Texas and Louisiana.
“We invite sailors, whether casual cruisers or ‘rock star’ racers, to enter and compete in this unique 160-mile ocean race,” said race Chairman Joel Bowie.
“Come try to break Carrera’s 10 hour, 24 minute monohull record, or Stars and Stripes’ 8 hour, 31 minute multihull record, or just come to party.”
The notice of race and online entry form can be found at www.keywestrace.org.
Many will use the event as a shake down leading up to the Quantum Key West 2013 race set for Jan. 20-25. That massive event had signed up 122 boats from a dozen countries. For many, it’s a great way to kick off the New Year with one of the biggest regattas of the year.
Entry forms and other details can be found at www.premiere-racing.com.
For those not lucky enough to be in the race, the best viewing options are aboard spectator boats ranging from historic schooners to excursion catamarans.
Tickets are available from kiosks along the seaport docks. Prime land-based viewing spots include the restaurants, resorts, beaches and hotels along the Atlantic waterfront.