Midwinter Championship Day 4
Two races were held Thursday at Key West Race Week in light winds between 6-9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecasted southeasterly. After posting finishes of 2-1, Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key was named Boat of the Day. Skeleton Key also took over the lead in the J/111 Class with the low score of 24 points. Skeleton Key won the Class last year but got its defense off to a slow start with an eighth in Race 1. Since then, the crew from Northern California has steadily climbed the leaderboard while the early series leader, Rob Ruhlman's (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff, has been dropping. In the past four races, Skeleton Key has finished 1-3-2-1 while Spaceman Spiff has finished 3-9-3-5. "Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day," said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980s. "We're always very confident in our boatspeed; the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn't see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed." Spaceman Spiff trails Skeleton Key by four points and now has to keep an eye over its transom at Jeffrey Davis' (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock, which has 29 points. "I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well," said Wagner. "The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today, and that's all that we could hope for." Racing concludes Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.