What's New In Key West This Year?
Quantum Key West 2012
January 15 – 20
My first Key West Race Week experience was 20 years ago as a competitor in the 1993 edition of Yachting Magazine Key West Race Week... there was one division, one race each day, 5-legged courses, and we were back to the dock by 1PM. The very next year was my first as Race Chairman and PRO and the regatta featured two divisions, and a 7-race series with upwind and downwind finishes. And things have been evolving ever since.
In any business it’s important to listen to your clients and Premiere Racing has always done that. As you might expect, it has resulted in some additional changes for the 2012 edition of race week, the 25th anniversary event.
Later Start Time
We have pushed the start time back an hour with the first warning signal each day now scheduled for 1130. That allows the sun to rise before you do and gives you time to enjoy a Key West breakfast, still leaving plenty of time for two good races. If we need three later in the week we can adjust the time forward for that particular day.
Slightly Earlier Evening Social & Awards
We adjusted the evening party/awards presentations up a half hour (5:30–7:30pm). People are ready to get the party and awards going and we’ll be ready. This also allows for crew dinners to be a bit earlier. We’re planning to get the daily awards cranked up at 6:30 each evening.
No More Acce$$ Cards or Bracelets
Key West ‘Access Cards’ (bracelets in earlier years) have been in play for 24 years now. The cards not only underwrote the cost of the open bar service, but also many of the shoreside activities and extras including, on-water video, 5-days of trophies, music, entertainment, tents, and more. The card costs had been $60-$65 in recent years and feedback tells us that it’s been a deterrent for some crew members. That’s not good for the party, camaraderie, sponsors or the fun factor, so this year we have opened up admission to the six evening socials and awards presentations. People will now pay for their drinks, albeit with very special pricing, especially for Mount Gay Rum. We look forward to having all race week participants stop by and join in the shoreside activities.
New Title Sponsor
Quantum Key West 2012 tells the story with Quantum Sails Design Group coming onboard as our title sponsor. They have been instrumental in Premiere Racing’s ability to make this 25th anniversary event a reality. Their representatives are committed to making this the best race week ever and we are thankful for their enthusiastic support.
(Almost) New Shoreside Venue
If you weren’t with us last year, the shoreside location will be new to you! Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery anchors the venue, along with the quaint wine & beer bar known as ‘Grunts’. The expansive, tree lined section of Caroline Street between these two popular establishments provides plenty of additional space to meet and mingle. The block between Duval and Whitehead streets will be closed off for the duration of the event and is an integral part of the race village. Last year the new venue was universally acknowledged as a positive move with lots of great Key West ambience. Our tweaks for 2012 will make it even better this year.
Additionally, Kelly’s is a terrific option for crew dinners – either upstairs or in private dining rooms.
And so we welcome you to the 25th Anniversary Celebration! I hope you’ll enjoy being part of a great tradition. We look forward to receiving feedback from owners and crews as we continue to shape this regatta for the years ahead.