Key West 2009

Just 8 entries in IRC-1 for Key West, but 4 of them a TP52.

RAN, owner Niklas Zennstrom, Hamble, GBR, helm Tim Powell, tactician Jeremy Robinson.
RIO, owner Charles Dunstone, Cowes, GBR, helm Charles Dunstone, tactician Dave Bedford.
SYNERGY, Sergey Pichugin, Moscow, RUS, helm Sergey Pichugin, tactician Cameron Dunn.
ANEMA&CORE, owner  Ennio Staffini, Annapolis, USA, helm Ennio Staffini, tactics John Bertrand.


Peter Craig comments (see Premiere Racing website) on the mix of entries and choice of race divisions:

One of our primary goals, based on feedback from participating owners over the years, has been to provide ‘like racing’ – that is to ensure that boats which perform in a similar fashion in a variety of different conditions are racing together. There are a number of factors we take into consideration in our efforts to ensure like racing. A boat’s Sail Area/ Displacement Ratio (both the upwind & downwind numbers) and Displacement/Length Ratio are two key factors that come into play.

This worthy goal was simply unachievable in 2009 based on the number of IRC and PHRF boats entered and the composition of the two fleets. We tried very hard to create a light displacement, planing PHRF class but there were only 4 boats (perhaps 5 depending on one’s definition of light displacement) and the handicap range for this potential class was undesirable.

Ultimately, the determining factors for PHRF class breaks were handicaps and logical breaks considering the number of boats per class, resulting in three 8-boat PHRF classes and one 7-boat class with reasonable to  good rating bands.

On any given year there are unique considerations and limitations concerning class breaks and this year is no exception:
·         There will be only 52 boats racing under handicap rules in Key West next January. The IRC fleet will feature 21 entrants (up slightly from 20 last year) while the PHRF fleet totals 31 boats – down significantly from last year’s 55 boat tally.
·         The composition of the 2009 PHRF fleet has very few “light displacement boats” while the IRC fleet features boats ranging in size from the Santa Cruz 37 to a STP65.
·         There will be a total of 13 classes spread over 3 divisions (16 classes on 4 divisions last year):
–       Div 1 (46 boats):               IRC 1 / Farr 40 / Swan 42 / IRC 2 / Farr 30
–       Div 2 (65 boats):               Melges 32 / Melges 24 / J105
–       Div 3 (46 boats):               J/80 / PHRF 1 – PHRF 4
·         These preliminary breaks feature 6 handicap classes (4 PHRF and 2 IRC) with 7-13 boats in each class. 
·         IRC Racing returns to Key West for its fourth year with 21 boats racing (2006-17 / 2007-27 / 2008-20). These 21 boats broke logically into what should prove to be two very competitive classes – both racing on Division 1.
·         The mix of PHRF boats led to logical class breaks in some instances. There are no larger size classes this time around, and the 7-8 boat class size work toward the goal of participants having a meaningful competition.
·         To ensure quality racing and the ability to get 2 and even 3 races completed on any given day, we achieved a goal of having a maximum of 5 starts on any Division again this year. Many of us can remember past years with 7 and even 8 starts on one division.
·         The provisional rating bands for PHRF go from a tight 9 sec/mile in PHRF 2 to a reasonable 41 sec/ mile in PHRF 4.

Still a good number of competitors, considering the credit turmoil.

To all that race or work to make it all happen, have a good time!!