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Old November 26th 03, 02:10 PM
Yankee Racing
 
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Default Race, Key West Report from Kneeldowners


Sorry about that last post. It was last night, and it was late, and I guess
I was just too tired from travelling to post things correctly. Here is the
recap of Key West as seen by the kneeldowners.
It snowed here last night. Quite a world away from Key West! Key West
really is on it's own planet.
Race report:
I would be lying if I said that racing conditions were perfect. In fact, they
were the worst ever. Four offshore boats went over or "under" on Sunday. It
was that bad! On Wednesday the water was as calm as glass. Things changed on
Thursday and never let up. I believe one or two offshore boats had problems
during the week also.
The Coast Guard changed our racing site last week. We had what would have
been a perfect situation, but since the officials had no idea what we were
about, they changed us to the ocean! A lot of rapore and learning was
exchanged between the Coast Guard and us and we will all know what we are
capable of in Key West in the future. Someone had to make the maiden voyage, I
guess.
Twenty racers showed up. On Saturday only 8 boats braved the 4 foot swells.
I am sure that Bob Laws is still not walking. Credit goes to those who braved
the elements and did what was important-put on a show!
I wish I could report better things about the racing. Those who attended
showed true grit, that is for sure. Guys like Bill Walker for instance. A big
thank you to Vicki Smith who gave it her all. Rod Black was there all the way
from Idaho. I am sure he went back to snow also.
Tony Staron, Brad Walker and myself have been working on this race for a
year. Are we disappointed? No! And I am sure the racers who attended are not
disappointed either. It has been a long hoe and one filled with politics to
get this race pulled off. Somehow the three of us got entangled in politics we
knew nothing about. How ironic that this fantastic race turned out to be so UN
political. In fact, the last minute we chose to not even sanction the race
with any sanctioning body. If I learned one thing from this experience, it is
that sometimes that is the best way. It was about this one race and what had
to be done to pull it off.
The kneeldowners were given a new nickname at Key West: IPC's (Inshore
performance craft). I would imagine you will hear more about he IPC's in the
future. (Easier to spell than kneeldowners!)
The camaraderie between the IPC's and the Offshore racers was unbelievable.
They learned as much about us as we did them. The Offshore racers in
attendance had sustained the same year of political turmoil that we had, and it
was nice to get such diverse entities together to prove that we were all just
there for the racing. Lifetime friendships were made.
We were warned by many that Lee Mills, the promoter, would not come through
with what was promised the IPC's. Not true. Lee came through with all of the
major promises. All of the kneeldowners (IPC's) stayed on an island outside the
keys in a condo like cabin that rented for $1750 PER NIGHT!!! How's that grab
ya? And that is just a smidgeon of the amenities afforded to the IPC's!!
The Key West race was about one thing, and that was the "experience." The
"experience" was heaven!
The race is supposed to happen again next year. I talked to Lee Mills again
tonight and he is thrilled. He says Key West is also happy in spite of some of
the publicity. He is ready to do it again. Hope everyone can make it next
year, no matter who or if it is sanctioned. A race in Key West is that, A RACE
IN KEY WEST!! And all racers should experience it at least once in their
lifetime.


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