South Florida sailing

Local competitive sailing season about to hit high point

Three back-to-back regattas this month mark the height of the competitive sailing season in South Florida.

Jan. 15 is the start of the 2014 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, with 37 boats registered so far vying to be fastest covering the 160 miles from Port Everglades to Key West Harbor. Winners in each class will receive awards in ceremonies Jan. 17 in the Island City. Registration closes Jan. 10.

Several competitors are expected to remain for the weeklong Quantum Key West 2014 beginning Jan. 19. Teams from up to a dozen countries will line up in the open ocean off the southernmost city to compete in Melges 24 and 32; the 52 class; J/70; and Mini-Maxi.

Then on Jan. 25, any sailor thinking about competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is expected to show up in Miami for the ISAF Sailing World Cup on Biscayne Bay. The regatta, which runs through Feb. 1, is the only North American event included in the ISAF 2013-14 Sailing World Cup Series. It is also an important selection event for the 2014 U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Topsider.

All 10 Olympic and all three Paralympic classes will be featured. The Olympic classes are Laser (men); Laser Radial (women); Finn (men); men’s and women’s windsurfing; 49er (men); 49er FX (women); men’s and women’s 470; and Nacra 17 (mixed). The Paralympic classes for disabled sailors are 2.4mR; SKUD-18’ and Sonar.

Headquarters is the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove. Coral Reef Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami will cohost. Registration deadline is Jan. 6.

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