Happy 2008! The skiing was good, the eating was too much, and the kids are backing school so now it is time to head south for some good sailing…Key West Style.

I haven’t been to Key West Race Week in a few years so I am really looking forward to it. Good breeze, competitive racing, and a good blend of pro’s and true lovers of the sport. Mix all that together with a few beers (or rums) and a tropical climate and what you have is a great time. I try to stay out of the wildest activities on Duval Street. Coming form northern California where the temperature actually drops at night, I love the warm night breezes blowing through this town in the evenings. The Cruise ships bring a ugly reality to the place but most of that action and population is confined to a few blocks right down at the west end of the island. Peter Craig and his Premier Racing have been doing a fantastic job of organizing this event for many years and have made it the best winter sailing event in the world.

I will be sailing with Steve and Fred Howe’s Warpath, a Farr 40. We are preparing for the Farr 40 World Championship which will take place in Miami in April. I think we will have over 30 boats on the line in Key West and probably over 40 at the Worlds. I have not sailed in the class yet since they moved to masthead spinnakers so I am interested to see how that has changed the performance of the boats. I am also remembering how critical a good start and first windward leg are in these boats. Consistency is always a big payer at the end of these regattas.

Unfortunately the Farr 40 schedule and the Star winter schedule’s conflict this year so no Bacardi Cup or World Championship for me. Not only do the calendars conflict but the venues are the same…Miami.

Valencia seems far away now. It will be interesting to see how the America’s Cup lives through this next 18 months. I guess we will see two incredibly fast contraptions created for the upcoming grudge match. Probably pretty cool boats actually but most likely not much of a race. It is often said that to climb, one can’t just maintain a straight incline but rather one must climb, then level off or descend slightly, then climb again. I guess the America’s Cup is just in one of those mandatory “divots” in the climb…kind of like the chart of the stock market over the past 90 years. Let’s just hope were not at the 1929 part.

Good Sailing or skiing, wherever you are!