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Miami to Key Largo Race - 58th annual edition begins tomorrow + Video    
Sat, 20 Apr 2013

The Miami Yacht Club is holding its 58th Annual Miami to Key Largo Race tomorrow April 20, 2013 to raise funds for its Youth Sailing Foundation. More than 100 boats are scheduled to cross the start line at 8am on the south side of the Rickenbacker Bridge.

Spectators are invited to see the beginning of the race from Hobie Beach or the Rickenbacker - or head down to Gilbert's for the finish. The Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, April 27 at the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island.

People come from all over the country to participate in this special annual race and test their boating skills in mono and multihull classes starting at 14 feet. This is truly like the 'box of chocolates' quote from Forrest Gump! You never know what you're going to get! One year there was so little wind that many boats never got far from the start line!

But in 2012 that was not the case. Havoc and mayhem reigned (!) as 20 to 30 knot winds made even the most seasoned sailors nervous. The brother/sister team of Dick and Debbie Russell took away several 'survival' lessons from this race as you will see in this video:

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Right up until the seven minute mark it is a wicked ride! Then they capsize and Debbie somehow goes one way while the boat goes the other...and floats in the middle of Biscayne Bay in white out rain until a J24 rescues her and Tow Boat US brings her back - and they finish the race! She told us later that for the first 45 minutes she was concerned about getting back to the boat...the she started to worry about sharks! All turned out well...and they both got the chance to give a big hug to their hero at the Awards Ceremony! Another sailor, Mike Phillips, was flying along in his bright orange Marstrom when disaster struck and the mast was destroyed. Horrible accident, but great photo by Past Commodore Mike Hannau! There were too many 'war' stories to count...but great memories of a tough race.

As the results will not be released until the Awards Ceremony the following week, all are invited to stop by MYC on Saturday, April 27 to find out who placed in this year's race. And we have added a new trophy this year. Alongside the Commodore Fred Darlow, Art Livingston, Jack Schuh, Mark Albury, Jim Williams, Hunter and Catalina Perpetual Trophies, The Hobie Perpetual for the first to finish with corrected time will be awarded.

As Race Chair Mike Powers explains: 'Quite a few years back Hobie Fleet 36 gave an appreciation trophy to Miami Yacht Club for having 70+ multihulls at the Miami to Key Largo Race.

We have reinstated that trophy with the iron catamaran 'sailing' the world as the Hobie Perpetual.' Our main sponsor, Papa's Pilar Rum, will be supplying bottles of their rum with metal nameplates engraved with the winners' names.

MYC Volunteers have worked hard to make this race a memorable one!

Miami Yacht Club website

by Tamme Irby Flood

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