Key West Race Week 2013 - Reichel Pugh impresses again

George Sakellaris’ Shockwave
Key West 2013. George Sakellaris skippered the Reichel/Pugh designed-engineered and McConaghy built 72’ Mini Maxi Shockwave to impressive victory in the Mini Maxi Division.

In epic Key West race conditions, George Sakellaris match raced his Reichel/Pugh mini maxi Shockwave to seven bullets over Hap Fauth’s new Bella Mente to win the Mini Maxi class with a day in hand.

The crew of Shockwave have gotten the 2013 season off to a superb start with the Key West result. Their Key West result followed a convincing win over Bella Mente off Palm Beach in December’s Sailfish Ocean Challenge, by winning three of four races in the eight boat IRC Class.

In 2012 Sakellaris helmed Shockwave to an overall win in the 635nm Newport – Bermuda race.

Under the prior ownership of Neville Crichton, Shockwave was the overall winner of the 2010 Mediterranean classic, the 243 nm Giraglia Race and the 2009 Mini Maxi Rolex Cup.

The Reichel/Pugh designed Melges 24 and Melges 32 also had some terrific racing with Full Throttle earning the ultimate honor of being named Quantum Boat of the Week.

Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) and his team on Full Throttle battled it out with Alec Cutler (Pembroke, Bermuda) and the Hedgehog crew in the Melges 24 class of 23 boats. Full Throttle won race nine to build a cushion then placed third in race 10 to seal a three-point victory over Hedgehog, which got the gun in the final start.

'It couldn't have been a nicer week. We had great wind, great competition and great race committee work,' Porter was quoted saying, who has now captured Melges 24 class three times at Key West.

Andrea Pozzi of Italy took up the sport of sailing a year and a half ago and showed he is a quick study, winning the Melges 32 class in just his fifth regatta. Bombarda finished first or second in six of 12 races and led the 11-boat fleet from start to finish, holding off a late surge by Leenabarca (Alex Jackson, Riverside, CT).

'This is a dream. It is the first regatta we have won so that makes its particularly special. We will always remember Key West 2013,' Pozzi was quoted saying. 'It was a tactically difficult regatta with a lot of wind changes. It was very exciting sailing, lots of adrenalin every day.'

Third place in the 32 class went to Keisuke Suzuki’s Swing from Japan.