Local sailor wins J/70 class in Key West
There was plenty of final day drama at Quantum Key West 2014 as the winners of several classes were determined during the last race. Conditions could not have been better for those winner-takeall scenarios with the southernmost point of the United States delivering the strongest winds of the regatta.
North-northeasterly breezes in the 18 to 24 knot range made for some spectacular racing on all three courses and enabled all 10 classes to complete 10 races for the five-day event.
Organizers deemed the most impressive performance of the regatta was put forth by skipper Tim Healy and his team on Helly Hansen, which won the 60-boat J/70 class in convincing fashion. Healy, 42, a professional with North Sails and a resident of Jamestown, repeated as class champ in Key West by winning two races and placing second or third in five others.
Helly Hansen clinched the regatta by finishing third in Race 9 and therefore did not sail the final race, using that as its throwout. Geoff Becker and John Mollicone combined on tactics and trimming. while Gordon Borges worked the bow for Healy, who is also a standout J/24 sailor.
“Obviously the biggest key to success is having a good team,” said the Jamestowner. “My guys did an awesome job of boat-handling and tactics. We sailed here last year so we had a real good feel for the racecourse. This team has also sailed J/24s together the past few years so we have a comfort level that makes a big difference.”
Healy and Helly Hansen came away with the biggest prize, being named boat of the week by Quantum Sails.
“We had a huge class down here last year with a lot of really good sailors so it’s a great accomplishment to come out on top,” he said. “Winning Key West is definitely one of the highlights of my career.”