Key West Race Week - Farr 40s get rumbling

The second-biggest class at Key West Race Week - 37 boats with plenty of America's Cup class stars, story by Sean McNeill for Quokka Sports
Key West Race Week began today with a record 327-boat fleet competing on four race circles off the southernmost point in the U.S. Since its inception in the late 1980s, this regatta has grown in both stature and participation. It is the most important regatta in the U.S. because of the foreign entries it attracts, not to mention the thousands of North Americans that compete. It is the toughest race week. Success at the end of the week means you're boat was well prepared, the crew was solid and the racecourse management was smart. The Farr 40 One-Design is the second biggest class at this year's race week with 37 entries from 12 countries, trailing only the 59-boat Melges 24 class, a typical size fleet at race week for the popular sport boat. An owner/driver class first introduced at Race Week '98, the Farr 40 has steadily grown in size. Aboard John Thomson's fine yacht Solution, it is the boat's first regatta since last October. Thomson has had good success in Key West, winning his division five times since 1994, including the Farr 40 class in 1998 and '99. But the class' level of competition has skyrocketed in the last two years, leaving an air of uncertainty as to our chances. Unsurprising - counted among the 37 tacticians in the fleet were Russell Coutts, the two-time America's Cup winner, aboard Ernesto Bertarelli's chartered Cavallino. The boat's crew is comprised of members from the Swiss America's Cup challenge, bankrolled by Bertarelli and skippered by Coutts. The match-race world champion and Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker is aboard Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory. Star class gold medallist and ISAF World Sailor of the Year Mark Reynolds is aboard Philippe Kahn's Pegasus. Terry Hutchinson, who signed up with Team Dennis Conner for the next America's