Perfect Days in Paradise

Dobbs Davis gives us his treatise on the first two days of racing at Key West
Yes, a blatently promotional title meant to piss off those not here, but the first two days of racing here at Terra Nova Trading Key West Race Week could not have been much better. A vigorous jet stream and strong High pressure centre in the Midwest brought record low temperatures to most of the eastern half of the US, even here in Key West, though as people here say shorts are always preferable to snow shovels. And while a little chilly at 16degC, the shifty 8-14 knot northeasterlies under cloudless skies gave tacticians plenty to chew on, with no one team able to dominate in any of the more competitive classes. Keelboat legend Vince Brun did a great job of guiding Crocodile Rock helmsman Scott Harris through the shifts and streaks of breeze on the first day to lead the Farr 40 class on an impressive 2-2 start to the week's scorecard. The class of two dozen entries has its usual collection of all-star tacticians, some recently returned from Auckland, yet that experience alone has not guaranteed success. In fact, no one on George Andreadis' Atalanti XII was in Auckland, yet tactician Robbie Haines has led the team to scores of 3-1-2 in the last three races to capture the lead from Crocodile Rock at the end of play today. Having Atalanti take the lead will seem like deja vu, since they've won not just the class but the overall Boat of the Week Trophy in the previous two years. But besides Crocodile Rock there are other class newcomers on the top of the leaderboard. Lying only one point out of second is Giovanni Arrivabenne and his Italian team on Bottadi Culo, only his second regatta after his debut at the Worlds in Nassau last November. Though an amateur competitor, Arrivabene has