Rubbing shoulders with Hemingway

thedailysail's Andy Nicholson takes to the water in the Farr 40 class at Key West
Terra Nova Key West Race Week - presented by Nautica, starts tomorrow (Monday). This regatta has become one of the mainstays of winter racing for US sailors, and such is the level of competition in some of the classes, it attracts a host of foreign owners and sailors too. The roll call of sponsors for the event is almost endless. There are title sponsors, platinum, gold, and silver sponsors. The banners around the race village are huge - just so they can fit everyone on - and if anything the quantity of sponsors demonstrates just how successful this week has become. Key West town has the geographical significance of being the southernmost point of continental United States, with Cuba just 90 miles away. The real flavour of the place comes from the people it has attracted. You can believe the stories of people turning up a generation ago, all their gear packed in the back of the pick up, and driving until there was no road left. Ending up so laid back they couldn’t find a petrol station to fill up the tank and make the return journey. Even the animals have taken Key West to heart, with a family of chickens (and little fluffy chicks) hanging out a few feet from the media centre. This provides a great escape for everyone. As we arrived from the UK the northeast of the country was under an icy grip of record breaking proportions, meaning that phone calls home were all the more difficult with a balmy 25degC outside the phone booth. Our coach James lives in Vermont where his family is dealing with -40degC temperatures. His main concern is that he may not have chopped enough firewood. The heavens did open today. A stormy front came in from the south west and dumped a