Save the Date for 2015:
Skipper's Meeting - January 13
Race Starts - January 14
Awards Party - January 16


Recent Race News:

January 19, 2014
Heavy Hitters
Dr. Ulrich Rohde and his Swan 53, Dragon Fly Plus, had a big night at the awards presentation for the 39th Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. The big boat that started with such a emphatic statement on Wednesday, put an exclamation point on the race by sweeping the lion's share of the perpetual awards on Friday night. The Dragon Fly Plus crew broke out the broom with a clean sweep; First to Finish PHRF, First to Finish PHRF Corrected, Navigator's Trophy, and Best Overall Performance, along with the class win in PHRF A.

Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Carkeek 40, Spookie, took home the overall win for the IRC Fleet, correcting out over Line Honors winner PrivateerSpookie's Navigator, Bora Gulari, won the Navigator's Trophy for the IRC Fleet.

Photo courtesy of

Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Carkeek 40, Spookie, took home the overall win for the IRC Fleet, correcting out over Line Honors winner PrivateerSpookie's Navigator, Bora Gulari, won the Navigator's Trophy for the IRC Fleet.

The winner of the Multihull Fleet was Don Balthasar's Double Trouble.

Make plans early for next year's 40th Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Watch this page for details. --SORC Media

Click HERE for a complete list of trophy winners.

January 18, 2014
Photo Opportunities
Want to see more photos of the racing action? Check out these galleries from our local photographers; Start photos from, aerial photos from, and party and Fowey Rock picks from

Photo courtesy of

January 17, 2014
Signed, Sealed,  & Delivered
This year's Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race certainly lived up to the pre-race caveat of "Be Prepared."  The light VMG running of the past couple of years was a distant memory, as a stout northwesterly that built overnight brought the fleet down and around the curve in rapid fashion, but made them work hard for the quick trip. When they reached the island, a slew of familiar names graced the top of the leader board.

Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Carkeek 40 Spookie brought a boatload of top talent along, and turned a careful, mid-line start into a corrected time win in the IRC Class over past class winner Tonnerre de Breskins 3, the Ker 46.  Third place finisher Privateer took line honors, and will be featured in the artwork for the 2015 Key West Race shirt. A mix of veterans and newcomers brought out Spookie's winning form, with current Moth World Champ and boat speed aficionado Bora Gulari commenting that the race delivered everything advertised and then some, and race veteran Tom Lihan making markedly more reserved comments about conditions that can make a 40-foot boat seem small in a hurry.

Past class winner Dragon Fly Plus reveled in the fresh breeze, making a big move between three and six AM, to rumble to the line honors win in the PHRF A Class, despite being one of the slowest rated boats in the class. Dr. Ulrich Rohde's Swan 53 introduced itself to a pair of newcomers to the race with the start of the day on Wednesday, and fought to stay in touch with the class until conditions favored the heavy displacement boat. Once that happened, the big boat roared to the front of the fleet with a frenzy that resulted in the overall win in the PHRF fleet.

Another former class winner laid claim to the PHRF B class. David Bond's J-105 Loki was right on the edge from the start, took control of the class right there, and never looked back, beating the Tripp 33 Main Squeeze for the class win, missing the fleet win by a few minutes. Danny Escobar's Beneteau 393 Grand Cru took the win in the PHRF C class, staying close to the reef and taking control of the class when the big breeze came through overnight.  Finally, race regular Don Balthasar and his luxurious Catana 57 catamaran, Double Trouble, had their day, when the conditions favored the big boat, after years of seeing the heels of smaller speedsters like Flight Simulator and Cheeky.

Congratulations to all. The awards presentation will be at Kelly's tonight, Friday, Jan. 17., with drinks and hors d'oeuvres beginning at 5 pm.  The Kattack Race Replay is now available to watch. Visit our Race Coverage page for more commentary, photos and video.   --SORC Media.

Photo courtesy of

January 15, 2014
And They're Off
A nice stout WNW breeze made for a positively raucous start to the 2014 Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. Most of the five classes split into two packs at the start, fighting hard for one end of the line or the other. PHRF A competitor Dragon Fly Plus had the start of the day, sending 60,000 pounds of angry Swan 53 hurtling through the line while shutting the door on the J-111 Fireball and the 1D 35 True at the signal boat.
The predicted early light air was not there at the start, with one IRC class, three PHRF classes, and one multihull class sending it down course with all the power they needed. Competitors chose between code zeroes or bigger reaching spinnakers for the most start, decisions complicated by a boost in wind velocity in the middle of the sequence. Follow the Race Tracking to watch the fleet go southbound and 'round, or look at pictures and video on the Race Coverage page on Facebook.

Race Day
Welcome to the 2014 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Race day is here, and it is a great day to head to Key West.  When is it not?  Conditions are benign this morning, with Fowey Rocks showing ten knots at 320.  The forecast for this evening looks a bit more sporty than that, with big breeze a possibility, according to the forecast.  If that comes to fruition, the high elapsed times of the past couple of years will be a distant memory, with crews enjoying Thursday morning breakfast at Pepe’s once again.

Follow the fleet via the race tracking link above, and get information updates from on the water and ashore via the race coverage link above.  The first start is scheduled for 13:00, and we will bring you pictures and video from the race course.  Tune in, sit back with a Mt. Gay cocktail, and watch the fun. —SORC Media

January 13, 2014
Sailing Instructions and Addendum 1 are Posted
Click HERE to view the official sailing instructions. Please note Addendum 1 has been added.

December 28, 2013
Get Ready to Bring Your Best
A full moon will greet the fleet in the 2014 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Thirty seven competitors have registered for the annual race down the Keys, starting Wednesday afternoon, January 15.  The fleet represents a healthy mix of past winners, race veterans, and new faces, looking to find their way onto the podium at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Grill on Friday the 17th.  If you wish to join them, you would be well advised to heed the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.” 

The Race to Key West is one of Steve Benjamin’s favorites, and he has raced it more than most competitors have.  Always competitive as skipper or crew, Benj and his wife Heidi bring their Carkeek 40, Spookie, to try to improve on last year’s second place IRC finish, one of the first races with their new boat.  Among the crew for the Key West Race is two-time (and current) Moth World Champion Bora Gulari.  With a year of work with the boat, including wins in the Manhasset Bay Y.C. Fall Series, Annapolis Big Boat Fall Regatta, and Wirth Munroe Palm Beach Race, Spookie will be tough to beat in the IRC Fleet. Peter Vroon returns with his Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, to try to repeat his IRC Class win in 2011, and deny the Benjamins’ effort to top the fleet.

The PHRF Fleet is chock-full of former class and race winners.  Hobie 33s Tom Andrews’ Holy Toledo! and Christian Schaumloffel’s Mirage account for five overall race wins, but they will have to beat Frank Atkinson’s Cape Bay Fast 40, Different Drummer, winner of two of the last four overall trophies, to win the big prize.  Former class winners participating in this year’s race include Bandana, Dragon Fly Plus, Loki, Santarella, Second Wind, Sunquest, Teamwork and Wind Pirate.

All of these competitors know that it takes more than just being able to turn right, to win the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Which will sail the shortest distance? Which boat and crew will be able to handle the challenges one can confront when racing offshore to Key West in January?  We will know soon enough.  One thing is certain.  If you wish to beat them, you would be well advised to be well prepared and bring your best to the race course.

The final entry deadline is Friday, January 10, at 1800 hours.  Race information is available at this official race website, For information on this and other SORC events, see the SORC Website,  Visit this website for links to the Race Tracker and Facebook page.  –SORC Media

September 25, 2013
Online Entry Open
As the summer sailing season ends, it is time to start organizing plans for the special winter sailing season starting in sunny south Florida.  The SORC group, along with the Lauderdale Yacht Club, is busy finalizing plans for the 2014 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.

Race Chairman Joel Bowie is hoping for a great turn out. ”We’re gearing up for our 39th annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  We invite sailors, whether casual cruisers or “rock star” racers, to enter and compete in this unique 160 mile ocean race.  Come try to break Carrera’s 10 hour, 24 minute monohull record, or Stars and Stripes’ 8 hour, 31 minute multihull record, or just come to party.  If history is any indication, this year will be a fast race after last year’s relatively slow event.  We are hoping to turn back the clock by having Mount Gay as our rum sponsor again after a few years’ absence.   We’ll see you in January!”

The Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race starts Wednesday January 15th.  Online registration is open and makes getting involved only a few clicks away! Though the weather requests are not always met we do have a full moon this year and the camaraderie and flow of rum are sure to be a part of this favorite long time regatta.  Make plans now to come out and participate!

September 15, 2013
Notice of Race is Posted
The 2014 Notice of Race is posted and Online Entry is now open for registration.



Multihull Record Holder:
Custom 60 - Stars and Stripes
Steve and Scott Liebel
8 hours 31 min 4 sec
Stars and Stripes
Photo courtesy of  William E. Spruance
Monohull Record Holder
R/P 81 - Carrera
Joe Dockery
10 hours 24 min 2 sec


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