Save the Date for 2017:
Skipper's Meeting - January 10
Race Starts - January 11
Awards Party - January 13


Recent Race News:

Photo courtesy of

Septrmber 5, 2016
Key West is the Answer…What was the Question?
When the cold northerly winds of January blow, where would you rather be, bundled up in the cold white north, or in shorts and a t-shirt in Key West? Would you rather shovel your driveway, or walk Duval Street?  Would you rather sit around waiting for a groundhog to see his shadow or share the streets with roosters and six-toed cats?  No matter the question, Key West is The Answer. 

The 41st Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club, kicks off on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, when competitors gather at Lauderdale Yacht Club for the pre-race Mt. Gay Rum Party and Skippers Meeting.  On Wednesday the 11th, the race will get under way for the annual sprint down and around the shoals of the Florida Keys to the Conch Republic.  The SORC Race Committee will again operate the shore-side duty station at Turtle Kraals on Thursday and Friday, with the Awards Party at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Grill on Friday evening.

Aside from being the second race of the SORC Islands in the Stream Series, this year’s Key West Race has a couple of new wrinkles.  An ORC class is offered, to accommodate the rule that is gaining popularity and helping to build fleets in other areas.  US Representative for ORC Dobbs Davis spoke about the ORC class inclusion and what it means for the SORC series.  “ORC is honored to be asked to help make the revival of the SORC a success. Our involvement with this prestigious series goes back to its roots 40-or more years ago when it was ORC that generated ratings in the IOR system to produce competitive racing. Now the tools are much more sophisticated so that a greater range of boat types can have the same competitive racing while enjoying the joys and challenges of offshore sailing.”

The new East Coast Racer Cruiser Association (ECRCA) Division are offered as well.  ECRCA president Jay Tyson shared “This is the next step in our vision of providing a format that allows dual purpose boats the ability to follow the seasons and participate in great events using the same class rules and rating system”.  The ECRCA classes offered for the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race include:

PERFORMANCE CRUISER CLASS – Open to any boat a full cruising interior and a Downwind Sail Area/Displacement ratio of less than 50.

CRUISER CLASS – Limited to boats using “Cruising Chutes” tacked to the centerline of the boat and DWSA/DISP of less than 34

NON SPINNAKER CRUISER CLASS – Rated Sail Area/Displacement of less than 30.

Make plans now, to escape the cold and warm up your winter in an island paradise. 

Septrmber 2, 2016
Online Entry Open
The Notice of Race has been posted and the online entry is now open.


January 18, 2016
Deja Vu All Over Again
Friday night was a big night at the Oldest House for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin, his wife Heidi, and their Spookie team, winning just about everything they could possibly win at the awards presentation for the 41st Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Just as their former, smaller Spookie did last year, their new (to them) TP52 rose to the head of the class in it’s first Key West Race, winning the loaded IRC Fleet and the Committee Trophy for Best Overall Performance.  Navigator Anderson Reggio won the IRC Navigator’s Trophy for his efforts.  Just about the only thing they did not do was win line honors.  The much larger, and also very well sailed Wizard was the first to finish. 

Anson Mulder’s Oyster 575 24 Heures cleaned up similarly in the PHRF Fleet, winning a tight battle with Dr. Ulrich Rohde’s former overall race winning Swan 53 Dragon Fly Plus for the class win in PHRF B, and keeping Bill Bollin’s Melges 32 Badfish, winner of PHRF A, from repeating it’s overall PHRF win from last year.  It was a big night for 24 Heures, and Navigator Joe Goulet, winner of the Navigator’s Trophy for the PHRF Fleet. 

Phil Scalise’s venerable Peterson 38 Santarella capped an amazing past year by literally rising from the depths of summer... and racing to the top of PHRF C.  Norman Church’s equally well-traveled Morgan 41 Obsession was just as impressive in the PHRF D Class, continuing the impressive performances by East coast Florida boats in the PHRF Fleet. 

Jason Carroll’s Gunboat 62 Elvis, reveled in the classic Key West Race conditions, and benefitted from some recent performance upgrades (not to mention an all-star crew), winning on line honors and corrected time in the Multihull Fleet.  Ryan Breymaier collected the Multihull Navigator’s Trophy to add to his recent collection of offshore records.

After three races and one final race left, there is a tight race for the top spot in the Islands in the Stream series.

Photo courtesy of

January 14, 2016
Restless Not Shiftless....
It was a typically busy night for competitors in the 41st Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. Riding the edge of a frontal system, racers found continuously shifty conditions as they made their way south and west to Key West. Shifts of up to 90 degrees, and velocity increases from 8 to 22 knots were the norm, not the exception. While not a night for an easy ride around the bend, conditions did provide for big gains and losses, reflected in the results. While David & Peter Askew's Wizard was first across the line, preliminary results show Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s new Spookie in roughly the same position as their former Spookie, atop the IRC Fleet. Bill Bollin’s Badfish repeated last year’s PHRF A class win, but not the fleet win, with Anson Mulder’s 24 Heures the early leaders in the clubhouse for PHRF B and the PHRF Fleet. Jason Carroll's Elvis leads the Multihull division.

Stay tuned as the rest of the fleet trickles in, to see if results change. The final awards party is scheduled for Friday, 1/15/16 at the Oldest House.

Photo courtesy of

January 13, 2016
Southbound n 'Round
Classic South Florida conditions welcomed sailors to the start of the 41st Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, and managed by SORC, the race sends 41 competitors around the curve of the Florida Keys and westward to the tropical climes of Key West.
Defending race champion Steve Benjamin hit the line with speed after a gybe-set in the new Spookie, to win the start for the IRC class, chased closely by the Cookson 50 Privateer, to win a hotly contested start at the coveted pin end. The J-125 Raisin Cane battled the Swan 80 Chessie for the start of the PHRF A class, with the J boat wanting the pin and getting it.
The breeze built and shifted a bit to the NE as the classes made their way through the sequences, with the multihulls starting in a brisk 12-15 knot breeze. Follow the fleet on the SORC Tracking Page, and watch for race updates on the SORC Facebook Page.



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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