Since 1988 a town of Key West attracted sailors of all classes for one of the biggest handicap regattas in the USA. Sadly, every good thing comes to the end. Even though the amazing sailing conditions and overall enthusiasm of organizers gave some hope to everyone, the competition for 2018 was canceled.
It could have been a 30th-anniversary regatta, but the tough decision was made and Leonard Sitar (Commodore, Storm Trysail Club) and John Fisher( Event Chairman, 2016 & 2017) issued a statement:
"After extensive discussion and deliberation, the Storm Trysail Club has decided not to organize and hold Key West Race Week in January 2018. Many factors led to this difficult decision. The bottom line is that with declining participation, the event has become heavily dependent upon sponsorship making the event unsustainable in its current format.
Our primary sponsors remain very supportive and the Storm Trysail Club is committed to exploring alternative formats for the future that address changing conditions in our sport. The club anticipates that this could lead to another edition as soon as 2019.
The Storm Trysail Club wishes to especially thank Quantum Sails (title sponsor for the last six years) as well as the city and community of Key West for their gracious hospitality and help in underwriting this event which has spanned the last 30 years.
Many thanks as well to all our other sponsors, supporters and past participants for their support of the event and of the sport of sailing. Most importantly, we wish to thank the countless volunteers, Storm Trysail Club members and others who made Key West Race Week possible and produced a world-class event."
Even though the news saw the world couple hours ago, it touched hearts of many. For instance, Sailing Anarchy website already posted it in their “anarchist” style, and Sailing Scuttlebutt website launched the announcement in a more democratic format.