Key West Wreckers Race Series 2019
In years gone by as storms battered the Keys or ships tried to make their way past the treacherous reef by night, the watchman would sit up in his tower (which you can still see today) scanning the horizon for signs of a wreck.
At the first sign of distress the alarm would go up, and it was every man for himself as boat owners scrambled to be the first to reach the broken ship, foundering on the reef 7 miles out.
For he who reached it first the possibility of great riches awaited - Salvage rights to a trade ship full of exotic goods or precious stones and metal.
In honour of the dark tradition of wrecking, Key Westers gather on the last Sunday of every month from January till April, and race from the harbor to the reef in the spirit of friendly competition and undying glory.
When and If departs Stock Island at 11.00 AM on race morning, and we make our way to the start line at Key West Bight. The race time depends on conditions, but there will be a light race lunch of sandwiches, chips and drinks and we expect to return to the dock covered in glory by 16.00. It's a long day in the sun so wear protective gear and bring a camera - there can be up to 40 boats racing so there's plenty to see!
Get ready to watch the crew under pressure: scrambling to set and strike sails, hollering commands to and fro and running sails and lines over the deck. It's an exciting afternoon!