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Champions and Challengers From 14 Countries Countdown to Key West North America's Premiere Mid-Winter Regatta Begins January 19

6 January 2009

Key West, Fla – Tough competition, sunshine, and warm breezes will greet entrants as they head for the race course. In less than two weeks the 22nd edition of this winter classic, Acura Key West 2009 presented by Nautica, will welcome entrants from across the country and around the world.

Melges 32 Gold Cup Champions New Wave, Melges 24 World Champion Uka Uka Racing are just a few of the marquee programs on the scratch sheet.

“Key West traditionally attracts top tier programs and this year is no exception,” reports event director Peter Craig. “Given the global economic issues, it’s extremely gratifying to see the number and quality of programs that will be racing in Key West,” he added.

The Melges 32 Gold Cup Championship New Wave team of Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman won the prestigious 2008 Acura Grand Prix Trophy last March. Awarded to the best combined score for both Acura Key West and the Acura Miami Grand Prix, this year the series will include the recent Gold Cup results as well.

Defending Melges 32 Key West champion Jeff Ecklund’s Star and podium finisher Joe Wood’s UK boat Red will face off in a strong 20 boat class. This year, they will be racing on the same division as the Melges 24s.

Always the largest class in Key West, the high performance Melges 24 class can boast of entries from no less than eight countries and over 12 states.

Lorenzo Bressani’s 2008 World Champion UKA UKA Racing (ITA) team faces Key West veterans and perennial top ten finishers. Riccardo Simoneschi’s Giacomel Audi was 2007 Boat of the Week and Class Champion.

Division 1 (PRO Ken Legler) - IRC 1, Farr 40, Swan 42, IRC 2 and Farr 30
Division 2 (PRO Dave Brennan) – Melges 32, Melges 24, J/105
Division 3 (PRO Wayne Bretsch) – J/80 and PHRF 1 - 4

Scratch sheet, schedules and more: www.Premiere-Racing.com