The excitement is high and building around the C&C 30 One Design class’ participation in Quantum Key West Race Week. Eleven international teams are competing in the week-long event, representing the largest gathering yet for this new one-design class.

“It’s going to be a rush,” says newly elected C&C 30 OD Class President, Dan Cheresh, of the anticipated 20-knot breezes expected on the course. “We haven’t seen these conditions yet in a regatta.” Cheresh and his Extreme2 team, along with Jim Madden and the Stark Raving Mad VIII team, spent a weekend in Ft. Lauderdale practicing, to “get out in the breeze and waves,” says Cheresh. “We sailed in 23-28 knots, with 4-5 foot waves and chop. It was definitely challenging and gave us a chance to learn how to set up for that kind of breeze, and to see how the crew will handle these conditions.”

The Extreme2 team won the final regatta of 2015, but don’t feel they’re “favorites” going in to Key West. “Our team has done a really good job of preparing,” says Cheresh. “But looking at all the teams competing, it’s a much different class than it was last year. The competition will be tight; there are five or six teams who could win. There are teams here from the West Coast, who we haven’t seen before. It’s great that they made the trip to Key West and we’re really looking forward to sailing against them.”

Even with the competitive nature of one-design sailing, the spirit among the boats is one of camaraderie. “We’re sharing information about set-up and tuning,” says Cheresh. “Everyone has a great attitude, and we’re trying to help each other in what is still a new class.”

Randy Borges, president of USWatercraft (builders of the C&C 30 One Design), has been on site in Key West for the past week, measuring boats and checking in with the teams. “Measurement went smoothly,” he says. “We’re thrilled that the class has grown ten-fold over last year, when we had one boat competing. We’re looking forward to an exciting week.”

You can follow the action on the C&C Yachts Facebook page, or search #KeyWestRW on Facebook and Twitter, or follow Sailing World on Facebook or Instagram. Sailing World editor Dave Reed is crewing on Nyabinghi