The much anticipated first race of the Schooner Wharf Bar Wrecker’s Cup Race Series is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. The course is seven miles from Key West Harbor to Sand Key, re-enacting the ancient wrecking tradition of Key West — a series of ruthless, one-way races to the reef to claim the booty.
This all-in-fun race series recalls the tradition of the wreckers in the Key West of the 1800’s. Vessels laden with rich cargoes from Gulf and Caribbean ports often became victims of storm and the unmarked reefs off Key West. The first wrecker to reach the site had the responsibility to save the passengers and crew— but they also won the right to salvage the cargoes. Some historians have written that it was not unusual for 20 or 30 boats to race to a wreck.
The captains’ meetings are held on the upper deck of Schooner Wharf at 7 p.m. the Saturday before each race. The awards ceremony is held at 7 p.m. on Sunday, race day. Trophies and prizes are earned by the top three vessels in seven classes: schooner, multi-hull, classic, monohull 24 feet and under, monohull 25-30 feet, monohull 30-39 feet and monohull 40 and over. At the race start Key West harbor is a magnificent sight, filled with colorful sails and spinnakers on vessels ranging from 16 feet to 120 feet.
Race Dates are
• Sunday, Jan. 26
• Sunday, Feb. 23
• Sunday, March 30
• Sunday, April 27
For more information, call 305-292-3302 or visit SchoonerWharf.com.