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High-profile competitors prepare for ocean racing classic

The 31st biennial Pineapple Cup- Montego Bay Race is living up to its reputation as one of the marquee offshore sailboat races in the world by, once again, welcoming a fleet of high-profile boats, both newcomers and veterans, to compete.

Starting on Feb. 8, just outside Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, the ocean race will take competitors on a challenging all-points-of-sail course, stretching 811 nautical miles to the legendary destination of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“This has been called the most interesting race because you are almost never out of sight of land the whole time,” race chairman Ken Batzer said in a press announcement.

The iconic race was established in 1961 and has been running either annually or biennially ever since. The current race record was set in 2005 by Titan 12 with an impressive elapsed time of 2 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds.

“We have a real quality fleet once again this year and are hoping to have good weather,” Batzer said.

Past winners of the event include some of the most world-renowned skippers; Ted Turner won three times in Vamoose (’67), Lightnin (’73) and Tenacious (’79); the Johnson family won in Ticonderoga (’65); John Kilroy won twice in Kialoa (’75 and ’77); and Jack King won in Merrythought (’91). Past competitors taking line honors include Sir Peter Blake on Condor (’79), Larry Ellison on Sayonora (’97) and Roy Disney on Pyewacket (’99).

For information, visit or contact Pineapple Cup race coordinator Evelyn Harrington at (876) 979-8469.

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