ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The quiet beach at Founders Park, mile marker 87 bayside, is to come alive Friday through Sunday, Jan. 14-16, with one of the largest winter sailing events in the United States. The world’s top catamaran sailors are to race in the three-day North American Multihull Sailing Association North American Championships and 2011 Tradewinds Midwinter Open Cat Nationals.

Once boats launch into a quiet cove, spectators can watch from shore as the colorful sails are hoisted and fast sailing action begins. Back-to-back races are set to start with the first flag at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Saturday, Jan. 15, the first flag is scheduled at 11 a.m. Weather permitting, racing is to continue until approximately 4 p.m.

The first flag Sunday, Jan. 16,      is slated for 10 a.m., followed by back-to-back races. No races are to begin after 1 p.m.

Races include the North American F18 Midwinters, Shark Midwinters, Harken Buoy Series, Wave National Series Regatta and F16 Midwinters.

A beer-and-soft-drinks party is to start at 5 p.m. daily after the races.

First-, second- and third-place trophies await the winners in each sailing category.

Entry fee is $60 for two-handed boats and $55 for single-handed boats. Registration runs 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at Founders Park and continues at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14.  Final registrations are to be accepted 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.

Event information: www.catsailor.com/registration, 305-451-3287 or rick@catsailor.com
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Social: www.facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest • twitter.com/thefloridakeys

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