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Venue Views: The Upper Keys Sailing Club

The Upper Keys Sailing Club And The Buccaneer Blast

September 29th, 2020


The Upper Keys Sailing Club is located on Buttonwood Sound in Key Largo Florida and is the parent club of the Mark Sorensen Youth Sailing Program and host to the Buccaneer Blast, the largest Opti regatta south of Miami. It's an idyllic setting for a very well attended local regatta, hosting teams from around Florida and on occasion international sailors from the Caribbean and North America. 

The Buccaneer Blast




The Buccaneer Blast is typically held at the end of February every year, hosted by the UKSC with the race courses on Buttonwood Sound. Racing is normally local to national level, with teams from some of the top Opti programs in the country, mostly from South Florida. The Fleet consists of 100-150 Championship and Green Fleet sailors, and in different years has hosted other classes such as the Laser, 420 and O'Pen Skiffs. 

The Venue


The UKSC is located on N Ocean Drive in Key Largo, on a small peninsula on Buttonwood Sound. It is a central clubhouse on a wrap-around property with dock space for large sailboats, and beach launching for dinghies. There are only a few parking spots inside the property and during the Buccaneer Blast are not available for regatta participants.

Bathrooms are found outside the clubhouse by the boat ramp located inside the property, and the clubhouse itself is a simple but straightforward affair with amazing view of the sound, especially at sunset.



Dockside



The Upper Keys Sailing Club has one main dock with slips for larger sailboats, and several smaller docks for dinghies and powerboats. The area all around the club is quite shallow so if you're approaching the club by boat mind your depth! Dinghy launching is all done off the two beaches and the boat ramp when necessary.


Support Boat Logistics


Coachboats and spectator vessels are usually kept in the water in the shallow area on the eastern side of the property, and there is not that much room for movement. In most years, coach boat trailers are kept offsite, across the US1 highway at the lot behind the Walgreens (map and address below)



Trailering In And Out



The UKSC luckily has a small boat ramp within the property so most coachboats can be launched there - but any double axle trailers will have extreme difficulty maneuvering into and out of that ramp - it is narrow and not reinforced for the weight.

Once you do launch you will have to take the trailer offsite, which most years is behind the Walgreens across US1.

Where's the Nearest?

Supermarket: Publix, 101437 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, 2.0 m from venue

Gas Station: Speedway, 99601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, 0.6 m from venue

Boat Ramp: Onsite

Pharmacy: Walgreens, 99501 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, 0.6 m from venue


Overall Impressions

It's a charming venue located in the middle of Key Largo, which is an amazing location for family visits. Within an hour and a half from Miami International Airport, it's easily reachable and the Florida Keys are a boater's paradise, with plenty of great seafood and seaside restaurants. For regatta goers, the competition does get fierce as some of the top opti teams from South Florida and the country make appearances, and the quality of racing has improved over the years. 

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