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Updates / Press Releases

Champagne Conditions on Day One

J/24 skipper Tony Parker called it “champagne conditions” and it would be hard to argue with that assessment.

Mother Nature delivered in a big way on the first day of Sperry Charleston Race Week with action getting underway in strong winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Ten of the 11 classes competing on the four inshore circles were able to complete four races in winds that ranged from 12 to 16 knots and swung from south to slightly southwest. The lone exception was the highly competitive J/70 class, which did three races at the request of the sailors.

Because there are 66 boats in J/70, the class is so large that it is split for reseeding after each day of racing. Class organizers felt three races would make for better round-robin competition.

Winds were lighter for the five classes racing on Circle 5 and Course 6 outside the jetties on the Atlantic. ORC A and B along with the J/105 one-design fleet all finished two races.

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Volunteers Go Above and Beyond for 2018 Edition

volunteer1How do you run a regatta with a whopping 246 boats in 16 classes? It requires flawless organization, and a ton of manpower. Those two factors go hand in hand.

Ultimately, the massive success of Sperry Charleston Race Week is due largely to a talented, dedicated army of volunteers. Properly executing an event of this size requires 220 on-water volunteers and another 100 for shoreside duty.

“A regatta this size requires a Herculean effort and we could not do it without such a large contingent of outstanding volunteers,” event director Randy Draftz said. “There are regattas all over the world wondering how we do this. The easy answer is because we have lots of great volunteers.”

Draftz, in his 10th year as event coordinator, conducted a meeting with all the volunteers on Thursday at noon and the large tent on the beach was almost completely full. It was an opportunity for Draftz to thank everyone for their support.

“Obviously, our goal is to keep the racers coming back and the on-water race management along with the onshore hospitality is why they do,” Draftz said. “That is a real credit to the great job done by our volunteers.”

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Fleet of 246 boats makes final preparations on eve of Sperry Charleston Race Week

2018 day1 s Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina was a bustle of activity on Thursday morning

Competitors in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were hurriedly carrying equipment, sail bags and other gear down to the docks while the various vendors were busily setting up shop.

Event director Randy Draftz and other organizers with Charleston Ocean Racing Association were huddled in a conference room going over last-minute details while volunteers were working furiously to install the infrastructure that transforms the beach area into a thriving party venue.

By mid-afternoon, a large contingent of boats was out on the water testing sails and tuning rigs. Most of the J/70 and Melges 24 fleets conducted a series of practice races mid Charleston Harbor. A significant number of VX One and Flying Tiger 7.5 entries filled the racing area in the Cooper River located closer to the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

Thursday was all about final preparations and practice in advance of Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018. It will be go time on Friday as 246 boats in 16 classes take to the waters off this historic coastal city during the 23rd edition of this renowned regatta.

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Sperry Charleston Race Week Gears Up For Another Exciting Edition

By Bill Wagner

Cedric Lewis had never competed in Sperry Charleston Race Week before last year. The Annapolis resident always heard great things about the regatta and therefore jumped at the chance to crew for John Potter in the VX One class.

Potter and Lewis wound up winning, but success on the race course was just part of why the Sperry Charleston Race Week newcomer came away mightily impressed. Lewis, co-owner of a J/105, has attended similar events in the past and knew what a race week should be about.

“It’s definitely a five-star event. The Charleston Race Week folks really have their act together,” Lewis said. “I love the sailing venue and the hospitality is off the charts. This regatta offers tremendous value for the money.”

That has been the clear consensus among sailboat racers throughout the country, who return to Sperry Charleston Race Week year after year because the event consistently delivers on all fronts.

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Anticipation is Building for 2018

We're making big plans for the 2018 edition of this amazing event. Join us in the No. 1 city in the country at one of the top regatta venues on the planet for three days or superb competition and four evenings of rollicking fun. There's no better place to be in the early spring than Charleston, South Carolina. So, get ready to find out why we call this "a regatta unlike any other."

SAVE THE DATE for 2018!
April 12-15, 2018