CRW 2019
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Updates / Press Releases

Day One on Charleston Harbor

1sby Bill Wagner

CHARLESTON, S.C. – There is no more picturesque sight than Charleston Harbor during the annual regatta that has brought international recognition to this historic city.

A fleet of almost 260 sailboats in 18 different classes take over almost every inch of the Cooper River and it truly is a sight to behold. With seven different race courses set in various pockets of the harbor, a spectator viewing from land can see colorful billowing sails everywhere they look.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 got off to a rip roaring start with south-southeasterly winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots allowing organizers to complete four races for most of the classes doing windward-leeward courses.

“It was an absolutely beautiful day on the water, a great day for racing,” said George Collins, who skippered Chessie Racing to victory in Spinnaker PHRF A class that completed a 17-nautical mile Pursuit Race. “You can’t beat the conditions, which were perfect for our boat. We have a great crew and they had the boat sailing very fast.”

Chessie Racing, a Tripp 62, is the highest-rated boat in Spinnaker PHRF A and therefore started last. Collins, a Miami resident, had two Wounded Warriors aboard along with his usual professional crew. Collins said Chessie completed the race in almost three hours even and wound up overtaking the J/120 Emocean on the leg back into the harbor for the finish.

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Charleston Race Week Preview

When Marlene Plumley is spotted walking through the hotel lobby at 6 a.m. wearing a wetsuit, you know race week has arrived. Plumley is well known along the East Coast as a professional diver specializing in bottom cleaning racing sailboats for major regattas. The Annapolis resident was on site at first light on Thursday morning at the Charleston Harbor Marina and Resort.

That’s because a large contingent of the 259 boats entered in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 were heading out on the water to practice for the prestigious three-day regatta. There was a flurry of activity on the docks throughout the morning as crew members delivered sails and performed boat set-up.

“Charleston Race Week has really turned into a big-time event. I love coming here every year,” said Brian Keane, skipper of the J/70 Savasana. “I think Charleston is the most unique venue in the country because the combination of current and wind is very challenging. Every day, every race, is a little different.”

Action in the 24th edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week gets underway on Friday with seven separate race cours being set on the Cooper River and out in the Atlantic Ocean. A new racing area located just south of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge has been created to accommodate the exciting M32 catamarans, which are making their debut at this iconic event.

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Spectacular M32 catamarans coming to Sperry Charleston Race Week

march11 m32charleston sSpectacular high-performance catamarans will be racing around Charleston Harbor next month – blasting past Patriot’s Point Marina at speeds approaching 30 knots.

Spectators watching from the water, marina docks or onshore will be thrilled by the sight of 32-foot multihulls flying around a short course set in the area approaching Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.

The M32 is coming to 2019 edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week, adding another thrilling element to an already action-packed event. Class organizers brought two of the high-speed catamarans to last year’s regatta to assess the logistics and came away determined to add Sperry Charleston Race Week to the annual racing schedule.

“Charleston checks so many of the boxes we look for in venues – nice conditions, easy logistics, a fun city with great night life and a rocking beach party!” said Dave Doucett, Director of M32 North America. “We did some test racing there last year and absolutely had a blast. We are looking forward to bringing a strong fleet and enjoying some exciting racing in a beautiful locale.”

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New “Hybrid Pursuit” Course in the Works at SCRW

There has been much discussion over the years regarding the offshore race courses at SCRW. Many former offshore boats have been choosing to race in the Pursuit class versus the offshore circles. This could be due to a variety of reasons - a later start time; a more flexible course; and an earlier finish time in the harbor, convenient to the regatta headquarters at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.

To accommodate the suggestions and desires of offshore boats, the regatta organizers have created another pursuit course called “Hybrid Pursuit.” This course will replace offshore Circle Five and be open to racer/cruisers using ORC and One Design. The new course will provide up to three individual races per day as conditions allow. The first race will be a pursuit race starting at the pursuit course starting line (inshore) and finishing out in the ocean where a windward/leeward course will be set up for race number two. Race number three will be a race back into the harbor, finishing at the pursuit finish line, in close proximity to the regatta headquarters. (Sample course diagram below.)

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RS21 Charters Avaliable For Charleston Race Week

Over the next two months RS are excited to offer RS21 charter opportunities for Charleston Race Week.

The RS21 is the newest model from RS Sailing, the world’s largest small sailboat manufacturer with a mission to get more people sailing. The RS21 provides a high stability hull, user-friendly rig and well-balanced helm for between two and four people to race. Not only is the RS21 a pleasure to sail, RS Sailing dramatically reduced the carbon footprint associated with production of the boat by building a hull made from eco-friendly materials.

Sailing World editor, Dave Reed, expressed his enthusiasm towards the introduction of an RS21 fleet: “As a boat that’s designed and built for fleet racing, match racing or team racing, it’s a perfect fit for our regattas. The charter and coaching concept is an excellent and economical way for teams to come and race, to learn and experience a truly modern keelboat.”

Charlseton Race Week, 11-14 April, is the premier multi-class sailing regatta in America and offers three days of excellent competition, evening debriefs and parties. You can now enter with an early registration discount and book your RS21 charter boat via the RS Sailing store website for $2,500.00 per boat. This will also include on day of training on the 10 April.

This is a great opportunity for sailors to experience world-class racing in a rewarding and exciting environment with the RS21.