The bi-annual Charleston to Bermuda sailboat race started at high noon on May 29 in Charleston Harbor. The tall ship Spirit of South Carolina, sailing in an exhibition class, was given a ten minute head start time so that she could lead the sailing fleet of six racing boats out of the harbor and into the Atlantic Ocean, heading for Bermuda. A fine farewell party was held the night before that included several government officials from Bermuda visiting Charleston to promote the future health of this race. While the fleet made good progress early on with south-southwest winds gusting up to 18 knots it was seemingly too good to be true. On day two of the race a "bermuda" high settled over the southeast and the winds dropped down to the light category, winds 10 knots or less. The progress of the fleet nearly came to a standstill, giving sporting-minded sailors a chance to catch some fresh mahi mahi to serve to their crews. The Spirit of South Carolina was the surprising leader of the fleet as of late Monday evening, but with almost half the course to go and a forecast calling for continued light winds - it is questionable if the fleet will arrive for the scheduled June 6 awards banquet. It is possible that by noon on Wednesday the C2B race will be 'called' because of lack of progress and the first place contestant will be determined relative to their position at that moment. Stay tuned by checking in with www.charlestontobermuda.com
6/5 UPDATE: The race was indeed "called" and the results are now known. Tohidu prevailed as the overall winner after a formula tracking respective distances traveled and boat performance ratings was factored in. Cadence finished in second place and Grateful Red finished in third place. The Spirit of South Carolina and the C2B fleet are now able to start their motors and finish the journey to Bermuda under power, and enjoy the June 6 closing ceremonies. Lowcountryoutdoors.com wishes congratulations to the race organizers and the participants for holding a competition that puts a positive focus on the outdoor sport of sailing.