Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Charleston Race Week - Sailing Begins

Ready! Set!! Sperry Charleston RaceWeek!!!
The 22nd edition of Charleston Race Week began on Thursday night with a beach party at the Charleston Harbor Resort. Longtime visitors now have a fully operational second wing at the hotel, complete with swimming pool, cabanas and even a tiki bar. A quick review of the parking lot license plates show competitors in town from places as far away was Ontario, Indiana and Florida. A band played music while supper was served at 6 p.m. ahead of the first day of racing on Friday.
Even the pirates wear a bow tie in Charleston

The forecast for light winds in the morning had most folks looking for the sea breeze to fill in by noon and boost the inshore racing. My fate took me to the offshore race courses, and everyone was pleasantly surprised to see that strong and fresh breezes were blowing already by the 10 a.m. race start! All sailboat racers like to go fast, but the stronger the wind the more a racing team's skill set is under the microscope. We saw one team go from first place to last place when they came around a buoy and then their spinnaker sail failed to deploy, causing one viewer to say it looked like they were trawling for shrimp.

Sailing Crew from Augusta enjoying the Shore Party
On the inshore course the J70 fleet looked to number near 70, and the race committee did an admirable job for each of their dramatic race starts. Regular horn sound offs when under five minutes to go allow the sailors to prepare, not crossing the line too early, while eyeballing the competition and implementing a strategy about what course of sail to take. Of course, with three days of sailing, it's important to accrue points in hopes of making an appearance at the Gosling's Sunday afternoon awards.

To view past blog entries from Charleston Race Week click on 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

Cats really do like water?!

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