Saturday, April 22, 2017

2017 Charleston Race Week - Saturday Sailing

Awesome Threesome from the Offshore Races
From the Charleston Race Week media director:
For a second straight day, Charleston Harbor and the open ocean just offshore provided near-perfect conditions for over 200 competing teams at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2017. Boats across all six courses faced brisk southerly winds of 15-20 knots, while the offshore boats saw five-foot waves and big gusts on the second day of the biggest multiclass keelboat regatta in the Americas.

The crew of Defiant leans into it!
There’s drama across all these highly competitive fleets, but nowhere more than in the Pursuit course today, where former Beneteau USA President Wayne Burdick leads the regatta with a group of longtime friends aboard his 18-year old Beneteau 411 Marion Maid despite being unable to locate the turning mark in their Saturday race. “Our Race Officer Frank Pontious was kind enough to provide us with his cell phone number, so we called Frank and suggested that maybe we round Rattlesnake as our mark, and he was fine with that. That saved the day!”

Dogs are welcome at Race Week, and so are smiling sailors.
Burdick has been sailing with his crew for over 40 years, and he said their motto is “All Chiefs, no Indians” because they’ve each owned their own boats and no one wants to be the crew. “We’ve raced all over the world together, in the Med, in Bermuda, the Caribbean, and it’s a great group,” he said, adding that “now it looks like we have to stay pretty close to shore because at 66, I’m the youngest one of us.”

When asked about his group’s experience here, Burdick said it’s been wonderful. “The weather has been just spectacular. But like the rest of us on board, Marion Maid isn’t a spring chicken. I love this boat, she can be a great racer, but she was going a little sideways a lot of times today in that chop offshore. If we hadn’t had this strong breeze, I’m sure we wouldn’t be sitting in first right now.”
The Tiki Bar at the Charleston Harbor Resort

Charleston’s new ORC scoring classes allow ratings of dissimilar boats to be customized to the wind speed on the day, producing corrected time results that are closer and more fair than single-number rating systems. In today’s high-wind conditions (>14 knots), this closeness was demonstrated most clearly in the ORC C class, where the nine boats competing on inshore Circle 3 not only saw scoring places determined within seconds in corrected time, but even tied to within one second after over 30 minutes of racing.

Viewing Charleston Race Week from Demetre Park
With crisp boat handling, smart tactics, and blazing speed, Mike Beasley’s GP 26 Rattle n Rum continued to extend its lead from yesterday and is dominating the class. Yet in today’s first race, they had to share 4th-place points with sistership Hall Pass, Jim Carkhuff’s Jim Donovan-designed GP 26. And the winners of this race were the hard-fighting students of College of Charleston with the Melges 30 Cougar, but their margin of victory was slender; just 20 seconds ahead of Hawk Caldwell’s Henderson 30 Short Bus, which now shares a third-place tie with Marcus Durlach’s Charleston-based Melges 32 Fearless. “The racing here has been outstanding,” said Caldwell, “because we are fighting not only boat-for-boat, but closely in corrected time as well. The system seems to really be working well.”

To view past blog entries from Charleston Race Week click on 2017 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

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