CHARLESTON, SC (December 22, 2006)-A little less than four months remain before the action at Charleston Race Week resumes and already sailboat owners up and down the southeastern coast are gearing up for the event. Last year, this three-day regatta attracted 148 entries with over 900 sailors in attendance, cementing its stature as the premier sailing regatta on the southeastern coast between Annapolis, MD and Miami, FL. For 2007, the organizers fully expect to surpass those numbers.
“We fielded a record number of boats last year,” noted Brad Van Liew, executive director of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation-the organization that co-manages the event with the Charleston Ocean Racing Association. “The turnout last year represented an increase in competitors of over 25 percent, and we feel the regatta is poised for continued growth.”
Van Liew explained that his outlook is based on a history of steadily increasing participation over several years as well as a number of refinements that he and his fellow organizers have put in place for the 2007 edition of Charleston Race Week. “A few months ago, we accepted an invitation for the event to become part of the Gulf Stream Series, which is essentially a group of regattas that all include boats rated under the IRC format. For our event, that boils down to a strong chance that we’ll see additional entries from out of state and out of the region. Our location and our dates on the calendar are ideal for the many boats that race in the Caribbean and Florida in the winter, and then head north in the spring. Having those boats in the mix at Charleston Race Week-many of which are very well prepared and well sailed-will definitely enhance the regatta.”
In 2006, Charleston Race Week entrants came from as far away as England, Canada, Michigan, and California, with more than 70 percent of the competitors arriving from out of town. What draws sailors from such distant ports, said Van Liew, is Charleston’s growing reputation as an outstanding sailing venue, as well as the caliber of competition, and the unequalled hospitality offered to competitors at this regatta. “We bill the event as offering ‘great racing and true southern hospitality,’ and what we delivered last year certainly lived up to that. We staged all of the shoreside events at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina,” he said, “which not only served as a beautiful venue, but the company was also one of our generous sponsors.”
In 2007, Charleston Race Week will return to the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina to celebrate its 12th year in existence. The regatta, which is scheduled for April 12-15, includes three days of competition and is open to boats 24 to 60 feet in length. The fleet characteristically includes a mix of one-designs and boats competing under handicap formulas (PHRF and IRC).
This regatta is an event of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, in affiliation with the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA). Profits from the event support the construction and operation of the Spirit of South Carolina, a classic tall ship serving South Carolina’s youth.
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