CHARLESTON, South Carolina (January 12, 2007) —Ten years ago, two amateur sailors created a race from Charleston to Bermuda, inspired by their sheer enjoyment of time spent on the water, and what’s now known as C2B is going strong to this date. Since that seminal edition, this biennial bluewater dash to the isle of the onions has been staged four other times. The sixth edition of C2B will begin on Friday, May 18th, and race organizers at the South Carolina Maritime Foundation are pleased to announce a full spectrum of activities as well as strong support from the Bermuda government and numerous commercial sponsors.
“We really feel that this edition of the race will be the finest yet,” said Brad Van Liew, Executive Director of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. “Working with our steering committee and officials from Bermuda Tourism, we’ve made a number of important enhancements to the format of the race, and to the social side, and we’re already seeing positive results in the way of increased early entries.”
Van Liew explained that the race will start right in the harbor, amid the ongoing activities of the foundation’s annual Maritime Festival. “You’ll have all that going on, but really one of the key attractions will be the fact that we’ve combined several events. The race will start with Tall Ships® Charleston as a backdrop. We don’t have a full count just yet, but there are likely to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 classic tall ships in the harbor for that weekend. But the best part of it all is that our own ship—the Spirit of South Carolina—will be the centerpiece for all this activity.”
Competitors in the C2B will sail 777 miles to St. Georges Bermuda, where they’ll be welcomed by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Bermuda Tourism. Before departing, the participants will enjoy Charleston’s unparalleled hospitality, including the Governor’s Celebration of Sail hosted by Bermuda Tourism and the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and the Honorable Dr. Ewart Brown, the Premier of Bermuda, will honor the captains attending, including those readying to leave for Bermuda and those having just arrived aboard the tall ships.
“There’s no doubt,” said Van Liew, “we’re really taking the entire event up several notches, which is where it deserves to be.” As an example of this, he mentioned that all participating yachts will be equipped with a satellite tracking system to guarantee regular position updates and enhanced safety.
Van Liew said that already the word is out in the sailing community, and he and his fellow organizers have received firm commitments from seven boats. “We’ve received entries from a range of boats, the smallest of our first seven, at the moment, is 42 feet, and the largest is 100 feet. We’re also considering the possibility of including a double-handed division this year.” He was keen to explain that the C2B is an all-inclusive event. “We definitely have hard-core competitors in this race, but we truly welcome sailors of all stripes. The emphasis here is on fun, and that’s built into the event’s history. You don’t have to own a speed machine to participate in the C2B, just a sound, seaworthy sailboat.”
The Charleston to Bermuda Race is open to any seaworthy sailing vessel 30 feet and longer. Sponsors of this year’s event include Bermuda Tourism, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, the Charleston Harbor Resort, Bennett-Hofford, and Charleston Boatworks. The Charleston Ocean Racing Association handles race committee duties for C2B.
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