Charleston Race Week: Changes planned for 2014

It’s still three months out from Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week (April 10-13), but with over 160 boats already registered, the outlook for the 2014 event is well on track to surpass 300 entries.

Due to the growth of the one design classes, organizers have been forced to consider size limits for the inshore course. The Notice of Race stipulates no more than 60 boats will be allowed to compete in each inshore class. However, because there are already nearly 20 J/70s on the wait list for that class, the organizers are considering alternative means of accommodating the largest classes.

Another significant change involves multihulls. “This event has always had an inclusive outlook regarding competitors,” explained Event Director Randy Draftz. “We have long wanted to invite multihulls, but we were focused on other areas of growth initially. This year, we’re opening the regatta up to offshore multihulls, and so far the response looks promising.”

Charleston Race Week, now in its 19th year, will be awarded the US Sailing One-Design Regatta Award for 2013. According to US Sailing’s Inshore Director Lee Parks, “The award recognizes excellence in development, promotion and management of the year’s outstanding regatta at any level.” The award will be presented in San Diego in early February in conjunction with the Sailing Leaders Forum.

Quantum Sail Design Group will be joining the list of companies that support the regatta. “Charleston Race Week’s organizers have done a tremendous job in building a respected event that is now the largest of its kind in the country,” noted Quantum President Ed Reynolds. “Their focus on creating a great customer experience aligns with what Quantum is all about, and we look forward to partnering with the event staff to build on this even more. With our sail loft in Charleston, we will be able to provide a high level of service and support to the race teams as well as professional on-the-water coaching, post-race debriefs, and event coverage utilizing the talents of our Quantum team members.”

Other than those changes, the event remains committed to providing the same quality race management and superb shoreside hospitality, with plans to ratchet up the educational offerings with additional panel discussions and post-race seminars.

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Source: Dan Dickison, Media Director, Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week

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