Leverage event assets to maximize potential
Published on April 8th, 2015
Popular regattas are popular for a reason, and a lot of the reasons have nothing to do with racing. Every event needs to leverage its assets to maximize its potential, and Tim Finkle of RCR Yachts points out some of the reasons why Charleston Race Week in South Carolina has flourished…
Charleston Race Week (April 17-19) has become the big event to kick off the season for many, including us on the J/70 for the third straight year. The size of the regatta has grown drastically and as of this date, the total number of entries is at 286.
This is predominately a small boat one-design event, with classes of J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, VX One, Melges 20, Melges 24, and Viper 640s. There are a few bigger boat fleets and some PHRF and Pursuit racing too.
For sure, the place to be is the J/70 fleet with 86 signed up, up from 80 last year and 56 the year before (its first year having a class). The inside courses will be packed with boats and will make for some good aerial drone photos I’m sure.
This regatta is best done on a small boat where your starts are at 11AM each morning and only 10-15 minutes from the dock. The outside courses have a harbor start at 830AM because of the long commute out to their courses.
After a long winter, it is nice to see everyone and we are all smiles, happy to be back on our boats and on the water again. Another benefit to going with friends is that we managed to keep the overall cost down by splitting a marina slip with a fellow club member (J/70 racer) and splitting a house with another club member (J/88 racer). Of course my crew is OK with sleeping on air mattresses (I hope).
The launch and haul at James Island YC is just a small donation to the Jr Sailing foundation, which we are happy to support. The social pass is $65 for the 4 days and includes dinners and drinks on the really nice beach party setup at the marina resort, one of the best regatta scenes out there.
The time of year and shorter distance to travel has helped to make this event a big draw for competitors. Charleston is also a really cool city with a lot going, so even if you bring family that doesn’t sail, there is plenty to do in town during the day.