Chester Race Week: 4 days, 4 courses, 14 fleets, 140 sailboats, 1,200 sailors

Published on July 16th, 2015

Chester, NS (July 16, 2015) – The Notice of Race for Chester Race Week – Canada’s largest (and North America’s second largest) annual keelboat race week – is now available for the event running from August 12 to 15 in the picturesque town of Chester, Nova Scotia.

Chester Race Week 2015 (CRW), hosted by the Chester Yacht Club, boasts a race course for every skill level and boat class, daily events with live music, two food trucks, and the return of racing seminars from famed Canadian Olympian, Soling World and Amercia’s Cup champion, Andreas Josenhans.

“Recreational sailors and hard-core, competitive racers alike love Chester Race Week because we have diverse courses in a beautiful setting, and the results are so unpredictable – we strive to make racing competitive and fun,” said Elizabeth Shaw, CRW 2015 Principal Race Officer. A Sail Canada-certified National Race Officer, Shaw has served in an elite leadership capacity with national and world sailing championships in Canada, the United States and Australia.

Ken Legler, Tufts University head sailing coach and CRW Alpha Course race officer, agrees. “Every morning of Race Week I try to set a course that is challenging, scenic and fair while avoiding boats from the other race courses, and the many islands and shoals of Mahone Bay; and if it’s windy, I’ll set reach legs so boats can try for personal best speeds.”

A seasoned sailor and race officer himself, Legler says he’s always learning something new at Chester Race Week from Andreas Josenhans. “Rather than sleeping in each morning, students of this sport, like me, are on the CYC deck each morning at nine to take advantage of Andreas’ racing seminars. Listening to Andreas can give racers a competitive edge in key areas from working with today’s wind and rigging for super-light or super-heavy conditions, to crew communication and local course quirks.”

Named one of Sailing World magazine’s 14 greatest sailing events in North America, the racing venue on Mahone Bay along Nova Scotia’s scenic South Shore provides four different race courses for the fleets. With an average of 140 fixed-keel sailboats of varying size and shape registered each year, Chester Race Week is Canada’s largest, and North America’s second-largest annual race week based on number of competing boats (South Carolina’s Charleston Race Week is largest with 281 boats in 2015).

Courses range in size from a 0.5 nautical mile windward-leeward course for the Bluenose class in front of the Chester Yacht Club, to the 20+ nautical-mile-long, off-shore distance course for big boats. The fleets can accommodate everyone from competitive one-design hulls to classic wooden boats and cruising boats racing without spinnakers

“We don’t finalize course designs until race day when we know the actual conditions and have confirmed our competitors’ interests,” said Shaw, a Halifax native who takes the customer-service aspect of her job seriously. “We are constantly talking to our competitors so we can produce the kind of competitive courses our sailors want to race.”

The 2015 event will see the return of Yacht Scoring, a web-based, race management and scoring system used by some of the competitive sailing world’s top organizations. It was an unqualified success last year, bringing both sailors and race organizers important benefits including:

• Real-time online scoring so anyone with a web or wifi connection can see results from the water or dock. Race result reporting will be managed by a trained specialist on the water for all race courses

• Instant, direct communication with skippers and crews before, during and after each race via convenient email notice function. Note: Email notification is a courtesy service. Official notices will continue to come from race committee boats via traditional flag and horn signals.

• Easier, faster online registration and payment service reduce headaches all around

• Handy mobile web sites for smart phones via and – type “Chester” into List of Events, then bookmark the Chester Race Week 2015 results site

“With Yacht Scoring each skipper, crew member and family member on shore will be able to get their boat’s exact finish time and ranking via their smart phones before the start of the next race – its debut last year showed that it’s hours faster and more accurate than it used to be,” said Shaw.

“If we have to delay a start due to wind or weather, the Race Committee Boat will still communicate changes to the fleet with traditional signal flags, but skippers and tacticians love the convenience and speed of the new Yacht Scoring email notices delivering the same updates, faster,” she added.

The event doesn’t end when the sun goes down, with nightly bands planed during the regatta:
Wed, Fri nights: The Hopping Penguins
Thurs: Asia & NuGruv
Sat: Party Boots

Event websiteRace details


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