Corpus Christi is ready for the spotlight
Published on July 15th, 2018
When an elite field of international competitors vie for titles at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships on July 16 to 20, the host community of Corpus Christi, Texas expects to be a winner too.
It was nearly four years ago in November 2014 that Corpus Christi Yacht Club won the bid and it has been a full effort for the Gulf community to prepare of this pinnacle event for elite international youth sailors.
“We’ve put 85 people together and 17 boats to make the event happen and then gathering up all the equipment and all the necessary supplies to put together on the water,” explains Mark Foster who will serve as the Field of Play Manager for the championships, looking after the race management on the four race courses.
Events such as the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds have been held on Corpus Christi Bay but there is a clear difference to this one. “We’ve hosted world events before but never anything of this size, of this magnitude,” notes Craig Henderson, Commodore of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club. “This is, I think, the largest regatta that Corpus has hosted that I can recall.”
One of the major reasons our city landed the championships is the venue.
“We are blessed with an enclosed bay that’s large enough, that allows to run large regattas when we would like to,” Henderson explains. Foster adds that the bay is also free of any obstacles, and also allows quick access to the docks and convenience to the race course for sailors.
Then there’s something most of us notice when we’re along the Bayfront — the consistent sea breeze.
“It’s one of the reasons US Sailing took us and asked us to do this because they knew they would have the consistent sea breeze to make the event happen,” Foster explains.
While there is a significant cost in hosting such an event, the city expects to see an impressive economic boost. According to a study from the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, Henderson says the week-long event is expected to add about $1 million to the local economy.
The local sailing community is hopeful the exposure from this event will make Corpus Christi a prime pick to host other major regattas in the future. “All the other people will see this and see the conditions here and recognize that if we want to host a regatta for them, they’re going to get incredible conditions and some incredible Texas hospitality,” remarks Foster.