by Lynn Helpard
The ever popular Chester Race Week regatta is once again being hosted by the Chester Yacht Club August 10th to 13th. Soon the waters of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia will be filled with billowing spinnakers as keen sailors seek trophies and the glory of winning against many of the finest yachts in the Maritimes and beyond.
Chester Yacht Club
The committee is striving to make this keel boat regatta not only the largest in Canada but one of the best yachting events on the eastern seaboard. Andreas Josenhans, Principal Race Officer, will be directing the racing on three courses for the 12 classes of yachts ranging from the famous Bluenose fleet of 23 ft. day sailor sloops all the way up to 65 ft. ocean yachts which will be competing over the four day event.
His technique of laying out the race courses and maneuvering the start/finish lines to best suit prevailing winds just before the races start has proved to be very popular with the racers and results in better competition. He handles the action personally on the 'Alpha' course, outside for the larger yachts while two other race officers direct the races for the 'Bravo, and Charlie' courses.
John Curry, Race Week’s chair for 2011, has said 'we have made great strides over the last three years in improving the way the races are sailed
and will be working to capitalize on what we have learned plus incorporate the valuable feedback we have received from the participating skippers'.
Curry continues 'we encourage all those planning to sail in the regatta to spend some time on our web site www.chesterraceweek.com where there is a host of information, including schedules, registration information, social events, and local facilities. The site is updated regularly', he added.
The Chester Race Week is not only a major yacht racing event, but also an event for those who would like to visit the club and rub shoulders with some of the best yachtsmen and women around. Any adult can buy a bracelet at the club for the duration of Race Week at a cost of only $15.00 which gives access to all the evening parties and dancing. However, anyone is welcome to visit the club at no charge during the daytime and experience the ambiance of a major regatta. On Wednesday August 10th there will be a huge BarBQ entitled 'The Dark and Stormy Pig Roast' at a cost of only $20.00, once again limited tickets are available at the club and online. Vendors will be on the club premises throughout Race Week offering everything from pizza to fish and chips.
Wednesday evening will feature entertainment by 'The Mellotones'.
On Thursday and Friday nights the Chester Yacht Club will be rockin’ to the popular 'Hopping Penguins'. For something a little different, there will be performances by belly dancers on the club verandas at 6:00 pm every evening. Saturday evening August 13th will see the awarding of the coveted, historic trophies with 'The Chess Club' band belting out tunes everyone will remember well into the evening.
Yacht owners are encouraged to register early by going to the web site. Event tickets and Race Week bracelets must be picked up at Chester Yacht Club. For those who sail and wish to crew during CRW they should go to the web site and follow the link to 'sign-up or find crew'.
Chester Race Week has a history of over 100 years and is a major event yachting circles in Atlantic Canada and north eastern States. The large group of volunteers and the generous sponsors are all working diligently to ensure a warm welcome and world class racing for the competing sailors and the visiting landlubbers alike.