News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Charleston Race Week – Epic breeze on Opening Day
Charleston Race Week – Epic breeze on Opening Day

'Day 1 - Charleston Race Week 2013'    © Meredith Block / Charleston Race Week

Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, owned and managed by Charleston Ocean Racing Association, runs from April 18 through April 21 and is open to all monohull sailboats 20 to 80 feet in length.

Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week has a reputation for consistent, solid breeze. In fact, Charleston’s great wind is one of the big reasons this event has grown so spectacularly over the past decade. Even so today may have been a case of 'too much of a good thing' for some competitors, though it was just perfect for others. As of the end of the day, competitors throughout the fleet were working hard to repair broken boats and broken bodies, with an eye toward more mellow conditions that were forecast for Saturday.

Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and America’s Cup standout Terry Hutchinson was worn out but smiling after his first day ever racing in the Melges 20 fleet, and first ever at this event. T-Hutch sails with Jim Richardson aboard Barking Mad, and he says the class is perfect training for the bigger boats that Richardson campaigns.

'We knew Jim needed to get as much time in as possible in order to get ready for two big boat world championships this summer, and sailing a Melges 20 in Charleston certainly fit the bill,' said Hutchinson. The champion tactician says he is extremely happy that he’s spent so much time recently working out hard. 'As physical as this boat is, when the wind pipes up to 20-plus like today, I feel lucky to have spent so much time in the gym.'

The final race saw gusts well into the high 20s on the inshore courses, and before the afternoon was over, two boats lost their masts; Richard Davies Section 16 was first, followed by Lake Michigan’s Bob Hughes on Heartbreaker. Hard luck for both, but especially for Hughes, who was winning the regatta at that point. 'We’re putting a new mast in as we speak, and we’re going to be out there fighting for every inch tomorrow,' said Hughes.

Despite the blustery winds, every race officer managed to pull off some slick work, getting in up to four races in the Melges 20 and 24 and the Viper and J/70 Classes. Most other classes sailed three races – more than enough for most teams. 'That was just about perfect for our new boat,' said Eric Vigrass, trimming aboard the winning Viper 640 Jackpot, just launched last week. 'After quite a few Charleston Race Weeks, we’ve learned that the wind will almost always come in, and that there’s probably no better place to race on Earth.' A number of the Viper sailors chose to sit out the final race of the day due to the lively characteristics of these ultra-light sportboats when the wind jumps into the 20s.

In the regatta’s most numerous class, the 55-boat J/70 group, the action was tight and tumultuous. Longtime J/24 standout and sailmaker Tim Healy and his team aboard Helly Hansen rode a score line of 5,3,3,1 to end the day with a five-point lead over his nearest rival.

On the two offshore circles, the wind was slower to build and far more manageable, though the seas were big and boisterous. Among the nearly 20 boats racing in the Pursuit Class were three sexy Class 40 boats – the fastest growing offshore raceboat fleet in the world. Charleston-based young guns Tim Fetsch and Ben Poucher sailed Icarus Racing to a first place on the 18.6 nm course despite ‘seriously puffy conditions'. 'We led the Class 40s the entire race, through the fetch out the jetties and out to the turning mark, where the wind moderated,' said Fetsch. The fleet stayed locked together throughout the race, with Fetsch and Poucher finishing the course in just 2 hours and 10 minutes, only a boatlength ahead of Joe Harris’ Gryphon Solo II. 'Working the kinks out for double-handed maneuvers is a big part of sailing in breeze,' Poucher explained. It’s a real challenge, and the only way to do it right is with this kind of practice.'

Elsewhere on the offshore racing circles, John Hele’s Daring won the day in the five-boat Swan 42 Class with three first-place scores. The team’s tactician, Brad Read, joked about the success owing to dumb luck and local knowledge – the boat is based in Rye, N.Y. – but later attributed this success to the crew’s cohesive mechanics. 'It was really quiet on board. No drama at all.' Read dug into his bag of tricks in the first race, pulling a ‘Sambuca’ gybe-set, which gave them the downwind separation they needed to launch them to victory. 'I think that first race really cemented our confidence,' said Read, adding that these five boats represent the upper tier of the Swan 42 Class, and 'on any given day any one of these boats can win.'

On the South offshore course, the big local boats kept hoping for the breeze that their heavier craft need to really get going – and finally it came. 'We saw the dial start hitting the high teens and we knew we were in the hunt at last,' said Mark Thomas, trimmer on the 40,000 lb. Stevens 50 Suwannee, which started the day with a less-than-stellar 6,6 score line. 'With a strong start and good tactics, our crew pulled it together for the last race, and we ended with a win.' Thomas says his crew will need to dig deep in the lighter breeze forecast for tomorrow. 'Regardless, we’re in this to enjoy ourselves, and we’re pretty sure we’ll have no problem succeeding at that.

Results (Top 3 Only)
J 80 (One Design - 4 Boats)
1. Superfluous, Richard Donn , USA - 2, 2, 2, ; 6
2. USA 11, Bert carp , USA - 1, 1, 5/DNF, ; 7
3. Rocket Dog, Bradley Bertram , USA - 3, 3, 1, ; 7

J 24 (One Design - 26 Boats)
1. Superfecta, Kris Werner , USA - 1, 1, 3, ; 5
2. Mental Floss, Aidan Glackin , USA - 6, 2, 2, ; 10
3. 5443, Mike Ingham , USA - 5, 5, 1, ; 11

J 22 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. The Jug 4 1, Chris Doyle , USA - 1, 2, 1, ; 4
2. Blind Pig, Ryan Flack , USA - 3, 1, 4, ; 8
3. Torqeedo, Arthur Libby , USA - 4, 4, 2, ; 10

Ultimate 20 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Rumbullion, BJ Jones , USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Redbeard, Brad Lawson , USA - 2, 2, 2, ; 6
3. Escape Velocity, Phillip Davis , USA - 3, 4, 12/DNF, ; 19

J 70 (One Design - 55 Boats)
1. Helly Hansen, Tim Healey , USA - 5, 3, 3, 1, ; 12
2. Catapult, Joel Ronning , USA - 1, 1, 5, 10, ; 17
3. Relative Obscurity, Peter Duncan , USA - 3, 2, 11, 4, ; 20

Viper 640 (One Design - 33 Boats)
1. Jackpot, Brad Boston/ Lee Shuckerow/Eric Vigrass , CAN - 4, 2, 5, 2, ; 13
2. Dazzler, Allan Terhune, Jr , USA - 1, 3, 1, 11, ; 16
3. Arethusa, Philip Lotz , USA - 7, 1, 3, 5, ; 16

Melges 24 (One Design - 37 Boats)
1. New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging, Bora Gulari , USA - 2, 2, 1, 2, ; 7
2. Hedgehog, Alec Cutler , BER - 1, 6, 2, 1, ; 10
3. Monsoon, Bruce Ayres , USA - 6, 1, 3, 3, ; 13

Melges 20 (One Design - 33 Boats)
1. Bacio, Michael Kiss , USA - 4, 5, 2, 3, ; 14
2. Cinghiale, Robert Wilber , USA - 6, 3, 8, 7, ; 24
3. STAR, Jeff Ecklund , USA - 2, 24, 3, 2, ; 31

High Performance Class (HPR) (HPR - 4 Boats)
1. SPOOKIE, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , USA - 1, 1, 2, ; 4
2. Decision, Stephen Murray , USA - 2, 2, 1, ; 5
3. Grundoom, James Grundy , USA - 4, 3, 3, ; 10

Swan 42 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Daring, John Hele , USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Stark Raving Mad VI, James Madden , USA - 3, 4, 2, ; 9
3. Apparition, Ken Colburn , USA - 2, 5, 3, ; 10

PHRF A (PHRF - 13 Boats)
1. Teamwork, Robin Team , USA - 2, 1, 1, ; 4
2. Rebecca, Glenn Gault , USA - 4, 3, 2, ; 9
3. Dauntless, Don Terwilliger , USA - 1, 6, 4, ; 11

PHRF B (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Tangent, Gerry Taylor , USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Line Honors Racing, Bob Hillier , USA - 2, 2, 3, ; 7
3. Heat Wave, Gary Weisberg , USA - 4, 3, 4, ; 11

Tartan 10 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Team Iball, Scott Irwin , USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Norboy, Leif Sigmond , USA - 3, 2, 2, ; 7
3. Silver Surfer, Simon Beemsterboer , USA - 4, 3, 4, ; 11

PHRF C (PHRF - 12 Boats)
1. Natural Disaster, Barney Hathaway / Tom Moulds , USA - 3, 1, 4, ; 8
2. Mighty Puffin, Steve Thurston , USA - 1, 3, 5, ; 9
3. Amigos, David Pritchard , USA - 6/SCP, 2, 3, ; 11

PHRF D (PHRF - 7 Boats)
1. Diana Sea, Bernie Cignavitch , USA - 2, 2, 4.5, ; 8.5
2. Susimi, Michael Carrington , USA - 7, 1, 2, ; 10
3. Celadon, Steve Lesniak , USA - 1, 7, 3, ; 11

Pursuit Class Spin (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. indigo, elliott dodds , USA - 1, ; 1
2. Pie-'a-Mer, Bernard M Schapiro , USA - 2, ; 2
3. Alexandria, Joseph Hanna , USA - 3, ; 3

Pursuit Class Non Spin (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Houzee, Francisco Davila , USA - 1, ; 1
2. The Usual Suspects, Robert Aymar , USA - 2, ; 2
3. Peregrine, Timothy Vienneau , USA - 3, ; 3

Pursuit Class Class 40 (One Design - 3 Boats)
1. Icarus, Tim Fetsch , USA - 1, ; 1
2. GryphonSolo2, Joseph Harris , USA - 2, ; 2
3. Dragon, Michael Hennessy , USA - 3, ; 3

Full results can be found here.

by Dan Dickison


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

12:24 AM Sat 20 Apr 2013GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Related News Stories:

20 Apr 2013  Charleston Race Week 2013 - Spectacular racing for Melges 20 fleet
19 Apr 2013  Charleston Race Week 2013 - Monster winds set to challenge sailors
28 Mar 2013  Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2013 - Bigger and better

News - USA and the World

2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean - Although there is no change at top of the leaderboard with Swan 80 Selene (Class A) and Swan 53 Music (Class B) firmly fixed at the head of their respective classifications, today's racing could not be described as anything less than thrilling. ... [more]  

Saturday night should see two IMOCA 60 crews of the Barcelona World Race reach Cape Horn ready enjoy the relase from the Pacific and start the climb up the Atlantic. Both of the Barcelona based duos of We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton entered the Roaring 40s around January 27th as southern oceans rookies. ... [more]  

88th Bacardi Cup - Day 4 by Icarus Sailing Media
The sixth Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank began today with the addition of the J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One classes, while the Stars are racing their fourth day in the 88th Bacardi Cup. The weather was perfect, the wind was great and the race committees did a great job. ... [more]  

For the new 52 Super Series 2015 season it could be said that challenge to be fully race ready stepped up a gear when Germany's Harm Müller Spreer launched his new Vrolijk designed Platoon in Dubai. In Auckland, New Zealand sea trials are presently under way for for the new Provezza. ... [more]  

A record entry of 81 yachts entered the Gill Commodore's Cup, the prelude to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. 30 knots of wind with breaking waves, provided testing conditions for the fleet. ... [more]  

At the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship going into the second day of racing, the Italian crew aboard Enfant Terrible faced the near impossible task of maintaining their lead against a class with some serious talent. The impossible must be an Italian special, because not only did they remain the overall scoreboard leaders, but they did so by placing first in two of the races and fourth in the last. ... [more]  

2015 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week day four starts with excellent sailing conditions. The wind was a bit lighter today starting out at 11 knots and dropping to eight by the finish. The fleet was well behaved on the starting line so no Black Flag today and no one was over early. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race 2014/2015 - Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm were left with a bitter memory of their slog up the South Atlantic in the last Vendée Globe. To make the equator, they had to contend with northerly winds and breaking seas… However, for this third edition of the Barcelona World Race it seems that luck has been on their side. ... [more]  

For years the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has pulled out all the stops when it comes to on the water racing, and on shore parties, which is what has made the event the success that it is ... [more]  

Oman is the most successful nation in the nine-year history of the Extreme Sailing Series™ and with less than a week to go before Act 2 of the 2015 global tour in Muscat 11 – 14 March, the spotlight is inevitably on the home teams The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air. ... [more]  

Superb sailing conditions once again characterized the second day of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015. The event, organized by longstanding partners Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Nautor's Swan and Rolex, is underway at the yacht club's Caribbean base in Virgin Gorda through Saturday 7th March and sees 21 Swan yachts participating. ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 2 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

After a spell last night and today during which almost all of the Barcelona World Race fleet were in light or moderate winds, in the Atlantic and the Pacific, it looks more like Transition Time is ringing for many. ... [more]  

Stuart Alexander, one of the world's leading yachting correspondents has been in New Zealand for the past few months, and provided the following perspective on Emirates Team New Zealand's latest media flogging, ahead of the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed under 5,000 miles to the Barcelona World Race finish line and also crossed over their own outbound track. ... [more]  

Reflecting on his team’s performance on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright said the youngest crew in the race had sailed its best leg to date. 'It was our most complete leg so far. But like all these legs it had its ups and downs,' said the 30-year-old Enright. ... [more]  

It’s hot, hot, hot in Miami for the third day of Star racing in the 88th Bacardi Cup and it is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the remaining classes, J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One, will begin racing in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. ... [more]  

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. The three-day technical conference, 9-11 March, is still open for late registrations ... [more]  

If there was any takeaway for competitors in the regatta's first three races, it's that walking away with the title of Farr 40's Midwinters Champion is not going to be an easy feat. ... [more]  

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is buzzing today with race crews arriving to register for the Gill Commodore's Cup. Over 2000 sailors are expected to take part and many of them have sailed their yachts to St.Maarten from neighbouring islands. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) today announced Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) as the 2014 US Sailing National Coach of the Year, and Todd Fedyszyn (St. Petersburg, Fla.) as the 2014 US Sailing Development Coach of the Year. ... [more]  

The competition for the 2015 Delta Lloyd Regatta looks promising. Especially the registrations for Laser and Laser Radial are well under way. International top sailors like Marit Bouwmeester (Laser Radial) and Bundock & Curtis (Nacra17) are up to the challenge in Medemblik from 24 - 30 May 2015. Races will start from 26 May onwards. ... [more]  

The 21 Swan yachts competing in the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean could not have asked for a more perfect start to the event's four scheduled days of racing in Virgin Gorda. After a rip-roaring race around the island accompanied by 20 to 22 knots of breeze and some serious waves, Swan 80 Selene was the victor in Class A (18.29m and above) while Swan 53 Music led yachts in Class B ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. ... [more]  

2015 EFG Winter Cup - Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the Winter Cup. ... [more]  

EFG Bank Pan American Championship 2015 - Things are about to get hot in the Viper 640 class, with two Miami regattas in Miami this week, culminating in the EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championship held during BACARDI Miami Sailing Week, one of the Class’s major championships. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

2015 Squirrel Bank Regatta - Overall report by Andy Kopetzky, Southern California
Short close chop, hobby-horsing to weather and donning layers of foul weather gear was the order of the day at Del Rey Yacht Club's annual Squirrel Bank Regatta. ... [more]  

Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Off to St Maarten Heineken Regatta for Team Phaedo
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – Third time lucky for Bella Mente
2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean preview
Bacardi Miami Sailing Week - Day 2 + Video
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Images by Tim Wright
Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase
Volvo Ocean Race: Kiwi Catch-up - Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race: Kiwi Catch-up - Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race: Race Director Jack Lloyd reflects on the new VOR
Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard
America's Cup: Artemis Racing burns up the Bay + Video
Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar - Ready to welcome the Olympic Sailing
RC44 Championship - New faces and seasoned pros ready to lead
2015 US Grand Slam Series - Requests for Invitation being accepted
Bacardi Miami Sailing Week - Day 1 + Video
Maintain the urgency - Reinstating paralympic sailing in Tokyo 2020
Volvo Ocean Race Village: Have a look around without leaving your seat
2015 WWA Malibu Pro Card Qualifier – Registration open
Doyle Sails and NZ Rigging supply package for new Sydney based Shaw 11
Barcelona World Race - Easier miles at the front
2015 North American Hobie 16 to be held at Pensacola Yacht Club   
2015 Hobie Mid-Winter East North America   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel faced big challenges – Recap Leg 4   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – 66 best yachts and 600 mile thrilling race   
ACWS Portsmouth ticket launch – Watch top sailors battling it out   
E.E. Manning Regatta – NHYC kids hold it together in restless weather   
2015 California Dreamin’ Series-Long Beach Stop – A close fight   
Delivery of Phaedo3 MOD 70   
Premiere Racing stepping aside after their 21st Key West Race Week   
Sol having Serious Fun at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta   
Barcelona World Race – 60 Days at Sea– Atlantic opens up for the fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more   
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper   
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature   
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more   
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor   
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar   
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT