Please select your home edition
Edition
Click&Boat 2019 Leaderboard

over 115 J/Teams set for Sperry Charleston Race Week

by J/Boats 12 Apr 03:20 PDT 11-14 April 2019
2018 Sperry Charleston Race Week - Day 2 © Andew Sims

It is that time of year again, the weekend before Easter/ Bank Holiday, when it seems just about half the East Coast heads down to Charleston Harbor to sail in the amazingly popular SPERRY Charleston Race Week.

It is not hard to see why over 115 J/Teams are headed down to the historically famous venue (Fort Sumter is where the American Civil War started) for a long three-day weekend of sailing on six courses spread around the huge harbor. The Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina serves as host for the event and the CORA organization provides all logistical and professional race management for the 750+ sailors. While the on-water racing is fun, fast and furious, it's the après' sailing social activities on the beach ashore with loads of rum, beer, southern food, and live music that keeps sailors coming back for more fun-loving memories in the Deep South.

The regatta features six one-design J/Classes, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/105s. In addition, there are two "Pursuit-style" sailing divisions for both PHRF and ORC handicap rated boats that includes a J/30, J/35, J/109s, J/111s, J/120s and a J/122.

Starting with the biggest fleet in the regatta, the fifty-seven J/70s will have their hands full negotiating the shoals and currents and wildly shifting breezes on 3/4 mile windward legs (max!). Despite the challenges, for most J/70 sailors, it is like a big college regatta, but on keelboats.

Looking forward to that experience are many top J/70 teams, like John and Molly Baxter's Vineyard Vines from Riverside, CT; Doug Strebel's Black River Racing from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning's Catapult from Wayzata YC in MN; John Heaton's Empeiria from Chicago YC; Trey Sheehan's Hooligan: Flat Stanley Racing from Edgewater YC in Cleveland, OH; Marty McKenna's Rarity from Annapolis, MD; Henry Brauer's Rascal from Marblehead, MA; Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity from American YC; and Brian Keane's Savasana from Boston, MA.

Top visiting teams from outside the USA include Tony Staples' Redcoat from Royal St Lawrence YC in Canada; Francisco Van Avermaete's Juicy from YC Argentino in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Pedro Camargo's Mancha Negra from YC Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Paul Wolman's Menace from Royal Hamilton Dinghy Club in Bermuda; and Vernon Robert's Morenita from Club de Yates Algarrobo in Chile.

After sailing two midwinter regattas in St Petersburg, FL, the ten-boat J/88 class is looking forward to solid, warm winds, and hot competition. It is a star-studded gathering of the top J/88s from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and the Northeast. The leading teams should include Iris Vogel's Deviation from Huguenot YC in New Rochelle, NY; Andy and Sarah Graff's Exile from Chicago, IL; Laura Weyler's Hijinks from Youngstown YC in New York; Rob Ruhlman's Spaceman Spiff from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH; and Mike Bruno's Wings from American YC in Rye, NY. Anyone of those teams is capable of podium finishes and have all topped the leaderboard in major J/88 regattas in the past.

There are six-boats sailing in the J/22 class, mostly comprised of "Warrior Sailing Teams" on four boats; the four skippers are Sammy Hodges, Jacob Raymond, Corey Hall, and Sammy Lugo. Joining them is Terence Young's Puff and the US Patriot Sailing Team on Patriot XXII.

Of the dozen boats sailing in the J/24 class, eight are from the local fleet and four are "out of towners". It is those "foreigners" that represent a formidable challenge to local knowledge, such as Carter White's YouRegatta from Portland YC in ME and Mike Quaid's Ice Cube from Mallets Bay Boat Club in VT.

The five-boat J/80 class may be dominated by a dynamic duo from Annapolis, MD. Those teams are Bert Carp's Eleven from Annapolis YC and Bill and Shannon Lockwood's Shenanigans from Eastport YC in Annapolis.

It will be an all-South Carolina turn-out for the five-boat J/105 class. Amusingly enough, it also features an internecine rivalry amongst them; Frickie Martschink and Bill McKenzie on Rumfront versus Miles Martschink and Ben Hagood on Skimmer. Making sure that family blood doesn't boil over will be Joe Highsmith on Dead On Arrival, Bob Scribner on Joyride, and the trio of Matt Self, Russ Smith, and Paul Jacques on Ruckus.

It will be interesting to see how the ORC Hybrid Pursuit Division of fourteen boats turns out after three days of sailing. Half of the division is J/Teams. Those boats include Andy Wescoat's J/109 Harm's Way from Houston, TX; two J/111s (Rob Stein's Kinetic from Charleston, SC and Ian Hill's Sitella from Hampton YC in VA); two J/120s (John Keenan's Illyria from Mt Pleasant, SC and Rick Moore's Moose Down from Charleston, SC); Robin Team's J/122 Teamwork from Lexington, NC; and Will Schwenzfeier's J/35 Arrow from Charleston, SC.

In the "traditional" PHRF Pursuit Division, there are five J/Teams. Those fun-loving crews include the J/120 Emocean (Bill Hanckel from Charleston YC); the J/120 Rocket Science (Rick Oricchio from Mt Pleasant, SC); the J/130 Sceptre (Bob Musor from CORA in Mt Pleasant, SC); the J/30 LAS Brisas (Mark Swatta from Mt Pleasant, SC); and the J/36 SOUL (the College of Charleston Sailing Team).

The forecasts are for "breeze-on" for most of the regatta, starting Thursday practice day through the Sunday finale.

More information at charlestonraceweek.com

Related Articles

Sperry Charleston Race Week: Day 2 action-shots
Sperry Charleston Race Week day 2 images Jude Robertson was on water at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 and provided these action-shots from Day 2 Posted on 15 Apr
Sperry Charleston Race Week: J70 Class Race Day 1
J70 Class Race Day 1 J70 Class images from Race Day 1 at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 Posted on 14 Apr
Sperry Charleston Race Week day 1 images
M32 tune up racing at Sperry Charleston Race Week M32 fleet images from Day 1 of Sperry Charleston Race Week Posted on 14 Apr
Randy Draftz on the Sperry Charleston Race Week
An interview with Randy Draftz about the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week I checked in with Randy Draftz, event and race director of the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week (April 11-14), via email, to learn more about this now-classic early-spring regatta. Posted on 8 Apr
M32s coming to Sperry Charleston Race Week
High-performance catamarans will be racing around Charleston Harbor Spectacular high-performance catamarans will be racing around Charleston Harbor next month – blasting past Patriot's Point Marina at speeds approaching 30 knots. Posted on 1 Apr
Sperry Charleston Race Week overall
An interesting dynamic on the docks on the final day There was an interesting dynamic taking place on the docks of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Sunday morning. Posted on 17 Apr 2018
Sperry Charleston Race Week Family Sailing Feature
Family dynamic become a hallmark of the regatta If there has been one constant about Sperry Charleston Race Week over the years it's the family dynamic that has become a hallmark of the regatta. Posted on 16 Apr 2018
Paris Henken feature
VX One sailing at Sperry Charleston Race Week Paris Henken has already become a part of the storied legacy of the College of Charleston – she is the first female Olympian (in any sport) in school history. Posted on 15 Apr 2018
The volunteers who make it possible
Those who help run Sperry Charleston Race Week How do you run a regatta with a whopping 246 boats in 16 classes? It requires flawless organization, and a ton of manpower. Those two factors go hand in hand. Posted on 15 Apr 2018
Sperry Charleston Race Week day 2
All-important Saturday as forecast brings concern for the final day Forecasts call for a front to move through town and there is no way to predict how much racing will be completed on the final day. As the skies darkened over Charleston Harbor on Saturday evening, the leaders had to feel good about their position. Posted on 15 Apr 2018
Vaikobi 2019 - Footer 1Melges IC37 2019 FooterMarine Resources BOTTOM