Please select your home edition
Edition
A+T Instruments 2024 Leaderboard

2023 Charleston Race Week - Day 2

by Charleston Race Week 22 Apr 2023 16:20 PDT 20-23 April 2023
Sailing for Clemson University is Nilah Miller with crew Mason Baird and Sam Heighway racing in the RS21 fleet - 2023 Charleston Race Week © Michelle Slade

A day that started with dark skies and thunderstorms finally cleared well before noon but not without challenging times for both race committee and racers alike. The 186-strong Charleston Race Week fleet faced big forecast challenges today as early storms killed the winds. The south-south-west sea breeze stayed pinned to the coast and offshore, making for lighter westerlies farther inside the harbor. Two-hour postponements were called on all courses; racing started in 7-10 knots and built steadily throughout the afternoon finishing in 12-14 knots.

"It turned out to be a very good day in the end and I think most people were pleased," Bruce Bingham, principal race officer for the offshore courses, commented. "There were lots of smiles as boats crossed the finish lines."

The 29-strong VX:One fleet are having a blast according to Stanley Hassinger (Chapin, SC) skipper on Little Miss Magic and currently second in class behind John Porter on Farside.

"It was a really tough day, the wind was very shifty and unpredictable around the course," Hassinger said. "We tried to stay as consistent as possible and make gains when we could. The competition is fantastic, the VX fleet is second to none in my book and there are a lot of great sailors here this week so it's been really fun. Farside has been really consistent. Even when you get down to just trying to limit your losses and stay consistent, John Porter is always consistent so it's a matter of trying to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves and mitigate the damage and not make mistakes."

Laura Grodin (Manakin Sabot, VA), sailing on the Melges 24 Lucky Dog/Dark Energy is making good on her goal to keep the boat's winning streak alive. She's currently leading with eight points, four ahead of Zingara skippered by Richard Reid (Ontario, Canada).

"I'm honored to be sailing Lucky Dog with John Bowden who has the boat well setup," Grodin commented. "We had good starts today and we're going fast. It was fun sailing the second race, I enjoy the boat most when we can plane! Here it is important to figure out how to use the current to your advantage. As a driver I had to be on my toes and prepared for shifty winds, both left and right and up and down velocity."

John Shockey (Vermilion, OH) sailing in the Melges 24 Corinthian class on Wombmates Racing, is just one point behind Surprise in close class racing.

"Dan on Surprise are always a formidable Corinthian competitor out there - today there were really tricky conditions in the first race and we got hooked on the top mark, there was so much current that we snagged it with our rudder which set us back," Shockey said. "We followed it up with a second in race two which was an exciting windy race where we were all blast-reaching and planing downwind - a lot of fun. I've raced here before but it was the first time the two rivers were different currents in a fifty-to-hundred-yard stretch. The Ashley was pushing us east and the Cooper was pushing us south, that was very confusing at the top mark," he laughed.

Iris Vogel (New Rochelle, NY) on Deviation and who is leading the J/88 fleet commented, "Today was a good and a fun day. Albondigas also had a great day; it is close in our class so we don't celebrate until the last race is over, it can be any of us and it usually comes down to whoever wins the last race. In the first race we played the current, we were able to go where we needed to go and that's really key, sometimes you don't get that lucky. The second race we couldn't get to where we wanted to be right away and it was a short weather leg and things very quickly, you get one chance to get it right or not. Once you are behind there is not much time to catch up. We've been racing this regatta since 2015, it's really different than any other venue we go to, it's fast-paced, close racing and it's a lot of fun, we love it."

Sailing for Clemson University with crew Mason Baird and Sam Heighway, skipper Nilah Miller has helmed her team to a first-position tie with Douglas McKeige on Boat in the RS21 fleet. The two teams have a solid ten-point lead over the rest of the fleet. For all three Clemson sailors it is the first time that they have sailed a RS21. At the regatta this week the RS21 fleet is testing the Vakaros 2 Race Sense software.

"It's a lot of fun but it is hard because of the current and the wind is super shifty," Miller, who has sailed in Charleston previously in college regattas in 420s said. "My crew has been great at calling tactics so they're helping me out there. We're trying different things and trying to learn the boat. The Vakaros software is cool - we like how you can ping the lines remotely and don't have to press the five-minute button anymore. Tomorrow we'll just keep doing what we've been doing and stay fast and calm!"

Weather guru Shea Gibson noted, "On Sunday we hope to keep a modest N/NNE flow going in the 7-11 kts ranges as long as possible for the last day of racing at Charleston Race Week 2023. Tune in at 8am on Sunday to join Scott Nixon / Quantum Sails and Shea Gibson / Sailflow Weather online for interactive forecasts, local knowledge, and expert tips.

View Charleston Race Week 2023 full results here.

Related Articles

Racing begins Friday at Charleston Race Week
Growth across one design fleets draws top level sailors Sailors, boats, families, and friends are rolling into town for their first major regatta of 2024: Charleston Race Week at Patriots Point. Posted on 16 Apr
Countdown to 2024 Charleston Race Week
Sailors are gearing up for an exhilarating competition The countdown for the much-anticipated Charleston Race Week 2024, which starts in just two weeks, is under way. Sailors are gearing up for an exhilarating competition with entries spanning 16 classes. Posted on 4 Apr
Charleston Race Week 2024 at Patriots Point
Melges 24 sailors fierce by nature, next level fun Sailboat racers have been having a blast on the Melges 24 for over 30 years and the boat's popularity is as hot as ever, as Peter McClennen, from Newport, RI, can attest. Posted on 29 Mar
Charleston Race Week VX One fleet preview
The event responded to the fleet's request to be moved farther out in the harbor This year promises to be an epic CRW experience for the VX One fleet. The event responded to the fleet's request to be moved farther out in the harbor away from the shallows so VX One racing will take place on the same course as the J70s & Melges 24s. Posted on 27 Mar
Charleston Race Week announces new partnership
Many regular competitors are already signed up for the 2024 edition Between April 18-21, hundreds of sailors from all corners of North America and beyond will descend on one of the finest sailboat racing destinations in the US - Charleston, South Carolina — for world-class racing and fun parties. Posted on 29 Jan
Charleston Race Week 2024 registration open
We are thrilled to welcome everyone back Online registration for Charleston Race Week 2024 is officially open! Register early and scoop up those early entry discounts now. Posted on 18 Nov 2023
2023 Charleston Race Week overall
Concluding with the full complement of racing across all 15 classes At the end of the day, a regatta is all about the breeze and when the wind generously gave its all for the last race of Charleston Race Week 2023, it brought smiles to many faces and success across all fifteen fleets racing. Posted on 23 Apr 2023
2023 Charleston Race Week Day 1
Great racing for all classes The southeast winds were on point today on the higher end at 8-10 knots and everyone had just enough wind to work with as the 186 boats in fifteen classes got under way on day one, Charleston Race Week. Posted on 22 Apr 2023
Charleston Race Week update
Mount Pleasant, Patriots Point join forces to support the event The town of Mount Pleasant and City of Charleston are rightfully proud of the grand prix sailboat racing regatta that has become a fixture of the region. Posted on 13 Mar 2023
New Race Village venue for Charleston Race Week
Now on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant Organizers of Charleston Race Week are excited to announce a new venue for the Regatta Village, coming up April 20-23, on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Mt. Posted on 3 Feb 2023
2024 fill-in (bottom)Lloyd Stevenson - Equilibrium 728x90px BOTTOMCyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTER