Bucking the trend

Entries up at this year's Charleston Race Week

Friday April 4th 2008, Author: Meaghan van Liew, Location: United Kingdom
Bucking the downward participation trend at major regattas across the nation, Charleston Race Week is headed toward a third straight record-setting year for 2008. Event Director and round the world racer Brad Van Liew is excited to host more than 150 teams for another year. "We are incredibly happy to see so many folks supporting
this great event," said van Liew. "Despite higher fuel prices and an unsure economy, our out-of town competitors and local fleets are showing us just how much they enjoy racing in Charleston."

The most challenging part of racing in Charleston is the ever-present tide, which can run at up to 3 knots in places - giving a big advantage to local teams. To help visiting teams on both the harbor and ocean courses better compete at Charleston Race Week, organizers have asked top racing coach Michael Miller to give a short "chalk talk" to competitors as they prepare for the event.

"Everyone wants great competition, and a little knowledge of how and when the tidal streams flow will go a long way towards improving results," said Miller. The seminar will be held at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina at both 4:00pm and 4:30pm on Thursday, April 17th, immediately before the Skippers Meeting, and is sponsored by Pinnacle Sailing.

While South Carolina's own Tall Ship won't be competing at Charleston Race Week, the beautiful schooner got into the 'Spirit' of racing last weekend, joining the PHRF handicap fleet for the Charleston Ocean Racing Organization's first offshore race of the year - the Spring Ocean Race. "Seeing the Spirit of South Carolina on the course with dozens of modern race boats was just amazing," said Meredith Block, a local sailing photographer. "I think visitors will really enjoy having her on the water during Charleston Race Week, even if she's a spectator boat instead of a competitor."

Charleston Race Week is an event of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation and the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA). All profits from the event support educational programs aboard the Spirit of South Carolina, a classic tall ship serving South Carolina's youth. Charleston Race Week is sponsored by Raymarine, Gosling's Rum, Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, Vineyard Vines, the Town of Mt. Pleasant, West Marine, Hall Marine Group, and Azalea Moving & Storage. Check out www.charlestonraceweek.com for more information, including Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, and logistical information.

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