240 And Counting (2-26-11)
2011 SPERRY TOP-SIDER CHARLESTON RACE WEEK NOW AMERICA’S BIGGEST
CHARLESTON, SC (26 FEBRUARY 2011) – With more than 240 boats registered for the newly re-titled 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, the rapidly growing event takes over the title as the United States’ largest keelboat regatta. “We’re thrilled about all of the talks about titles down here,” said Logistics Manager Danny Havens, “and we’re happy to be able to welcome so many new friends to our wonderful town and harbor.”
With dozens more entries possible in the nearly seven weeks remaining until the event begins, Charleston’s signature event clearly has come up with a formula that is working. “Of the entire winter and spring series, Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week has become the event that’s just way too good to miss,” said Detroit-based sportboat skipper Paul Hulsey, who will sail in the 50+ boat strong Melges 24 fleet.
To see a list of current entries, click on http://yachtscoring.com/current_event_entries.cfm?eID=407.
MIXED FLEET RACING ON THE RISE AT RACE WEEK
While the bulk of the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week fleet will sail in one-design (identical) fleets, handicap racing continues to grow at the US’s largest keelboat regatta, with over 60 entries already in the handicap rating classes. Competitors have praised Charleston’s big boat rating competition in recent years for close sectional handicap splits, big class fleets and the separation of light displacement “sportboats” from more conventional designs. Sabre 38 owner Ken King believes this is one of the big reasons for the continued growth of the handicap classes. “You just have to have those speedsters separated from the heavier designs in the good breeze we have here,” he said. “Fortunately, Charleston has enough entries to split the divisions and still have big classes, which means better racing for everyone.”
Sportboat owners are extremely enthused to have a second straight year with their own fleet. “Charleston is shaping up to be the premier handicap regatta for sportboats on the East Coast this year, or anywhere in the USA for that matter,” said Pete Hunter, skipper of the North Carolina-based hot rod Wairere, a Thompson 30. Hunter will compete against powered-up designs like the Melges 30, Henderson 30 and Viper 830 in Charleston. “The folks at Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week are doing everything they can to make this a success; (limited) free dockage, storage, reasonable fees…they even adjusted the schedule so we have favorable tidal currents to and from the course. So we are in!”
As the fleet size has increased along with the size of individual big boat classes, the prestige of winning one of the two overall perpetual trophies for the event – the Charleston Cup and the historic Palmetto Cup – has also gone up a notch, as have the already excellent prize packages for the top performers. Longtime Charleston Race Week supporter Gill is sweetening the pot. “We’re so happy to see sailboat racing on the rise for another year in Charleston that we’re throwing in two certificates for $500.00 worth of Gill Bucks each for the top One-Design and Handicap performers,” said David Pritchard, President of Gill North America. “We also have some exciting multimedia projects we’re working on with the organizers that will help sailors around the world really get the flavor of this great event.” Gill will also be unveiling a new CRW line of technical clothing through its event partner Coral Reef Sailing Apparel and has a CRW online store available at http://coralreefsailing.net/charleston_race_week1.
Teams can register at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/race-entry/race-registration/
ONDECK RACE CHARTERS NOW AVAILABLE
Racers who can’t get their own boats to Charleston now have a great new option for the 2011 event: the OnDeck “Charter Hookup.” OnDeck Charleston is the newest branch of the successful international charter and sail training outfit, and they still have two excellent Farr 40 racing boats available for Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week. According to the event website, racers can “…fly in for peanuts on Southwest Airlines, rent a car at the airport, and drive straight to the dock and a well-prepped race boat” for the week. “OnDeck prides itself on offering unique experiences to sailors throughout the world, and if you’ve been dying to sail Charleston Race Week, we’ve got you covered,” said OnDeck Charleston’s General Manager, Dave Kowert. “OnDeck can provide a skipper, crew, sails or anything else you need to get you on the line – then the results are up to you!” Other boats, like a late-model Melges 24, are also available for charter. Browse the charter list or offer your own boat for charter at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/official-charter-hook-up/.
ORGANIZERS WELCOME STILL MORE GREAT SPONSORS
While 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week has benefitted hugely from longtime supporters like vineyard vines, Gill, Gosling’s and Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, organizers are excited to welcome the flood of new supporters of this now-classic event. Legendary Newport, Rhode Island based boatyard Newport Shipyard has joined 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week as a supporter of the record-breaking 2011 event. “We have a number of clients attending the regatta, and we feel a duty to support the events that they really enjoy, like Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week,” said Shipyard manager Eli Dana. “While supporting such a huge event is a nice branding opportunity for us as well, the chance to contribute to an event that’s having such a positive effect on sailboat racing is one we just couldn’t pass up.”
Also new for 2011 is OnDeck Charleston. “We’re extremely excited to have OnDeck Charleston’s support for 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week,” said Havens. “They’ve proven to be an amazing asset to other major regattas that they’re involved with, and we think US sailors are going to benefit greatly by their entry into the US sailing market.”
FREE BOAT STORAGE STILL AVAILABLE
Charleston Race Week partners Azalea Moving and Storage, Pierside Boatworks and Charleston Yachting continue to offer free storage for boats that arrive in town early. Conditions apply to both storage solutions, and competitors can find out more here: http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/logistical-planning/storage-haul-launch/. Competitors are urged to make arrangements soon before the free spaces fill up.
ABOUT SPERRY TOP-SIDER CHARLESTON RACE WEEK
2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is an event of South Carolina Maritime Foundation and Charleston Ocean Racing Association. All profits from the event support educational programs aboard the Spirit of South Carolina, a classic tall ship serving South Carolina’s youth. 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider, Gosling’s Rum, vineyard vines, Gill, North Sails, Newport Shipyard, Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, OnDeck, Azalea Moving & Storage, Charleston Yachting, Pierside Boatworks, Photoboat.com and Rising High Café.
ABOUT SPERRY TOP-SIDER
Since 1935, Sperry Top-Sider has been the leading brand of footwear for those with a Passion for the Sea. From its introduction of the World’s first siped rubber outsole for non-marking traction to advanced technical fabrication to combat the elements, Sperry Top-Sider remains at the vanguard of high-performance amphibious footwear. Available around the globe in independent, marine, outdoor and department stores, Sperry Top-Sider is the official footwear of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas, US SAILING, the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, and the National Safe Boating Council.
Based in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, Sperry Top-Sider supports a wide range of ocean-related activities through its many sponsorships, including Key West Race Week, the New York Yacht Club’s Invitational Cup, the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week and the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas. Sperry Top-Sider was also recently recognized for its recent brand transformation by industry trade magazine Footwear News by being named 2009 “Brand of the Year.” Sperry Top-Sider is a division of the Collective Brands Performance and Lifestyle Group, a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS). For more information, please visit www.sperrytopsider.com or www.passionforthesea.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT NEWPORT SHIPYARD
Newport Shipyard (RI) welcomes sailors from all over the world with a hefty dose of southern hospitality. Newport Shipyard is the epicenter for the sailing community in New England, all the while doing serious work on yachts up to 300 feet. It serves as home base to the Volvo Ocean Race’s PUMA, and is sponsor of upcoming regattas such as the 1930′s J-Class Regatta, the Transatlantic Race, the Newport/St.Barts Bucket, and Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week. Charleston and Newport have long been sister cities with many ties. Newport Shipyard happily continues this tradition in welcoming a number of Charleston boats as they come through, including a regular, the Spirit of South Carolina. www.newportshipyard.com/indexCRW2011.asp
ABOUT GILL NORTH AMERICA
Gill North America and its 2011 Charleston Race Week retail partner Coral Reef Sailing Apparel (CRSA) have partnered again with Charleston Race Week in support of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. Gill is world renown for carrying the most-innovative and highest-performing sailing gear. CRSA will have a special collection on hand during CRW; please contact CRSA for special colors or sizes. To preorder customized technical event apparel for your crew, contact CRSA at email@example.com, or visit the online store here: http://coralreefsailing.net/charleston_race_week1.
Gill North America is the North American importer and distributor of Gill Brand weather gear and technical marine apparel. Gill is a very rare thing these days. A brand that only does one thing: we make an ultra-technical range of marine clothing for the dinghy racing enthusiast to full on ocean circumnavigation gear. Customers also use our products for power boating and sport fishing.
ABOUT ONDECK AMERICA
Ondeck’s newest base in Charleston offers a wealth of sailing opportunities in the wonderful waters of South Carolina. From its beginning, OnDeck Charleston’s core business, training, has schooled many sailors, and is one of the nation’s few sea schools to offer specialized, class-specific, high-performance race training. The quality of OnDeck’s curriculum, instructors and methodology has been lauded by its clients and recognized by the industry as exceptional.
OnDeck Charleston offers adults and teens over age 16 a full range of U.S. Sailing Certification Courses from Basic Keelboat through Ocean Passage Making, and the Charleston base includes a wide range of charter yachts for corporate, bareboat, skippered, and race charter clients. Check out http://www.ondeckoceanracing.com/charleston/index.htm for more information.
ABOUT CHARLESTON YACHTING
Do you need a place to store your trailerable boat for Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week? There’s no better place than next to Charleston Yachting, Charleston’s best when it comes to rigging and outfitting your boat for Charleston Race Week. Charleston Yachting has teamed with up Fast Tack Marine for a complete concierge service. The duo can take care of any repairs, modifications, even delivering your boat race ready to the resort. The storage is free and the location is fenced in and locked at night but you must be responsible for your boat and equipment. Contact Charleston Yachting to arrange for storage; space is limited. Charleston Yachting can be reached at 1-800-610-9065 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week!
Check out the event site at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com for more information, including Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, Entry List, Media Information, Logistical Support, Available Charters, News, Video and Photos, and become a fan of the Charleston Race Week Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/CharlestonRaceWeek
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If you’d like more information about 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, or to schedule an interview with one of the event staff, please call the South Carolina Maritime Foundation at 843/722.1030, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.