Flying Tigers at SCRW
By Bill Wagner
Dave Smith began with the goal of getting more people into sailing. So he started a sailing school in Ontario, Canada and purchased a fleet of 10 Flying Tiger 7.5 meter sport boats to serve as training platforms.
The National One-Design Sailing Academy was originally designed as an adult training program that could eventually service numerous regions around Canada. Smith noted it has gone through several evolutions since being founded with a major development coming after Bill Gladstone administered an on-water clinic that was sold out.
“It dawned on me that we could do an extension of that idea by combining with big regattas,” Smith said.
And that explains how the Flying Tiger 7.5 class came to be part of Sperry Charleston Race Week beginning in 2018. Smith’s One-Design Sailing Academy has brought its “Regatta Experience” program to Charleston and provided 50 participants an opportunity to compete in one of the world’s most prestigious regattas.
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Day One on Charleston Harbor
by Bill Wagner
CHARLESTON, S.C. – There is no more picturesque sight than Charleston Harbor during the annual regatta that has brought international recognition to this historic city.
A fleet of almost 260 sailboats in 18 different classes take over almost every inch of the Cooper River and it truly is a sight to behold. With seven different race courses set in various pockets of the harbor, a spectator viewing from land can see colorful billowing sails everywhere they look.
Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 got off to a rip roaring start with south-southeasterly winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots allowing organizers to complete four races for most of the classes doing windward-leeward courses.
“It was an absolutely beautiful day on the water, a great day for racing,” said George Collins, who skippered Chessie Racing to victory in Spinnaker PHRF A class that completed a 17-nautical mile Pursuit Race. “You can’t beat the conditions, which were perfect for our boat. We have a great crew and they had the boat sailing very fast.”
Chessie Racing, a Tripp 62, is the highest-rated boat in Spinnaker PHRF A and therefore started last. Collins, a Miami resident, had two Wounded Warriors aboard along with his usual professional crew. Collins said Chessie completed the race in almost three hours even and wound up overtaking the J/120 Emocean on the leg back into the harbor for the finish.
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