Volunteer Spotlight: Becky Royal
Becky Royal, schoolteacher by profession and pretty much Superwoman whenever Sperry Charleston Race Week rolls around.
This is Royal’s third year coordinating all the on-water volunteers, as well as managing the large fleet of powerboats needed to run a regatta that attracts almost 260 boats in 18 classes.
Royal, a first grade teacher at Mount Pleasant Academy, was recruited to help manage a volunteer army of almost 200 folks by Sperry Charleston Race Week Director Randy Draftz. Royal and Draftz both crewed on the same sailboat for a while and he asked if she would like to get involved with the prestigious international regatta.
“Randy and I had talked over the years about different ways I could help and he eventually approached me and asked if I would coordinate the on-water volunteers,” Royal said. “The first year I did it with a group of four. It was a good chance to learn about the job from people who had done it before.”
Royal referred to Lynn Swann and Fran Trotman as “great mentors” and is happy the latter remained part of the team when there was a transition last year.
“It is a team effort, definitely not a one-person job,” Royal said.
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Charleston Race Week Preview
When Marlene Plumley is spotted walking through the hotel lobby at 6 a.m. wearing a wetsuit, you know race week has arrived. Plumley is well known along the East Coast as a professional diver specializing in bottom cleaning racing sailboats for major regattas. The Annapolis resident was on site at first light on Thursday morning at the Charleston Harbor Marina and Resort.
That’s because a large contingent of the 259 boats entered in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 were heading out on the water to practice for the prestigious three-day regatta. There was a flurry of activity on the docks throughout the morning as crew members delivered sails and performed boat set-up.
“Charleston Race Week has really turned into a big-time event. I love coming here every year,” said Brian Keane, skipper of the J/70 Savasana. “I think Charleston is the most unique venue in the country because the combination of current and wind is very challenging. Every day, every race, is a little different.”
Action in the 24th edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week gets underway on Friday with seven separate race cours being set on the Cooper River and out in the Atlantic Ocean. A new racing area located just south of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge has been created to accommodate the exciting M32 catamarans, which are making their debut at this iconic event.
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