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Updates / Press Releases

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2019 is Open for Business!

Registration is now open for the country’s premier multi-class regatta! Register early to save $100, as well as event ticket discounts.

You can also get Charleston Harbor Resort room discounts through Dec. 31st!

The event is based on a winning formula - three days of superb competition, top-flight race management, four nights of beach parties, and post-race debriefs.

Convenient launch and haul-outs will again be available at various locations.

Save the date for a “regatta unlike any other” - April 11-14, 2019. Details, NOR and registration link at charlestonraceweek.com.

Follow us on Facebook for updates!

It's a Wrap!

1 sThere was an interesting dynamic taking place on the docks of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Sunday morning.

Some of the boats competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were getting ready to go racing with sailors pulling on foul weather gear in anticipation of heavy air and rough seas. Meanwhile, a bunch of other boats were in breakdown mode with sailors packing up gear and carrying sails down the dock.

That unique dichotomy was the result of a split decision by event organizers in response to a severe storm that was due to hit Charleston on Sunday afternoon. After carefully reviewing weather reports and consulting with overall principal race officer Hank Stuart, event director Randy Draftz decided to conduct racing for certain classes while cancelling the final day of action for others.

Sperry Charleston Race Week organizers announced in the morning that competition in nine of the 10 one-design classes along with ORC C, which is comprised of smaller sportboats. Meanwhile, Stuart and his team elected to allow the two Pursuit Race classes to complete a condensed course out into the Atlantic Ocean and back. Meanwhile, the three classes on Circle 5 (J/105, ORC A, ORC B) came into Charleston Harbor for a windward-leeward course of approximately nautical miles.

Draftz said the main reason for cancelling competition for the smaller boats was concern about the haul out process. Draftz had to consider the possibility of a severe thunderstorm hitting Charleston just as boats were beginning to be lifted out of the water and put onto trailers.

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Family Teams at Sperry Charleston Race Week

brandonflack sIf there has been one constant about Sperry Charleston Race Week over the years it’s the family dynamic that has become a hallmark of the regatta.

The event and venue, with all the onshore fun, that attracts sailors to combine high-level racing with quality family time.

As usual, there are plenty of family programs competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018. In fact, family members comprise the entire crew of the J/70 Old School with Brandon Flack sailing with his wife, 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.

“It couldn’t be better when you can mix sailing at a great regatta like this and being with your family,”Flack said. “I was so psyched coming down here because I couldn’t imagine a more fun thing to do.”

The Flack family hails from Stonington, Connecticut, where they regularly race in the Melges 24 fleet. They travel to major regattas to compete in the J/70 class and Brandon borrows a friend’s boat for Sperry Charleston Race Week.

“We’ve been sailing the J/70 for almost five years as a family team so we’ve kind of grown up with the boat,” he said.

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An extra race on Saturday due to Sunday forecast

Concern about what Sunday might bring made Saturday all the more important at Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018. Forecasts call for a front to move through town and there is no way to predict how much racing will be completed on the final day. As the skies darkened over Charleston Harbor on Saturday evening, the leaders had to feel good about their position while the followers were hoping for an opportunity to change the final standings.

“We’re still in the hunt. Hopefully, we’ll get two or three more races tomorrow and be able to improve our position,” said Savasana skipper Brian Keane, who holds fourth place in J/70 class.

Plans had called for the J/70 fleet to conduct three races per day, but the prospect of thunderstorms on Sunday prompted the class leadership to ask regatta organizers to run four on Saturday while the weather was clear and the wind was blowing between 8 and 15 knots.

Peter Duncan and his crew on Relative Obscurity had another solid day on the water and were able to maintain their lead. Relative Obscurity finished 10th in Race 4, but came back with results of 1-3-4 and has a low score of 22 points. John Brim and the Rimette team are seven points behind Duncan and two points ahead of Joel Ronning and the Catapult crew.

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Sailor Spotlight: Paris Henken

henken1 sParis Henken has already become a part of the storied legacy of the College of Charleston – she is the first female Olympian (in any sport) in school history.

Henken achieved that status before she even competed for the powerful College of Charleston sailing team. After attending the school for the fall semester as a freshman in 2014, the California native took a year and a half off to focus on her Olympic campaign in the 49erFX.

Henken and teammate Helena Scutt achieved their dreams by earning the lone United States berth in that skiff class to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Henken, a San Diego resident, was only 20 years old at the time – far younger than the average American Olympic sailor.

“The (U.S. Olympic) Trials were definitely a stressful moment, but once it was over and we had won it was the greatest feeling,” Henken said. “We were super excited and so proud of ourselves for what we had accomplished. It was a long process, but in the end it really paid off.”

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