There has been much discussion over the years regarding the offshore race courses at SCRW. Many former offshore boats have been choosing to race in the Pursuit class versus the offshore circles. This could be due to a variety of reasons - a later start time; a more flexible course; and an earlier finish time in the harbor, convenient to the regatta headquarters at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.
To accommodate the suggestions and desires of offshore boats, the regatta organizers have created another pursuit course called “Hybrid Pursuit.” This course will replace offshore Circle Five and be open to racer/cruisers using ORC and One Design. The new course will provide up to three individual races per day as conditions allow. The first race will be a pursuit race starting at the pursuit course starting line (inshore) and finishing out in the ocean where a windward/leeward course will be set up for race number two. Race number three will be a race back into the harbor, finishing at the pursuit finish line, in close proximity to the regatta headquarters. (Sample course diagram below.)
The organizers are looking to have the new format be one continuous race with a scoring gate at the end of each leg, for fairness, while still getting in three races. The race committee will manage the course lengths to allow for a 1600 pm finish. The Pursuit Course for 2019 will be less complicated than in the past (PHRF only with fewer marks), getting back to its original intention of being fun and more racer-friendly for cruisers, novices and boats with non-spinnakers.
This new class/format also brings questions about the number of crew and crew weights. As in the past, the Pursuit Course will not limit crew, as this course is designed to be a fun race for boats that might not normally compete at Race Week (see NOR 4.2). However, the “hybrid course,” due to its competitive nature, will have crew restrictions per your ORC certificate’s calculated default, and you will need RC/OA for approval and recording. Entries not using their default crew weight shown on their ORC certificate may declare a different crew weight that is +/- 25% of the default weight figure. This must be shown on your valid 2019 ORC certificate. Contact the US Sailing Offshore office to renew or amend your ORC certificate with this or any other new information: email@example.com.
The new “Pursuit Hybrid ORC/One Design” class has been created on the Sperry Charleston Race Week Event Page in Yacht Scoring, and many boats have already been moved over to it. For input or questions about the new class, please don’t hesitate to send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, because organizers listen to what competitors have to say! The regatta is tweaked each year to make sure it continues to live up to its great reputation for epic fun and competitive racing!
Please note: The illustration below is a conceptual drawing only. The actual course will be available in the Sailing Instructions, which may change, based on wind direction and conditions, on any given day.
Click on image for larger view