Sperry Top-Sider® Charleston Race Week, America's Cup Defender, Tom Ehman, coming to Charleston

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week organizers announced today that they're gearing up for the big event, held here April 19-22, and have secured a roster of seasoned race officers covering the six race courses – along with a special guest appearance –  for the 16th edition of America's fastest-growing regatta.
Held in one of America's top tourist destinations, the event boasts an ideal sailing venue offering a great breeze and challenging currents, a huge entry list with some of the biggest and most competitive classes of any sailing event in North America, as well as dedicated industry and sponsor support including Sperry Top-Sider as title sponsor.
“This regatta has expanded tremendously throughout the past years and we now run six race courses and have secured the services of one of the most experienced and talented teams of race officers,” said Event Director Randy Draftz. “We feel privileged to work with these seasoned officials, as well as more than 150 volunteers who will be operating on more than 30 boats to oversee the three days of racing."
Rochester, NY-based International Race Officer Hank Stuart will be the Principal Race Officer (PRO) on the event's busiest race course.  “It will certainly be a challenge, but one that I am excited to tackle, along with the help of Deputy Race Officer Sue Miller,” said Stuart.
Other PROs include Charlestonian Tommy Harken, who will lead Circle One; Hal Smith and Tim Rumptz for Circle Two; Wayne Bretsch for Circle Four; and David Searles for Circle Five.
The final racecourse, with former Charleston Harbor Pilot Randall Swan as PRO, will feature the Cruising Class in a new pursuit-race format in which the boats will start at different times (based on their respective ratings), with the fastest boats chasing the slower boats around a distance course. 
America's Cup Defender, Tom Ehman, Coming to Charleston
Draftz and his fellow organizers are thrilled to announce a special guest appearance by a member of the current America's Cup defender, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC).The club confirmed today that GGYC Vice Commodore Tom Ehman will be in Charleston on Saturday afternoon, April 21, to share his popular, multimedia “CupDate” presentation offering the latest America’s Cup news on the main stage for all competitors and guests.
According to Ehman, a champion racing sailor and 32-year America’s Cup veteran, the regatta in Charleston shares much in common with GGYC’s vision for the new America’s Cup.
“As we’ll see in next year’s America’s Cup in San Francisco, the Charleston event features shorter courses with a lot of action close to the shore, great breeze and a wonderfully supportive local sailing community,” he said. “We’re grateful for the chance to share our vision and the latest news for the America’s Cup with so many talented sailors.”
More details regarding the Mr. Ehman and his CupDate presentation will be released in early April.
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week runs April 19 - April 22 and is open to all monohull sailboats 20 to 80 feet in length. The event is owned and managed by Charleston Ocean Racing Association and is supported by its title sponsor, Sperry Top-Sider, as well as the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Vineyard Vines, and Gosling’s Rum. Additional sponsors include The Town of Mt. Pleasant, Gill, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, North Sails, South Carolina State Ports Authority, Interlux/Awlgrip, and Charleston Community Sailing, along with West Marine, Harken Yacht Equipment, B&G Simrad, Pierside Boatworks, College of Charleston Community Sailing, Azalea Moving and Storage, and Lewmar Navtec. To register for the event or get additional information regarding the regatta, log on to the event’s website www.charlestonraceweek.com or [email protected]

See Melges 20 racing images

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2012 )