Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is now in its 20th year. The regatta was established in 1996 by members of Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA). The event actually came into being when CORA’s officers opted to merge two area regattas into one – the South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association’s PHRF Championships and the Charleston Palmetto Cup, a local championship event. That year, on the initial scratchsheet, there were 29 entrants.
The first few editions of Charleston Race Week, as the event was formerly known, took place during the summer. At the time, the roster was largely made up of teams from around Charleston, and occasionally from the Savannah, GA, and Wilmington, NC areas. In early part of the last decade, that began to change.
In 2006, Charleston Race Week drew entries from as far away as England, Canada, Michigan, and California, with more than 70 percent of the competitors arriving from out of town. The story was much the same in 2007 and 2008, with increased numbers of participants each year. The event has grown by an average of 15 percent in recent years and evolved to become the largest keelboat regatta in the Western Hemisphere.
For more information, visit www.charlestonraceweek.com