On the heels of the S.C. In-Water Boat Show this coming weekend will be the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week sailing regatta April 18-21.

Entering its 18th year, the regatta has drawn more than 300 registrations, the most ever, meaning about 2,500 people will participate in the event, according to event spokesman Dan Dickison.

He said it’s the largest regatta of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, drawing sailers from 26 states as far away as the West Coast and 15 countries, including Canada, Sweden, England, Italy and others in the Caribbean.

About 70 percent of the participants will come from out of town, adding business to hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the greater Charleston area, he said.

The 2011 race, which drew 220 boats, had an economic impact of about $2.5 million in Charleston, Dickison added. Last year, 246 boats participated.