The Rockville Regatta is a labor of love for Sea Island Yacht Club commodore Grayson Carter.
Carter owns three of the nine Sea Island One Design sailboats that are the feature class of the regatta. His close friend Van Smith owns two SIOD boats.
The Rockville Regatta will be held for the 123rd consecutive year on Bohicket Creek.
“The four original boats (Cygnet, Undine, Doghouse and Marcheta) in the class were originally built and date back to the late 1940s,” Carter said.
They were built by area yacht clubs for a series of summer regattas that culminated at Sea Island Yacht Club the first weekend in August.
Carter credits Smith with revitalizing the fleet and competition when Smith commissioned local boat builder Mark Bayne to build a new boat in the 1980s. The newest SIOD, Flounder owned by Hank Hofford, made its debut in the 2011 Rockville Regatta. Passing that love for SIODs to younger sailors and providing them with an opportunity to keep the history alive is a focal point for the club.
The SIOD boats aren’t the only designs competing. Carter said there will be E-Scows, Y-Flyers, Moths, Lasers and a few Sunfish.
A large spectator fleet also will crowd Bohicket Creek, part of the color of the Rockville Regatta.
Registration will take place Saturday morning “on the porch” of Sea Island Yacht Club with races starting at noon Saturday and Sunday. There’s also a dance Saturday evening ($15 at the door).
“It has become a storied Lowcountry tradition. Everybody in the Charleston area knows the first weekend of August is the Rockville Regatta from generations of family members attending for decades,” Carter said.
“It’s hard to believe it’s time for Rockville again. It’s a big event and everybody enjoys it. We’ll have a big crowd.”