Tied at the top of the leaderboard with a final day of racing to go, John Parker alternated between sips of his drink and readying his sailboat for competition.
Saturday was the first time in about eight years that he’s raced in the Rockville Regatta, hosted by the Sea Island Yacht Club on Wadmalaw Island.
Off and on over the years, Parker has raced at Rockville, as well as the other regattas in the Charleston area. And elsewhere around the country, he’s competed in various events and worked on boats.
But there’s nothing quite like Rockville. And it’s not just the drive out to the island, he said.
“It’s remote and has that rural, friendly feel to it,” he said. “And in terms of racing, it’s so different because you start right off of the dock. So it’s not like the others where you have to go deep into the harbor.”
The annual regatta saw just over 30 boats this weekend in four classes.
Parker was sailing his Y-Flyer boat, which is known for its speed and ability to make progress in moderate winds.
Other sailing classes over the weekend included the Sea Island One Design, Sunfish and the Moth classes.
Each year, the event brings the Charleston-area regatta season to a close. Harvey McCormick, a principal race officer for the event, said wind was a bit of an issue over the weekend. But they were eventually able to get some races in.
“It was difficult,” he said. “But the sailors made it work so we ended up having another good year.”
Unfortunately for Parker, he wasn't able to hold onto his lead Sunday and fell to third. But he still had fun competing against Briggs Monteith, and his dad, Lesesne.
A resident of Wadmalaw, Briggs Monteith said the tradition of Rockville keeps him coming back each year. And like others in attendance, he embraces the difficulty of racing from the dock and the intimacy of the event.
“It’s a pretty tight-knit group,” he said. “We’re all kind of laid-back and help each other out.”
He added that unlike other regattas, those who are watching from land have a really good view of the competition.
“Rockville is a spectator event,” Monteith said. “If you want to watch sailboat racing, it’s perfect because you see all the action from the edge of the river.”
Sea Island One Design
1.Drew Lisicki; 2. Jessica Koenig; 3. Sam Gervais
1. David Buckley; 2. Henry McCray; 3. John Parker
1. Mark Saunders; 2. Frickie Martschink; 3. Woody Kapp
1. Charlie Frasch; 2. Peter Buyck; 3. Jack Sutton
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story had incorrect race results.