Rockville ends regatta season

Sea Island One Design sailboat crews battle for position on Bohicket Creek during the 2013 Rockville Regatta. Brad Nettles/File

The Rockville Regatta has been taking place for well over a century and while many Lowcountry residents think of it as a floating party, the event pays tribute to some venerable sailing designs.

Much smaller than the preceding regattas sailed in Charleston Harbor, Dick McGillivray said 50 boats would be a lot for the 124th Rockville Regatta that will be sailed Saturday and Sunday out of Sea Island Club on the Bohicket and North Edisto rivers.

Saturday's skippers meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m., with the warning gun for the first race set for 11:50 a.m. The warning gun for Sunday's races will be at 11:50 a.m.

The feature class and focal point for most sailors is the Sea Island One Design, a wide, flat boat that has been around since the 1940s. Only nine of the boats are in existence and the top SIOD crew is honored with the Daniel Ellis Memorial Trophy.

Also sailing at this year's event will be classic Moths, McGillivray said, not the modern carbon fiber hydrofoil namesakes. The Moth fleet will sail only on Saturday.

"Most of them are wooden. They're ancient. Most are 50 to 60 years old and they are sailed by ancient people," McGillivray laughed. "I grew up in a Moth. I'm 77 and when I was 12 years old I was in a Moth. They stay in the garage. They don't pull them out very often. (Moth owners) sail them probably two or three times a year."

Also expected to compete are E Scows, Y Flyers and Sunfish.