Wadmalaw Island -- At the 120th Rockville Regatta at the Sea Island Yacht Club on Saturday, the sailors showed up, the tidal current showed up, the spectator fleet showed up, and pleasant sunny weather showed up.
What didn't show up?
"No wind!" is how race chairman Dick McGillivray summed up the first day of the popular Lowcountry event.
"It's the first time I've seen it like this in years," McGillivray said, who is running this race for "the umpteenth time," as he puts it.
Forty-two sailboats made the best of what little wind there was in Bohicket Creek, and with a strong incoming tidal current, there were some interesting situations.
Sea Island One Design sailor Jonathan Hiers, who skippers Dog House, said, "At one mark rounding, we were all going backwards, and in our races, every boat seemed to have the lead at least once. It was crazy."
Due to the light wind, the class' second course was shortened to finish at Adams Creek.
Sunfish sailor Charlie Frasch said, "What wind there was was very shifty. One minute I was running with the wind, and the next minute I was close hauled on the same heading. You had to be all about your sails today."
The wind was so light and frustrating that one Y Flyer gave up on the competition and sailed over to the ever-present Rockville spectator fleet for a little revelry.
"There are just too many temptations at Rockville sometimes," laughed E Scow skipper and veteran Rockville champion Will Hanckel.
Despite the uncooperative wind, all classes completed two races.
In the Sea Island One Designs, Nick Ellyn sailed Cygnet2 to finishes of 3-1 to sit atop the standings, while Evan Minshew, skippering Privateer, finished 2-3 to sit in second place. The day's first race was won by Ernest Grimball sailing Undine.
At today's awards ceremony, the Ellis Trophy will be awarded to the Sea Island One Design skipper with the best cumulative performance of this season. Minshew was last year's winner.
Ed Durant of Augusta edged out Hanckel to win Race 1 in the E-Scow class, then the two traded places in Race 2 and they enter today tied for the lead.
Lewis Seabrook won both races in the Snipe class, as did Dave Stanger in the Sunfish class.
Ben Hagood finished 1-2 to lead the Laser class, while Peter Hogan went 2-4 in the Laser Radial class to lead Nancy Hagood by one point going into the final day of racing.
Matt Moore finished 2-1 to lead the Y-Flyer class.
McGillivray remarked that the famous Rockville spectator fleet was "somewhat smaller" than in recent years, but "was very cooperative and stayed off the race course."