What a difference two years makes.
In the 2007 Charleston to Bermuda Race, in which I sailed, the dozen-boat fleet was pummeled by strong headwinds and heavy seas — 15 to 20 feet.
Fast forward to this year, and the diminished fleet has had little wind and calm seas. The race has been called because of time and a winner declared.
As of noon on Wednesday, none of the boats had reached the cutoff point (67 degrees west longitude) and the race committee pronounced the race over. Dave and Shelly Warters' Able Apogee 50 Cadence had made 498 nautical miles toward Bermuda after 120 hours at sea. Ken Johnson's C&C 40 Grateful Red had logged 485, Jay Cook's Beneteau 432 Tohidu, which was OSAsailing.com's entry, had logged 462.
So Cadence was the boat-for-boat winner, but Tohidu is the overall winner on corrected time. The race committee employed a formula based on the boats' ratings and the respective distances traveled.
"We think it's the most equitable way to address the situation," explained race director Brad Van Liew, who is also the executive director of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, the organization that stages this race.
"We conducted the race using PHRF ratings, and all of the competitors agreed before the start that, should no one cross the 67th degree of longitude by Wednesday at noon, the race would be called and we'd score them as of where they were at the time."
Charleston to Bermuda Race final finish places
1. Jay Cook, Tohidu, 260 corrected score
2. Dave and Shelly Warters, Cadence, 279.3 corrected score
3. Ken Johnson, Grateful Red, 299.8 corrected score
Lee Edwards, Spray., did not finish
Mark DiStefano, Nova, did not finish
Global race starts final leg
The final leg of the Portimao Global Ocean Race started in the harbor Thursday as four boats began their trek across the Atlantic to the long-awaited finish line in Portugal. The first man-made target for the fleet is the Leg 5 scoring gate approximately 1,600 miles northeast of Charleston and slightly under 500 miles southeast of Newfoundland. Updates to follow.
There are a lot of things unique to sailing, and this is certainly one of them. Tonight at 8, at the newly expanded West Marine in St. Andrews Shopping Center, there will be a Foul Weather Gear walk down the runway, and all to raise money for Charleston Community Sailing.
Community Sailing executive director Jessica Koenig said, "A special thanks to West Marine for their generosity and support of Charleston Community Sailing.
Come cheer on your favorite sailors as they strut their stuff at the Foul Weather Fashion Show and celebrate West Marine's new space!"
CORA Summer Series has begun
It's a true sign of summer when dozens of sailboats gather off the Battery at sunset on Wednesday nights for the annual Charleston Ocean Racing Association Summer Series of races in the harbor. This colorful nautical spectacle is enjoyed by sailors and viewers alike. In next week's column, look for more stories about recent CORA events, like the offshore race to Rockville and back in which the winning boat was skippered by two local high school students.
Reach Will Haynie at firstname.lastname@example.org.