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Posts Tagged ‘charleston race week’

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Once again the folks at Quantum were busy at the world’s biggest sportboat regatta, and there’s a pile of very cool and interesting shorts from Keith Brash and Petey Crawford over at their Instagram page.  Crawford jumped on a Viper with a bunch of teens to grab the clip above.

April 29th, 2017 by admin

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After several years of losing multiple days of racing from the usually reliable Charleston Race Week schedule, the 2017 regatta is more of what Charleston became famous for: 80 degree days and 12-18 knots of sea breeze for the 200+ boat fleet.  It’s also the first regatta in America to feature ORC for all handicap racing – an experiment that we’ll be reporting on after the data are in.

Results, photos, and constant video updates from our own Mr. Clean are over here.

 

April 22nd, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.52.24 AMIt is with an incredibly heavy heart that we announce the death of one of the Charleston sailing community’s most important figures.  Just 46 years old, former Charleston Race Week Director of Marketing/Sponsorship/PR Meaghan Van Liew died yesterday after complications related to a liver transplant operation – an operation required after damage her liver suffered from medication she took for an unrelated nerve issue.

Along with then-husband Brad Van Liew, Meaghan was the driving force behind Charleston Race Week’s explosion from a small regional regatta to America’s biggest sailing event.  She also ran the SC Maritime Foundation and oversaw the completion and running of the Spirit of South Carolina schooner and it’s educational youth sailing program.  Meaghan took on the nearly impossible task of raising two kids on the road while running a round-the-world IMOCA program for Brad’s dream of becoming the first American to win a RTW race.  From Balance Bar, to Tommy Hilfiger to Le Pengouin during the final days of the Around Alone, Meaghan sacrificed everything of her own to make sure her children had great life experiences and her then-husband had a chance to win.

Professionally, Meaghan was one of the first major event organizers to put her faith in Sailing Anarchy to help jump-start Charleston Race Week’s march to prominence, and her risky move led to the worldwide acceptance we have today.  She also was one of the few American sponsorship agents at the time (or since!) to secure real funding for offshore racing from major corporations.  Creativity, work ethic, risk taking, and sacrifice for those you love – these were her foundations.

On a more personal level, Meaghan was one of my closest friends, and every year, Mer, the dog, and I would spend a week with her and the kids before Charleston Race Week to catch up and brainstorm new ideas to grow the event.  When her marriage fell apart, she devoted herself to helping her children navigate the tough emotional situation – often to her own detriment.  She ALWAYS put her children, her family, her friends, her clients before herself.

If there’s an afterlife, we pray that Meaghan Van Liew has finally found some time there to devote to herself.  Meaghan, we will always love you and remember you.  Check in to ex-husband Brad’s Facebook Page here, and there is a thread here. Ainhoa Sanchez photo.

Signed,

Alan, Meredith, Joey, Kuma (deceased), Cricket (deceased)

MEMORIAL SERVICE and celebration of Meaghan’s life will be held at the Charleston Maritime Center (10 Wharfside St, Charleston, SC) on Sunday at 3pm.

UPDATE: We spoke to a gutted Brad Van Liew moments ago, and he requested that we ask the sailing community to please refrain from calling over the next few days so he can tend to his family in their mourning.  His phone has been blowing up from South America, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, France, helping him to realizes just how many people Meg touched over the years.

UPDATE 2: We are going down to Meg’s memorial service on Sunday to pay our respects.  If you have great stories about Meg, find me at the Maritime Center so we can put together a video tribute to a great woman.

 

January 26th, 2017 by admin

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As Event Director of the largest sailing regatta in the Western Hemisphere, Charleston Race Week’s Randy Draftz has become one of the ‘go-to’ people in sailing if you’re looking for information on any aspect of running a sailboat event.

Learn the crazy chain of events that led Randy to this current role and the strange reasons Randy is actually one of the pioneers of sailing and the web, including the rise and fall of Sailnet (in the 90s, ancient history!). We don’t shy away from the tough subjects, either  – women still excluded from Yacht Club membership in Chucktown, conflict between sponsor goals, yacht club sensibilities, and the future of the sport, and loads of stories about the ‘good ol’ days’ of yacht racing from this likeable and hardworking icon of modern race administration.

More to come!

May 28th, 2016 by admin

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One of the breeziest Charleston Race Weeks in years wraps today, with waves so massive outside the jetties that organizers took the unprecedented step of moving the entire offshore racing fleet under the Ravenel Bridge for some tight windward/leewards in the Wando River.  Want to see how it all unfolds?  Watch Clean and the team on Facebook, all day.

Here’s a shot and story from the inshore course.

I have been a part of some epic knock-downs, but I think this one had even more special meaning.  I was onboard with two amputees and a blind guy that not only recovered from this 90 degree charleston harbor perfect 10, but proceeded to put the spinnaker up again and push to get it right.  I can’t tell you how amazing this group of men and women are that committed to sail in Charleston race week with Warrior Sailing Program. Back on the water today for some J22 action and big boat racing!

The Warrior Sailing Program is still seeking last bit of funding to help make their fund-raising goal!

This is the deal:  The men and women of Warrior Sailing Program have opportunities to sail onboard USMMA Sailing Foundation vessels.  One of the vessels provided this week is Metolius, an 84’ donated vessel.  All of the expenses for this opportunity are covered by the Foundation.  We need help from the sailing community to make this happen on a consistent basis. While we have been sailing in regattas and having a blast, these men and women have been fighting for our freedom and safety.  If everyone takes a minute and donates even $5, it is going to a worthy cause!

Please introduce yourself and come meet the Team!  We will be at all of the Charleston Race Week events sporting our awesome new Zhik gear.

-Ben ‘Pooch’ Poucher

April 17th, 2016 by admin

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There aren’t a whole lot of regattas that have their own video morning weather report, but then again Sperry Charleston Race Week isn’t like most regattas, though it does provide a blueprint for cool shit you can do at your own event.

Despite losing offshore circles yesterday (to conditions that ended up being perfectly sailable), the inshore fleets got 3-4 races in and the weather is only getting better in Chucktown.  Clean and Mer are blowing it up on CRW’s Facebook Page all day with videos and photos and more, so check out the country’s biggest regatta live today.

 

April 16th, 2016 by admin

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Charleston’s Fort 2 Battery Race was bigger, badder, faster, and nastier than ever, though you wouldn’t know it from the ballerina-like gybe in this great Penalty Box Productions teaser from the race.  Enjoy (and share!) the quick edit above, and keep an eye out for a feature from The Rev Petey next month.  For the full video of the morning Beach Walk, go here.  For the full shaky-cam video of the Fort2Battery Race, here.

Here’s the after-action report from F2B founder and organizer Tim Fitzgerald. (and for more from Petey on the upcoming monster Melges 24 Worlds, check out Petey’s third ‘View From The Chair.’

“10 seconds to start…Here I go!”

“Uh-oh.”

There’s a couple catamarans hooked up and I can see we may be getting acquainted.  No thought on my part of Port and Starboard, just simply that at 25 knots, it’ll be wise of me to miss them one way or another. I’m crossing, until I hit a hole in the offshore breeze…and now I’m trying to stay on the foil.

3 seconds to impact, and now its too late to stop before I’m in their path.. But it’s my friend Jeff.  “He wouldn’t run me over,” I think.  On second thought, yes, he would.  He’d wear my kite on the top of his mast like a trophy animal pelt.

2 seconds to impact, and now I’m way too slow to cross.  so I cross the first cat, and it’s an e-brake bail to explode the water and stop before T-boning the second boat. I look up through the spray to see two masts fly past either side of my kite lines.  “Holy shit.”

Time to get going again. Over there I think I see a moth. It’s hard to tell because he’s far away. A few seconds pass and now we’re not far away at all.  We’re both lit up like a Christmas tree in a big puff, heading for a 40mph pileup.

And again…3 seconds to impact.

I heat up to go behind just before a huge blast hits me and takes me downwind toward my handshake with the mothie, who is also at vaporizing top speed and planning to cross ahead.  2 seconds…I’m heading right at him. If I bail in front, I’m fish food,  so I lean back and heat up, which makes me go FASTER. It’s that awful feeling you get in a keelboat when it’s too late to duck and you know it’s going to get ugly.

I close my eyes a split second before my board makes contact with my good friend Pat’s Mach 2 moth with both of us at over 25 knots – though it feels like Mach 2.  We clear each other by inches.

I had survived the first minute of my 2016 Fort 2 Battery. Let it be known that the good advice of “sail in clear air and open space” applies to Fort 2 Battery races also.

It began without warning.  The first attackers landed at Fort Sumter in under 6 minutes with reinforcements pouring ashore in under 8. In just 15 minutes they had taken the Fort. It was glorious and it changed everything.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.31.44 AMThe third running of the Charleston Fort 2 Battery was run in reverse because of the west wind coming off the city at a chilly 20-30 knots. With the sun out, this was the kiteboarder’s version of a Chamber of Commerce day. Charleston’s Holy City Helicopters team was in the air with Sammy Hodges and Mac Dickson hanging out of the bird with long lenses astutely affixed to the competitors.  From the air they witnessed a “reverse invasion” of Fort Sumter, when dozens of kite boarders landed on the beach near the Fort to wait for a ride home.  You know it’s survival conditions when the competitors can’t even sail home after the race!

With the big breeze and favorable current, the hard work was getting to the upwind start but the race was all down-hill. Mr. Clean threw down the challenge in the morning letting the live audience on Sailing Anarchy know that records could fall. He was spot on, and the overall course record was cut to 5:52 by Foilboarder Zack Marks, who broke his own record in winning the race. Local kite hotshot Davey Blair also cut 7 seconds from Tucker Mason’s record to bring it to 7:12 which was even faster than the winning time in the first edition of the race. Victor Diaz de Leon cut the moth time to 6:41 while defeating George Peet by an insane five one-thousanths of a second to take second overall and win the Moth race.

When you talked to the racers, one theme was common. Among a bunch of adrenaline junkies who love to fly 40 feet in the air on a kite, and break speed records on flying boats, “I was pretty scared” could be heard over and over. The conditions were at the top end which kept the big cats on shore and ended some Moth Pilots’ days early with cartwheeling wrecks.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.33.36 AMThe high-octane format of the Fort 2 Battery is as addictive as it is exciting, and with over 36,000 people watching the pre-race Beach Walk and F2B Sprint on SA’s Facebook page, we think we’ve really stumbled on something the public loves!   At James Island YC, dozens of fishermen and motor-boat owners were tailgating like Clemson Tigers football fans, and the innovating club’s only questions were “how do we make this even better?” Sweetwater Brewing and Charleston Distilling Co. helped, keeping things lively at the beach bonfire and dance party well into Saturday night.

The rest of the weekend featured more wacky stuff – three days of Kite vs. Moth free-for-all course racing – which had never been done in the world. The verdict seems to be ‘it’s everything you’d think it could be.’  Terrifying but exhilarating for the racers and spectators. Amazingly, despite the big, puffy breeze, we didn’t see a single collision or even a tangled-up kite.

It is fitting that this super high performance everyman’s revolution has grown quickly in Charleston, specifically at Fort Sumter, where our last domestic revolution started…let’s hope that this one is less messy. See you next year!

Mack Dickson photos.

-Fitz

 

April 13th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.27.22 PMApril in Charleston is one of the world’s sweetest sailing destinations, and as you may already know, it ain’t all about Charleston Race Week!  The weekend before the big event is a mess of racers who do not give a shit what your PHRF number is, or how many inches of prebend you carry in your stick – no, they’re all about speed, speed, and more speed (with some partying mixed in).

It’s the fourth running of the Charleston Fort 2 Battery, founded with the help of Sailing Anarchy in 2014 and already at over 80 racers in 2015, just its second year. For this race, if you can’t hit 20-plus in your boat, you may as well grab a camera and join hundreds of spectators who fill the harbor rain or shine. 4KSB’s need not apply.

Hardworking founder and anarchist Tim Fitzgerald pulled in some ‘sweet’ sponsors to fule the beach bonfire party – Sweetwater Brewing and Charleston Distillers are on board for the libations, as is Holy City Helicopters for the aerial shots.

Last year over 5000 people tuned in as Sailing Anarchy brought the race to you LIVE and you can see it again this year if you’ve got 20 minutes and an internet connection. It’s like no sailing you’ve ever seen before and it happens fast! There were high speed wrecks, a destroyed catamaran, some bruised moth pilots and PLENTY of wind.

The 2016 F2B also scores a ‘world first’ for any sailing sprint race – just like a marathon or Ironman, all competitors will be ‘chip-timed’ for perfect accuracy, so you’ll see the results the instant they cross the finish line.

On Fort 2 Battery weekend, James Island will become the first place to hold a mixed-foil regatta, when the moths and kites go head to head Friday on the slalom course, with course racing over the weekend. From local talk it sounds like many plan to spectate the 60mph closing speeds and 30mph NASCAR style wipeouts when some of the fastest sailors in the country go head to head with few rules. We don’t even know what to expect, but if racers decide to weaponize you could see mothies running over downed kiters, and kiters boosting to chop moth sails to bits with their foils. The possibilities are endless and you may be seeing the start of something new.

Register now!

Mac Dickson photo.

March 21st, 2016 by admin

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Petey and the Charleston media team of Sander, Brian, and Dan the combat videographer put a rich and interesting 10-minute film together from 2015 Sperry Charleston Race Week.  Like all CRW videos, it’s got girls, sportboats, and booze, and plenty more from another interesting cast of characters at the hemisphere’s biggest regatta.  We’ll have a post-mortem on the event early next week – where it’s been, where it’s going, and why it works – as well as a full index to every bit of the coverage the Sperry supported SA team put together for you last month.  Enjoy.

 

May 6th, 2015 by admin

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Clean Report

When Sperry signed on to be a part of Sailing Anarchy’s year-long media World Tour of some of the most interesting events in our sport, we had no mysteries about why.  “You guys ooze the kind of passion that Sperry was founded on, and we want to help you share it with the world,” said Dave, one of their marketing bosses.

That’s the easy answer; there is a deeper, more painful answer to ‘why?’ – and it’s the reason Sailing Anarchy has been the world’s best sailing website for the past decade.  Because this is not our job; it is our life, and without sailing, there’s a good chance that the folks who run the place wouldn’t be alive today.

So click the player above and learn what sailing means. To us at SA, to Petey behind the lens, to our sponsors, to our friends, but most importantly, to all the folks who do whatever it takes to bring the next generation to this lifesaving sport.

Gorgeous work from Petey Crawford; The first two parts of the series are here and here.

 

April 22nd, 2015 by admin

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