An earlier start time for the final day of Charleston Race Week brought frantic preparations across the Charleston Harbor Marina. Many of the nearly 250 teams removed non-essential equipment, heaving away as they pulled piles of extra sails and gear off their boats to lighten their loads for the expected forecast of just 5-10 knots of wind. The offshore courses saw sufficient sailing breeze through most of the day, with the first race run under very light northerly conditions and the final race in a moderate Charleston sea breeze of 10 knots.
“We had the heavy stuff on Friday, and the light and shifty stuff today, and we loved the challenge of figuring out all the conditions,” said Mark Thomas sailing on Diana Sea which squeaked out a one-point victory over Denny Manrique’s Island Flyer in the PHRF heavy displacement class. “We may have lost by a point, but we had a great time and we’ll certainly be back,” said Manrique.
The biggest boats at the event had an exciting, three-way battle for their class championship, with Don Terwilliger’s Dauntless starting the day with a commanding lead due to three first-place finishes on Friday. “We needed to finish fifth in the last race today to secure first in class, but it turned out to be a tough nut to crack,” said tactician Brad Taylor. Terwilliger and his crew won Class A at this event last year, but Dauntless enjoyed the stronger wind, and Taylor watched their lead disappear on the final race.
“About 100 yards from the finish, the two J/130s were behind us, and when they jibed for the line, their hotter angle pushed them over the line ahead of us.” That final move cost Dauntless the win in this class to Patrick Eudy’s Big Booty. “If we have to lose to a boat, we don’t mind losing to those guys – they’re good guys, great sailors, and we’re all friends,” Taylor said.
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