Chester, Nova Scotia is once again home to the famous Chester Race Week, being held August 15-18. This race has been in existence for over 100 years, starting originally with fishermen’s sailboats. This year’s registrations are at a healthy 143 boats with the addition of another race course. In sailing circles Chester Race Week is one of the great regattas, full on racing, great parties and the prettiest scenery anywhere!
Race Chairman John Curry opened the regatta proclaiming the early morning fog would clear and sure to his word the skies turned blue and a great day of racing took place. ”Conditions couldn’t have been better” said Curry who was on the alpha course, “after a very short delay a fresh southerly breeze came in and delivered a full day of racing”.
Alpha course was lucky enough to have former Olympian, Andreas Josenhans, as their PRO (Principal Race Officer) and hosted one-design J/24 and J/29 boats, large PHRF boats (Performance Handicap Rating Formula) and the distance class. The top three boats today on the Alpha 1 course were; Blast, a J111, Skippered by Mark Surrette from RNSYS, Stampeder another J111 from Chester Yacht Club with Dave Connolly at the helm was second, followed by Hard Eight, a Trip 41 from SHYC with Lawrence Taylor at the wheel.
Charlie course was located in the harbour with the Bluenose class and Race Officer Ray Cambria. Olympian, Mike Wolfs, has joined this class for the week to enjoy the fun in Chester. The leader after the first day of racing in the 22 boat fleet was John Grantmyer from the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.
Finally, Delta course managed by Race Officer Jay Hooper saw the cruising and classic boats compete under fair conditions. Classic boats are yachts that, independent of their launch date, were built in conformity with a design existing prior to December 31, 1953. A Cruiser is defined as a yacht that is sailed by head sail and main or mainsail only. Leading after day one was Ripple, a Chester C class boat led by Jim Rafuse from Chester Yacht Club
For full results go to www.chesterraceweek.com
Photo Caption: Trip 41 Hard Eight rounds jibe mark just ahead of J111 Stampeder on first day of Chester Race Week