June 28, 2018
Richard Gerstenberger’s J/105 Axis flies its spinnaker during Chester Race Week 2017. Norway-based global outerwear icon Helly Hansen has signed on as naming sponsor of what is now “Helly Hansen Chester Race Week” 2018, North America’s largest annual keel boat race week. (credit: © 2017 Tim Wilkes)
Courses range in size from a 0.5 nautical mile windward-leeward course for the Bluenose class in front of the Chester Yacht Club, to the 20-plus-nautical-mile-long distance course for big boats. The fleets can accommodate everyone from competitive one-design hulls to classic wooden boats and cruising boats racing without spinnakers.
Each August, 200-plus sailors arrive in Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia’s scenic South Shore to compete in one of 15 fleets racing simultaneously on five different race courses.
After a trial run in 2017, Norway-based global outerwear icon Helly Hansen has signed on as sponsor of what is now “Helly Hansen Chester Race Week” 2018, North America’s largest annual keel boat race week.
“Helly Hansen is a global sailing icon and their decision to partner with us validates all the hard work our volunteers have done over the years to modernize and professionalize Chester Race Week while maintaining our famous East Coast warmth and energy,” said Cynthia Spraggs, 2018 Sponsorship Chair.
Marketing Director Damien Etchaubard approved a modest sponsorship opportunity in 2017 based solely on the regatta’s deep history and reputation as one of the largest and best-run regattas in Canada. His team’s experience on site in 2017 convinced him to accept the three-year presenting sponsorship position.
“Chester Race Week is the regatta people look forward to each year in Canada. They blew us away last year with amazing sailing conditions, the large number and diversity of sailors and visitors, and their professionalism, sincere hospitality and positive energy,” Etchaubard said. “The waters off Chester are the perfect environment for sailors to put our apparel to the test.”
As part of its three-year partnership, Helly Hansen will expand its presence at Chester Race Week with enhanced attendance on land and water and offer a wider product offering on site. “We’re developing imaginative ways to bring the Helly Hansen brand to life on the water and on land. Things like a pop-up store, spinnaker logos, product placements and more interactive ways for sailors and sailing fans to experience everything Helly Hansen offers. This is a chance to present our brand to the people who matter most to us,” Etchaubard added.
Public welcome to come for the racing, stay for the fun
The public is welcome to watch the races from the dock or from inside the Chester Yacht Club, which is open to the public from 9 am to 9 pm daily. After 9 pm, the live music continues inside until 1:30 a.m. Wristbands are available for $20 to those 19 and over. Food trucks will be on the grounds for all four days. The Club will host live music nightly by bands The Hopping Penguins, Roxy & The Underground Soul Sound, Dub Kartel and Shameless.
About Helly Hansen Chester Race Week
Hosted by the Chester Yacht Club in the picturesque village of Chester. Chester’s sailing regattas were first documented in 1856 and what became Helly Hansen Chester Race Week was named one of Sailing World magazine’s 14 greatest sailing events in North America. A community-based, volunteer-driven event, Race Week boasts a full schedule of public-friendly events with live music, great food, yacht races, plus racing seminars from internationally renowned sailors, tacticians, boat builders and sailmakers.
Visit www.ChesterRaceWeek.com AUGUST 15-18, 2018
4 days, 5 courses, 15 fleets, 140 boats, 1200 sailors
Bronze-certified regatta since 2016
Sail Nova Scotia Volunteer of the Year 2017: Pat Nelder (water-side chair)
Sail Nova Scotia Regatta of the Year 2016