Charleston Race Week is upon us again and an armada of boats have descended on the historical town to celebrate one of the great regattas left in the United States. Doug Mclean got the team (Erik Shampain, Greg Koski & Keith Magnudssen) together again for this one and we have been spending the past two days practicing in the J-70.
Over 80 of the highly popular one design boats have gathered to test their skills against one another. The difficult waters of Charleston Harbor are our home for the next three days and we are excited to get started tomorrow.
The last two days have included some boat preparation and a lot of upwind tuning and short fast rides downwind. Wednesday was our first time back in the boat since Key West and it was important to get the straight line speed going well. We went upwind with a few boats and adjusted accordingly. The lower third of the main was showing some wrinkles as we pulled on backstay in the puffs so we gave the lowers a turn on. It was key to call the puffs and shift gears.
Downwind we weerre in full plane mode and the breeze was rapidly increasing. Rumors of 25 kts plus were going around. It is hard for me to tell since it is flat water and a lot of current.
Today we got out early and spent a good two hours pacing other boats. We felt better with more in hauler and a tighter than normal jib. The second half of the day were practice starts and short races. About 30 boats came out to tune up and it made for some good sailing.