Championship regatta to sail into Charleston Race Week

Championship regatta to sail into Charleston Race Week

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Sperry Charleston Race Week has returned for its twentieth year, featuring the 2015 National Championship Regatta of the Audi Melges 20 class.

The event takes place from April 16 to 19, and is open to all sailboats 19 to 80 feet in length.Almost 300 boats and almost 2,500 sailors from around the country and from Canada have gathered to compete this year across the six courses making up the whole event.

Despite rainy weather conditions and strong ebb tides, all 200 boats participating in three of the courses were able to finish.

"The current is really tough to figure out," said Ryan Ruhlman of Bratenahl, OH.  "It's not something we deal with when we race at home. But overall, we're enjoying ourselves. I actually went to college here, and it's fun to come back and sail in such a huge fleet. Honestly, it's such a terrific regatta. This my tenth time and I'll keep coming back." Ruhlman sailed in his Stupendous Man 84-boat J/70 class between races.

Races begin at about 8:30 a.m. in the mornings through Sunday. Spectators can watch from the shore, along the Battery, or at the Race Village at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. Passes for access to the Race Village are $75.

In the past, the regatta has hosted other class championship events, including the national and North American championship for the Melges 24 Class, a U.S. championship for the Audi Melges 20 Class, and a North American championship for the J/24 Class.

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