CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The largest regatta of its kind in North and South America sails into the Charleston harbor this week.
About 2,000 sailors from across the U.S. and nearly a dozen foreign countries will participate during Sperry Charleston Race Week from Thursday, April 14 through Sunday, April 17, 2016. Competitive races begin Friday with nearly 200 boats sailing in the Charleston harbor. Another 50 boats will race offshore.
Now in it's 21st year, Sperry Charleston Race Week has become the largest keelboat regatta in the Western Hemisphere. Race Week organizers estimate the event generates nearly $4 million for the Charleston community. Over the years, the proceeds have been used to benefit numerous sailing oriented nonprofit organizations in the Lowcountry.
Races in the harbor start at 11 a.m. and typically finish at 3:30 p.m. The offshore races start at 10:30 a.m. and finish around 3:30 p.m. Spectators can watch from White Point Gardens along the Battery, at Waterfront Park and Demetre Park on James Island. Two spectator cruises are being offered on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and seating on these cruises will be limited.
Evening events are also scheduled at the Race Village at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. For more information on those events, the races and booking a spectator cruise, go to charlestonraceweek.com.