2011 Charleston Race Week: Growth Spike Continues


CHARLESTON, SC (15 FEBRUARY 2011) - Most folks who've participated in the past few Charleston Race Weeks say the event lacks nothing.  Perfect sailing breeze, comfortable temperatures, a gorgeous race venue and stellar on-shore and on-water race management are the rule, as evidenced by the unprecedented growth experienced by the South's biggest regatta for the fifth straight year. But the 'world's friendliest regatta' has, indeed, been missing something big, as Logistics Manager Danny Havens explains:

"We've been approached by many companies who were interested in becoming the Title Sponsor for our little regatta over the past few years, but none of them were the perfect partner that Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA) and South Carolina Maritime Foundation (SCMF) have been seeking, so we passed," Havens said.  "This week, we've finalized an agreement that changes all that.  We're immensely proud and excited to announce 2011 Charleston Race Week is now the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week!"

Sperry Top-Sider President Craig Reingold is equally excited about the new partnership.  "Charleston Race Week's competitors and management embrace the same values and aspirationsas Sperry Top-Sider," Reingold said.  "A passion for life in, on and around the sea, and a love of sporting competition.  We couldn't be happier with our decision to join the Charleston Race Week team and lend our support to one of the world's great regattas."


2010 Charleston Race Week was the biggest ever, with 193 registered entries at the start of the event and 182 of them making it to the line.  With 215 racing teams registered as of today, 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week has emphatically smashed that all-time record more than two months before the event's start.  "I suppose we shouldn't be surprised with all the great press and word-of-mouth that Race Week has gotten, but to have 215 boats at this early date - a full 60 boats more than we had at this time last year - is thrilling!" said Race Director Randy Draftz.  "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who has helped spread the word about our amazing town - the media, Charleston's local racers, and our great competitors who've told their friends about CRW for all these years!"

To see a list of current entries, click on http://yachtscoring.com/current_event_entries.cfm?eID=407.


While Charleston Race Week's huge growth has coincided with US racing's general trend towards smaller, faster, easier to race "sportboats," organizers are pleased to see the big boat fleets on the rise as well.  "More than 60 of our entries on this early date are over 30 feet long, which will make 2011 not only an overall attendance record, but a record for big boats as well," said Havens.  "With our new, quicker shortcut route to the formerly distant South Offshore Course confirmed and estimated at less than 40 minutes from marina to course, we're confident that no one will miss any party action," added Draftz.


With big boat Winter Circuit plans upended by the cancellation of the Miami Grand Prix, organizers of 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week have extended the Early Registration Discount to boats over 35 feet until February 25th.  "A number of potential big boat competitors have told us they are still trying to re-organize their race calendars for the late winter/early spring, so we're giving them an additional week to get their ducks in a row," explained Havens.  Teams can register at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/race-entry/race-registration/.

2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week runs from April 14th through April 17th, and includes four separate race courses for more than a dozen inshore and offshore one-design, PHRF and IRC handicap racing classes for boats from 20 to 70 feet.  For more information and a current entry list, go to www.charlestonraceweek.com, and to register, go to http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/race-entry/race-registration/.



Since 1935, Sperry Top-Sider has been the leading brand of footwear for those with a Passion for the Sea.  From its introduction of the World's first siped rubber outsole for non-marking traction to advanced technical fabrication to combat the elements, Sperry Top-Sider remains at the vanguard of high-performance amphibious footwear.  Available around the globe in independent, marine, outdoor and department stores, Sperry Top-Sider is the official footwear of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas, US SAILING, the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, and the National Safe Boating Council. 

Based in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, Sperry Top-Sider supports a wide range of ocean-related activities through its many sponsorships, including Key West Race Week, the New York Yacht Club's Invitational Cup, the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week and the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas.  Sperry Top-Sider was also recently recognized for its recent brand transformation by industry trade magazine Footwear News by being named 2009 "Brand of the Year."   Sperry Top-Sider is a division of the Collective Brands Performance and Lifestyle Group, a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS). For more information, please visit www.sperrytopsider.com or www.passionforthesea.com, or email beverly.antunes@sperrytopsider.com



2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is an event of South Carolina Maritime Foundation and Charleston Ocean Racing Association. All profits from the event support educational programs aboard the Spirit of South Carolina, a 140-foot tall ship serving South Carolina's youth. 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider, North Sails, vineyard vines, Gill, OnDeck, Gosling's Rum, Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, Newport Shipyard, Azalea Moving & Storage, Charleston Yachting, Pierside Boatworks, Coastal Marine Transport and Rising High Café.

Check out the event site at www.charlestonraceweek.com/ for more information, including Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, media information, logistical support, news, video and photos.