Sailing through Charleston Race Week

By Sonya

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. ( WCIV) - More than 2,000 sailors from all around the world have gathered in the Lowcountry for Charleston Race Week.

It's the largest sailing regatta of this kind in the Western Hemisphere. The event will feature inshore and offshore races Friday and Saturday, but Thursday it was all about practice.

Steven Boho and his crew were hard at work Thursday afternoon, getting their boat ready to compete.

"We are going to practice. We finally got a little wind out there so we are going to go out, make sure everything is rigged properly and just have a little fun," said Boho, a sailor from Wisconsin.

It's the third time that he and the crew -- from Wisconsin, Utah and California -- are participating in race week.

"The people here are great, the sailing is great, it's just one of the premium events that we attend and it's just good all round; social life afterwards is great and friendly people," said Boho.

The event, which is in its 19th year, attracts amateurs and pros alike.

Blane Shea and his team are here for the first time from Chicago and were anxious to get out on the water.

"Boat speed testing, practice putting the spinnaker up and down, everything that we are going to do on the race course tomorrow. We are going to practice today," said Shea.

And when sailing in a new place, practice makes perfect.

"Once racing starts, you can't make a mistake that's a simple mistake," said Shea. "If we make a mistake today, we can fix it and we can stop racing and take a break and talk through it. If we don't work together, we aren't going to win."

And for many, it's the first time they have gotten to sail in months.

"For a lot of these people they haven't done much sailing for a few weeks, months maybe because this has been winter in the Northeast so this is one of the first events of the season for a lot of folks, so there is sort of a celebration about that," said Dan Dickison, the media director for Charleston Race Week.

The competition takes place in the Charleston Harbor and just off Sullivan's Island.

The action will be visible from White Point Gardens in downtown Charleston and Demetre Park on James Island.