Sailors convene on Charleston's harbor for race week

By Sonya

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Sailboats, sailboats, and more sailboats all sailing for the win as part of Charleston Race Week. The event features three days of racing competition.

"It's highly competitive, but it also appeals to people who are novice sailors as well people who are experts and professionals, so it's a very wide spectrum of participants," said

Sailors come from all around the United States and other countries to compete in the annual race.

"(It) puts Charleston on the map with people who are familiar with competitive sailing but it also has a $2.5 million economic impact and that's based on 2011 participation," said Dickison.

The event continues to grow every year; there are 285 boats on the water this year.

"It's one of the best regattas in the country, kind of shows us our roots as far as the sailing destination and obviously we know we are a great place to vacation. Now it is a combination of both," said Randy Draftz, event director at Charleston Race Week.

Kimo Worthington is an experienced sailor, but it's his first time at race week.

"This is great to see all these people sailing and the difference is that people are having fun here. Charleston is a great place to come," said Worthington.

He says how successful the sail is depends on the weather.

"If it's light and there is no wind it's kind of boring, you are just sitting around (saying,) 'Alright, where is the wind?' But then on a day like today, it's going to be a little lumpy; it's going to be pretty exciting to see if we can coordinate everybody and get everybody around the course and do really well," said Worthington.

Friday's wind certainly made it a challenge, but for some it was a mission impossible. But for these sailors, any day on the water is a good day.

For those interested in finding out about local sailing opportunities, there is a Sail Charleston event at Charleston Maritime Center Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to public.