This past spring was an especially busy one on Charleston Harbor, with not one but three regattas taking place in quick succession in April: Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, the Moth North Americans and, new this year, the inaugural Fort 2 Battery Race, a high-speed 3.8 mile downwind sprint from Fort Sumter to the Charleston waterfront.
The brainchild of Charleston-based sailing coach Tim Fitzgerald, the race-what-ya-brung Fort 2 Battery drew 40 competitors and featured everything from kite boarders to beach cats, foiling moths and sailboards.
Winning in a blistering time of 8 minutes 56 seconds was Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari, who was also in town for the Moth North Americans. Other standouts included the fleet’s youngest competitor, Neil Walters, age 12, sailing aboard his family’s Hobie 20.
“I love events like this that are a bit different from our regular racing and have an element of chance and a huge amount of fun to them,” Gulari said.
Meanwhile, this year’s Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week (charlestonraceweek.com) hosted nearly 300 boats, including the new, super-fast HPR class, a good two-dozen boats in the fast-growing pursuit class and a locust like 75-boat J/70 fleet.
Add in the ever-present commercial traffic, for which Charleston Harbor is renowned, and it made for one busy and exciting body of water. For more on this year’s Fort 2 Battery, or for advice on running a sprint race of your own, go to fort2battery.com.