Perhaps one of the world’s best kept secrets is Chester Race Week, held in Chester, Nova Scotia, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling metropolis of Halifax. Chester Race Week (scheduled August 14-17, 2013) has been sailing since 1856 and in recent summers has had consistent entries of 130-150 yachts. The regatta is run on three different race courses within the confines of the waters of Mahone Bay, surrounded by beautiful pine-tree covered granite islands dotted throughout the bay. Sailing could not be more convenient, especially since the time to the race course (always a big consideration after a long evening out the night before with friends!) is usually 30 minutes maximum!
There are a few changes to the format this year. The Notice of Race has been posted and can be found at www.chesterraceweek.com. There is a modest increase in entry fees in an effort to more closely approximate on-the-water costs with registration fees. There is also some re-arranging on the race courses. The Alpha fleet will continue to have the handicap A1 Black and A2 White classes which will be sailing windward/leeward or gold cup courses as well as the Alpha Distance 1 and 2 classes. Ken Legler, the sailing coach for the Tufts University Sailing Team and a well-known race officer in the US will be managing this fleet. See kenleglersailing.com
Liz Shaw is returning as Principal Race Officer and will be running the Bravo fleet. The Bravo fleet will have, as previously, two or three handicap classes for boats with a PHRF rating of 99 and over. The number of classes will depend on the number of registrants. In addition to the handicap classes we have moved the J/24’s and the J/29’s over to this course so as to decrease their steaming time to the line. If there are enough J/70’s, they will sail on this course as well. The Bravo fleet will sail either windward/leeward or gold cup courses.
After countless years of running the Charlie fleet, Ray Cambria has passed the RO duties over to Trish Finlay. Trish is an experienced sailor and race officer, and is well known within the Bluenose community in Chester.
Susie Schneider is welcomed to Chester Race Week – 2013. Susie is the Race Officer for the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead and will be handling RO duties on the Delta course. The Delta fleet will have five classes this year, all sailing one round-the-buoys race per day. We plan on one Classics class, two PHRF Non-Spinnaker (Cruiser) classes and two Delta Distance (spinnaker) classes. The Delta Distance class is designed for those boats with a PHRF rating of 99 and over that want to sail with spinnakers around the buoys. These races will generally run 12 to 15 miles in length.
Wednesday evening offers the Molson Canadian Back Ribs BBQ! Coco Pesto will be on site cooking up a meal of Annapolis Valley Applewood Barbequed Back Ribs served with Barbeque and Sweet Sauce. Included in ticket price are Potato Salad, Old School Molasses Baked Beans, Creamy Coleslaw, Caesar Salad, Fresh Rolls & a Molson Canadian Beer! All for the low, low price of $25.00! There will be a check box on your registration form to ensure that you get your tickets for the BBQ on Wednesday night. Irene’s Fish and Chips and others will also be on site to attend to your food needs.
The band on Wednesday will be Asia & NuGruv. They were very well received last year. Thursday brings the ever popular Hopping Penguins. Friday is Party Boots, and we close out Saturday once again with Asia & NuGruv. Bands will start playing at 9pm and stop at 1am.
Be sure to check out ChesterRaceWeek.com and chesteryachtclub.ca for more valuable information about the Largest KeelBoat regatta in Canada.