Charlottetown Yacht Club celebrates 30th race week

The Charlottetown Yacht Club is set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its annual race week.

The Charlottetown Yacht Club is set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its annual race week.

While the event is three decades old, racing sailboats in Charlottetown's harbour dates back to the 1800s, says event chairman Stephen Murray.

"People got together in Charlottetown harbour to race the faster boats of the day. It's funny, that they were usually quite small boats, less than 20 feet," said Murray.

"But modern race week has been started 30 years ago with a faster fleet of boats. And maybe it's not more competitive than it was, but it certainly seems that way."

Racing will begin Thursday and runs until Saturday.

A highlight this year is the J-29 North American Championships. It's the first time P.E.I. will have hosted the finals of this prestigious racing class.

And sailing star Andreas Josenhans will be attending Race Week.

Josenhans sailed in the Montreal Olympics in 1976 and crewed on the boat that won the 1992 America's Cup.

He's officiating the three-day event and says spectators should bring binoculars and racers should bring their bag of tricks.

"It's great fun. Not only is the scenery wonderful, it's also, you know they may get a glimpse of the boats and what they're doing and some of the nefarious tricks that one tries to apply to the other," said Josenhans. 

"Unbelievably, it is absolutely phenomenally exciting when you're on board and we try to provide good, fair, square race committee work so nobody really has an unfair advantage." 

The flotilla scheduled for Wednesday night has been cancelled because of the weather forecast and will be rescheduled for a date in August. 

The flotilla is a fundraiser for PEI's Heart and Stroke Foundation. Members of the public are welcome to come to the yacht club and take a ride on a sailboat for a suggested donation of $10. 

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