While many regattas around the world are still getting canceled because of coronavirus, Charleston Race Week pressed forward with its 25th anniversary celebration. It came one year late since the 2020 edition was canceled due to the developing pandemic last April. Mass vaccinations combined with a decrease in positive cases throughout most of the United States prompted longtime event director Randy Draftz to forge forward with a Charleston Race Week 2021. Regatta management did so with an abundance of caution, and numerous precautions were put into place to ensure the event was held in a safe and responsible manner. For this year, the focus on April 9-11 was fully on producing top-notch racing, and on that front the regatta was a tremendous success. Classes on Circle 1 (VX One), Circle 3 (J/88, J/105, ORC D) all reached 10 races, while those on Circle 2 (J/70, Melges 24) and Circle 4 (J/22, J/24, PHRF Inshore) finished with nine. Justin Damore was dominant in the J/22 fleet, posting seven straight bullets between a fourth in the opening race and a second in the last. Four of the J/22s were crewed by junior teams, and the Mount Pleasant resident was pleased to assist with their development. This marked the competitive sailing debut for Damore’s partner Oanh Dang, who was floater aboard Yem. Bryan Jerman trimmed the headsails while his daughter Ashley did the bow. Damore received a complimentary entry into Charleston Race Week as a thank you for making a significant donation to Charleston Community Sailing. The former North Sails pro was doing this regatta for the first time since 2016. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=12954.

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