Sunday, April 16, 2006

Charleston Race Week - Owner Report

Jan Arps, the new owner of Liftoff, the Rocket 22 delivered to Charleston Race Week sent us the piece below along with the photos. Great to hear they had such an excellent time. We are looking forward to returning next year and plan to have several Rockets on the starting line.

Smith Mountain Lake Sailor takes 4th Place at Charleston Race Week

Shifting, blustery winds, strong tide currents and tornado warnings made the racing at Charleston Race Week, April 6-9, 2006 quite exciting. 140+ sailboats signed up for the races on the beautiful waters of Charleston Harbor. By week's end, the fleet had been reduced by over 30% through attrition, damage and dropouts.

Smith Mountain Lake was represented by skipper Jan Arps in his brand-new Rocket 22 sailboat, "Liftoff", with a crew consisting of Jan Arps and Mike Fowler from the Blackwater Yacht Racing Association, together with Alan Barnes and Ken Hope of Rocket Boats, Inc. from Penticton, British Columbia.

Sailing seven races over three days in Charleston Harbor, "Liftoff" competed in PHRF Class "C". In addition to the Rocket 22, this fleet included a J-27, a J-29, a J-92, a Tartan 10, a Donovan 27, an Olsen 30, a Corby 29, an Elliott 770, and an Evelyn 22. At the end of the day, Arps' team garnered a fourth place. "We were thrilled to place as high as we did", said Arps with a broad smile. "The three boats that beat us were all sailed by the national champions of their respective classes, and we gave them a run for their money. Managing the many wind shifts while maintaining top boat speed were the key factors for our racing success."

For most of the regatta the 20+ mph winds were very challenging, with strong puffs blasting across the course, kicking up a steep chop. Coupled with a strong tidal current, it created wild and wooly conditions that could be conservatively described as "a rough weekend". Nonetheless, the Rocket 22 held together like a champ, taking on all that the weather gods could dish out and slicing its way through the fleet unharmed. Exclaimed Arps breathlessly about the Rocket after one particularly strenuous race, "This is one fast, stable, rugged sailboat! I love it!"

Arps and his crew will be sailing "Liftoff" in the bi-weekly BYRA racing series at SML as well as in the upcoming SunTrust Invitational Regatta to be held at Pelican Point Yacht Club on the weekend of May 6 & 7.


At 5:39 AM, Anonymous zane y said...

Good exposure for the boat hopefully it will help get some things off the ground and running for these very cool boats. good luck.


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