Charleston Race Week - Owner Report
Smith Mountain Lake Sailor takes 4th Place at Charleston Race Week
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.