With the return of the marina at Dataw I thought it would make sense to outline what I envision our sailing program will look like. Before Hurricane Matthew we had a very active program with 7 to 9 boats participating in our monthly races and over 20 boats sailing in the Dataw Cup. Basically I plan to return to the key elements of what we were doing in the past with the understanding that it will take some time to build the fleet back to the previous levels.
MONTHLY RACES: The key element of the program will be the monthly races. The races are intended to be low key events with sailors of all levels encouraged to participate.
- These races will be held on Monday’s and, except for the Around Morgan Race, started and finished at the marina.
- The races will be sailed in the Morgan River starting at the marina with the fleet heading down the river to turn on a longitude then return to the marina to finish.
- Races will be timed, as much as possible, so that the fleet will hit the turning point at low tide which means that there will be a favorable current going both down and up the Morgan River. – The plan is to have one of the monthly races in the Spring and Fall be an “Around Morgan
Race”, This race will start at the marina, sail down the Morgan River to “G” 11 in St Helena Sound, then up the Coosaw River to finish at the entrance to Parrot Creek. There will be awards awarded to the top finishers in these races.
- One of the races will be a “Ladies Day Race”. For this race all boats will be encouraged to include members of the fairer sex as their crew. Word will be put out to DIYC asking ladies to participate. This event was very popular when it was held.
- In order to encourage participation the races will be open to all boats and individuals. – The results of the monthly races will be combined to determine an overall Dataw Sailing Champion. There will be a gathering of the Sailing Fleet in January with awards being presented to the top finishing boats.
THE DATAW CUP: Prior to Hurricane Matthew the Dataw Cup had developed into one of the major Beaufort area sailboat racing events with up tp 30 boats registered to participate. We will have to see how the marina develops as we move forward with this regatta. The key elements of this event were.
- The race was a 22 mile long course that starts in the Coosaw River near Brickyard Point, proceeds down the Coosaw to “G” 11 in St Helena Sound, then up the Morgan River to finish at Dataw Marina,
- The Regatta was held on a Saturday in October with the date and starting time set so that boats get to “G” 11 at low tide. This gives the fleet a favorable current the entire race. – There was a pre-race Skippers Meeting and BYO cocktails on Friday night before the race and an Awards Dinner Saturday after the race – both at the Gazebo. The top finishing boats received awards.
- Visiting boats were offered free docking at Dataw Marina on Saturday after the race. With the modest start up of the marina this presents a significant complication to the Dataw Cup.
Roy Crocker, Sailing Captain