Got a sailboat 30 feet long or longer? Wanna race 777 miles to Bermuda? Then batten down the hatches and enter in the annual Charleston to Bermuda Race (www.charlestonbermudarace.com), or C2B. It’s a real bluewater adventure in which sailors from around the world vie to be the first to sail from the Charleston harbor to St. David’s Head on Bermuda.
While currently the Gryphon Solo holds the world 24-hour speed record for a 50-foot yacht, an honor secured in the C2B, many sail simply for the challenge and for the fun of it. Entries typically range from the minimum length on up to 100 feet; indeed, the winner of the inaugural event was the 30-foot Hot Glue Gun. The race typically takes 3–6 days to complete, with the unofficial course record so far clocking in at 73 hours.
As this is Charleston and therefore a party is never far away, part of the fun is the social whirl before the boats depart. Representatives of the Bermuda tourism board meet and mingle with crews and Charleston society in a fete usually held at the Hibernian Hall on Meeting Street. (The 2007 gala featured both South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown.) Bermuda returns the favor at the other end, hosting the finishing crews in a similar round of parties at race’s end and giving out awards in a ceremony at the Bermuda Yacht Club.
With origins in a whimsical race thought up in 1997 by two local sailors, David Browder and Rick Hennigar, the C2B Race is currently owned and operated by the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. You can follow the course and speed of each entrant in real time at the online Race Tracker.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition