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. Bruno Pasquinelli vacationed in Charleston annually as a kid and has come to love sailing there. The Chicago native and now Dallas resident first came to Charleston Race Week in 2009 while racing a J/80. He’s had many podium placements without a win at this regatta. That drought is over after Pasquinelli skippered Stampede to an impressive victory in the J/70 fleet, which drew 29 entries. Brothers Charlie and Jonathan McKee played a big part in lifting Pasquinelli over the top as Stampede finished third or better in seven of nine races. Stampede posted 24 points, a whopping 16 better than Joel Ronning and the Catapult crew. “It feels good to finally win in Charleston. I’m really happy to check that box,” Pasquinelli said. “The crew work was absolutely tremendous. As an owner, it was amazing to see how it all came together.” The McKee brothers are multi-time Olympians and teamed to capture bronze medals at the 1988 (470 class) and 2000 Olympics (49er class) games. Joe Morris, who represented the U.S. in 49er class at the 2016 Olympics, worked the bow. “It was fantastic to get the McKee brothers, who are sailing legends,” Pasquinelli said. “We really have three tacticians aboard. It’s interesting to listen to them help each other out. The flow of information among them was really impressive.” For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=12954.

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