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Helly Hansen Chester Race Week hosts World Class Racing and J70 Canadian Championship

by Helly Hansen Chester Race Week 26 Apr 19:31 BST August 14-17, 2024
2023 Helly Hansen Chester Race Week. day 4 © Tracey Wallace / Atlantic Boating

Helly Hansen Chester Race Week 2024 will take place in scenic Chester, Nova Scotia from August 14th to 17th and this year's highlight will be the J70 Canadian Championship as part of the event.

Billed as the largest fixed keel regatta in Eastern Canada, Chester Race Week offers an unsurpassed racing venue.

The Chester Race Week has a rich 120-year history, celebrated for spectacular competition on the water combined with an unrivaled social scene off the water. The J70 Canadian Championship will draw boats from all over the region and country, with an expected 15 entries. Last year, 125 total boats competed in the annual regatta, making it the largest Chester Race Week in a decade.

This year's event will feature:

  • The remarkable, colourful Bluenose Fleet, with a possible 35 competitor boats. The history of the Bluenose Class sloop dates to 1946 when naval architect William J. RouĂ© designed the wooden One Design. These days modifications and improvements in construction of the Bluenose reflects the popularity and demand of a quickly evolving race fleet.
  • The One Design course, sailing windward leeward. Back again will be the International One Design Fleet, the Farr 30 Fleet, and the Sonar Fleet.
  • The PHRF A and B classes will sail a mixture of windward/leeward and around-the-cans courses using fixed and/or inflatable marks. Outside of the Bluenose fleet, these classes are strongly attended with 70-80 PHRF boats participating in various fleet splits.
  • The beautiful Classics (aka the Chester postcard), sailing a Pursuit Style of race. Competitors who would like to sail non-spinnaker are eligible to participate in the pursuit course.

The action and fun ashore are part of HHCRW and organizers have planned four nights of live entertainment every day from 4:00-6:00 pm; 7:00-9:00 pm and 9:30pm-1am.

There will be an awards and prize-giving ceremony each day at 6:00 pm and local food trucks will be on site. Also back is the Sailing Trivia Contest, for which the winner gets a complimentary entry to Chester Race Week 2025.

On-Water Chair Daniel Conrod has assembled a great roster of Race Officers for 2024: Principal Race Officer (PRO) Luke Porter and Race Officers Peter Van Muyden, John Abel, Pat Nelder, Tom Clarke and Trish Finlay, accompanied by Chief Judge Katie Nicoll, excellent course officials and a committee of dedicated volunteers. On shore activities are coordinated by the Chester Yacht Club and Kim Johnson and a team of local volunteers.

The event is sailed out of the Village of Chester on beautiful Mahone Bay located approximately one hour's drive southeast of Halifax Nova Scotia.

This year the event is partnering with Suzuki Canada & Suzuki's Clean Ocean to promote their Clean Ocean Project for a healthy and clean environment, to Chester Race Week audiences. They also will be doing shoreline cleanups at various Nova Scotia coastal locations.

Also new for this year, due to the interest of competitors, HHCRW is integrating Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) scoring within the existing distance fleets as an alternative scoring system for some participants. ORC is globally recognized in local, national, and international races making it the most popular measurement-based rating system in the world.

The presenting sponsor is Helly Hansen with additional support from Atlantic Boating Magazine, Suzuki Canada, North Sails Atlantic, Playwear Canada, Goslings, Blue Lobster, Mahone Marine, Atlantic Yacht Sales, Salty Dog Tours, Fireball, and Ocean Yacht Sales. We are also pleased to welcome new sponsors Coldstream Clear Distillery and Tir Na Nog Builders. To register and learn more about Helly Hansen Chester Race Week, visit chesterraceweek.com.

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