Photo above: John Potter (right) receiving the Santa Elena Regatta trophy.
The Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club hosted the Inaugural Santa Elena Regatta on April 1-3rd which was the kick-off event of the month long celebration of the anniversary of the 450th founding of the Colony of Santa Elena on Parris Island. Many participants enjoyed the weekend’s festivities, and with a downtown start on Sunday during beautiful weather, many spectators watched from the Waterfront Park. The winner of the Regatta will have their name engraved on a bronze statue of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, founder of Santa Elena, which was commissioned by Count Alvaro Armada Barcaiztegui in Spain to commemorate the 450th Anniversary of Santa Elena.
The first day of the Regatta was the Jean Ribault Cup which was held in Port Royal Sound on Saturday. The conditions were strong winds and a steep chop which caused a number of the boats to withdraw from the event. Ten boats continued on in the rough seas and high winds to sail two races with the crews of these boats commenting that they were tired and somewhat bruised at the end of the day.
On Sunday, the second day of the regatta, the Pedro Menendez Cup was sailed in beautiful sailing conditions in the calmer waters of the Beaufort River. The race started in front of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and there were many spectators there to watch the action and take pictures. This race proceeded down the Beaufort River to Parris Island and then returned to finish at Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club.
The two days of racing were combined to make the Santa Elena Regatta. Based on the results of all the races John Potter sailing the speedy J 105, “Dead on Arrival”, that Potter owns with Peter Gamble, was the overall winner of the Santa Elena Regatta.
The top finishing skippers for all events were:
Jean Ribault Cup Racing Class – 1st John Potter, 2nd Ricky Akers, 3rd Mark Newman. Jean Ribault Cruising Class – 1st Reggie Fraser, 2nd David Dixon. Pedro Menendez Racing Class – 1st John Potter, 2nd Marvin Day, 3rd Ricky Akers. Pedro Menendez Cruising Class – 1st Mark Schuster, 2nd Al Hefner. Santa Elena Regatta – 1st John Potter, 2nd Ricky Akers, 3rd Marvin Day.