The weekend will decide bragging rights for the coming year between sailing crews from the East Coast and West Coast.
Three crews from each of the Harbor 20 (H 20) fleets in Newport Beach and Santa Barbara, Calif., are representing the West and will defend their title against similar crews from H 20 fleets in Annapolis, Md., and Hilton Head Island, representing the East.
Each fleet held an elimination series in which the winners earned the right to participate in this regatta.
H 20 sailboats are 20-foot-long, one-design class boats that have identical hulls and carry a limited number of sails from specified manufacturers.
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These rules ensure that all boats are virtually the same. The crews travel to the regatta site, but use boats provided by the local fleet. These H 20s are then allocated to all crews based on a random drawing that further provides for "fair play."
The result is competitive racing where crew skills are typically the deciding factor.
The H 20 East-West regatta is fleet racing for both a team trophy and individual prizes. This year's event is the eighth, and the venue alternates between the East and West coasts each year.
It was held in Santa Barbara in 2014 and Annapolis the year before. The West leads in overall wins.
The event is run by the South Carolina Yacht Club. Boat assignments and a practice race were held Friday afternoon. The competition starts in earnest with all-day racing on Saturday and Sunday.
Spectators can see the event in Calibogue Sound, near Windmill Harbour. Power boaters are asked to keep their wakes to a minimum near the race course.