Hilton Head’s annual regatta festival opens Saturday. What’s in store for sailors, spectators?

Regatta Weekend — the annual festival of sailing, music and fun at Harbour Town yacht basin on Hilton Head Island — starts Saturday.

Sponsored by the Yacht Club of Hilton Head Island, the weekend begins at noon with the 48th annual Calibogue Cup competition, held since 1971. Keel boats 20 feet or longer will be racing in Calibogue Sound, and spectators are encouraged to watch from the pier at Harbour Town, where the races begin and end. Yacht club volunteers will be on the pier to explain the races. Two trophies will be awarded: one for Class A, boats with spinnakers, and another for Class B, boats without the balloon-like sail.

On Sunday, the festivities resume at 10 a.m. with the 49th annual Harbour Town Cup, South Carolina’s oldest sailing trophy, according to the yacht club. For spectators, the festival will offer music and boat rides to view the race.

The fastest boat participating in the two races wins the Island Packet Trophy for First in Fleet. The Harbour Town Cup and Calibogue Cup are traditionally performance handicap rating formula races, meaning boats of all different types and sizes can compete fairly, as all times are adjusted according to the length, weight, sail type and size, and other factors.

The yacht club, located in the Palmetto Bay Marina complex off Broad Creek and just west of the Cross Island Parkway bridge, welcomes sailors, power boating enthusiasts and anyone interested in boating. for more information, visit https://yachtclubhh.org.