A familiar face will be back in charge of the race committee this summer at Race Week in Anacortes.

Race Week in Anacortes is a healthy blend of the new and the traditional. Many racers with years of experience at the event’s previous location of Oak Harbor may be enjoying getting to know a new racing venue or exploring different post-race options for a crew dinner. Newer sailors and old salts alike surely find elements of tradition weaving throughout the event, however, with its Monday-Friday format, the balance of exciting racing and serious fun, and the good vibes of a summertime community gathering that it has offered since its inception.

Longtime fans of the event can plan for a couple of additional doses of the traditional Race Week experience in 2023. First, the well-loved post-race parties will return for the first time since the event moved to Anacortes. And second, long-tenured Race Week PRO, Charley Rathkopf, is set to re-take the helm of the race committee for this summer’s regatta.

Here’s Race Week’s press release announcing Charley’s return:

Race Week Anacortes announces the return of Charley Rathkopf, as Principal Race Officer (PRO) for the regatta beginning with this summer’s event happening June 26-30, 2023. Charley Rathkopf replaces John Abel from Victoria, BC, as PRO.

Race Week, formerly known as Whidbey Island Race Week, was based in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island for over three decades before its move to Anacortes, Washington in 2021.

“It’s critical for the growth of Race Week to get our Race Committee (RC) dialed in, and Charley and his team have delivered exceptional race management at Race Week for over 20 years,” shared Event Producer Schelleen Rathkopf. “Charley’s reputation with Puget Sound area racers is really good, and it will be great to see so many familiar faces back on YC5 in Anacortes.” YC5 is the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) race committee start boat in Seattle.

Charley’s team will include Race Officer Paul Evenden from Vancouver, BC, veteran scorekeeper Christine Bounds-Poulin, and timekeeper Deb Prince. Mark set drivers will include Tim Dorwin, Dave Faulknar, and Arden Rathkopf; all experienced RC drivers. “I am excited to get back on the water at Race Week with my team,” says Charley Rathkopf. “We’ve loved this event for so many years, and are looking forward to putting the band together and doing what we do best at the best adult summer camp that’s out there!”

Registration opened January 1st for the 2023 event. Future plans for Race Week include the addition of a second racing area to attract smaller boats. “The future looks bright for Race Week, and I’m feeling some relief that we’re on the right path for growth,” adds Schelleen Rathkopf. “Having a known RC, combined with the return of the parties now that we’re through the worst of Covid, will undoubtedly infuse the right energy into our event that will attract more fleets, and sponsorship support.”

For more information about Race Week, visit raceweekpnw.com.


Title background photo courtesy of Jan Anderson.