Please select your home edition
Leaderboard brokerage

An interview with Bill Purcell on the 2023 Waccamaw Sailing Club's Alligator Run Regatta

by David Schmidt 12 Apr 2023 15:00 UTC April 15-16, 2023

If your idea of a good time involves handicap or One Design racing on a beautiful North Carolina lake with talented sailors, meet the Waccamaw Sailing Club's Alligator Run Regatta. The event is set to unfurl on the waters of Lake Waccamaw from April 15-16, 2023, and is being hosted by the Waccamaw Sailing Club, in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. According to the regatta's NOR, the event is open to all boats with a North American Portsmouth Yardstick rating.

While the event will create a One Design class anytime five or more vessels of the same design enter, the event anticipates welcoming monohulls ranging from Buccaneers Tanzers, and Wayfarers, while expected multihull classes include F18s, A-Class cats, and Weta trimarans.

If you're envisioning big grins, you're on the right tack.

Entry includes continental breakfasts before racing, post-racing soft drinks, a t-shirt, and two great days of racing. (It also buys admission for one to the club's dinner on Saturday, October 1, but that's then and there's plenty of great racing to happen first.)

I checked in with Bill Purcell, race chair of the 2023 Waccamaw Sailing Club's Alligator Run Regatta, via email, to learn more about this exciting handicap and One Design event.

Can you please tell us a bit about the Alligator Run Regatta's history, culture, and the origins of its colorful name?

This is the third running of the Alligator Run. The first was scheduled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Waccamaw Sailing Club, but had to be postponed due to Covid restrictions.

The first [running] was in 2021 when some outdoor gathering restrictions were lifted and was well attended by everyone eager to get out and do something [organized] with monohulls and cats.

We have a strong group of F-18s [two] of whom finished in the Top 50 in the Worlds last year. Also Hobies, Nacras, Wetas, Wayfarers, Tanzer16 and couple of large Beneteaus.

The name was inspired by the alligators that inhabit the surrounding swamps but are rarely in the Lake. A need was seen for a spring regatta as a bookend to our longstanding fall regatta. Carol Lawlor was the principle organizer, and creative talent behind the name and logo.

What kinds of sailors one can expect to meet at this event?

You will encounter very experienced and competitive sailors, as well as novices and those that are just happy to get around the course. Some of the most friendly and helpful folks you will ever meet. Most are from North and South Carolina, a few from Virginia and we have even had one member from the San Diego Yacht Club, who I believe now lives in Tennessee.

How would you describe the competition levels at the Alligator Run Regatta? Are we talking about Olympic hopefuls, or moms and dads sailing with their kids? Or, maybe a blend of all talent levels?

Some of the classes are very competitive but there are some who strap a grandchild and just round the marks.

How many boats, in total, are you expecting? Also, are some classes attracting more boats than others?

This year this an [event] on the F-18 circuit, so we expect a lot of them and it is also the Nationals for the Tanzer 16s, which was cancelled last October because of a hurricane. We anticipate 40-plus boats total.

Generally speaking, what kinds of conditions can sailors expect on the waters of Lake Waccamaw in mid-April?

Last year the winds were very strong and it was quite cold. This year the weather looks like it will be quite nice with low in the 60s and high of 82 winds 6 to 10 knots.

Typically, our best winds are in the afternoon as we pick up some sea breeze (we are close enough to the coast for that).

Sunday morning is always a surprise.

What kind of onshore entertainment can sailors look forward to once the finishing guns have gone silent each day?

There is a welcome party Friday night and live entertainment Saturday, with a good southern dinner of fried chicken and pulled-pork barbecue.

Can you please tell us about any efforts that the club has made to green-up the regatta and generally lower its environmental wake?

We do have electronic registration encourage and provide recycle bins.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add about the event, for the record?

What most folks may find (and did find) quite astonishing is that this event was organized and very successfully managed by Carol Lawlor, who had no experience with regattas. Of course, now she is a wizened pro.

Related Articles

The latest kit for summer boating, rain or shine
Our pick of the latest kit Summer's finally here and the season is in full swing. Here's our pick of the latest kit for racing, cruising and enjoying the water, rain or shine. Posted on 19 Jun
Bill Souter on the latest from MarsKeel
A Q&A with Bill Souter on the latest from MarsKeel Sail-World checked in with Bill Souter, who serve as MarsKeel's technical keel specialist, to learn more about MarsKeel's keel-building operations and business. Posted on 11 Jun
Your silent partner
A not insignificant amount heavier, and maybe 15-20% more expensive?! A not insignificant amount heavier, and maybe 15-20% more expensive. Sounds a lot more like a large drogue, rather than a ride along a travelator at a huge airport. Sure, but like all things, it is a matter of perspective. Posted on 3 Jun
Loads of amenity - Goes like a cut cat
As the first Cure 55 steps closer to being splashed it looked more like a Purosangue to me As the first Cure 55 steps ever closer to being splashed, I could not help thinking that it was a lot like the Ferrari Purosangue. More space than your typical two-seat hypercar, yet with the punch to dispatch distances and pretenders with complete ease. Posted on 16 May
Not on a mission - Just simply IS the mission
So if life is an adventure, and we are here to master the addiction, this may help all of us So if life is an adventure, and we are here to master the addiction, Renate Klocke might have the keys to success for us all. She only first stepped onto a boat six years ago, and crossed the two big oceans in the process. Posted on 28 Mar
Tom Davis on the North Sails' new cruising sails
A Q&A with Tom Davis about the North Sails' newest cruising cloth Sail-World checked in with Tom Davis, North Sails' commercial director, to learn more about RENEW, the company's newest and most sustainable panel laminate cruising sailcloth. Posted on 5 Mar
A+T 500 series Wind Sensors
For the highest accuracy and faster response A+T Instruments may be a name that needs introducing to you in the world of performance marine instrumentation. They are a group of highly qualified engineers who are taking a no-compromise approach to constructing the best sensors and instruments. Posted on 9 Feb
Marine Insurance: One size doesn't fit all!
Stoneways Marine Insurance supporting the infrastructure of the sailing world A huge part of the work at Stoneways Marine Insurance is supporting the infrastructure of the sailing world, the marine businesses that create, maintain, store and provide for the yachts and pleasure craft which we enjoy on the water. Posted on 5 Feb
U can't touch this
Reputedly, the very words that came out of MC Hammer's mouth that created the song Reputedly, these were the very words that came out of MC Hammer's mouth. They then went on to become the immortal tune. Posted on 15 Jan
TEMO·1000 electric outboard motor defies the norm
Innovative, powerful, quiet and emmision-free TEMO are an innovative French company who look at solutions in a different way. We'd already taken a close look at the TEMO·450, with its extendable pole, rather than the traditional shape of engine housing at the top, and now we've tried the TEMO·1000. Posted on 2 Jan
2024 fill-in (bottom)Marine Products Direct 2023 - Calypso FOOTEROcean Safety 2023 - New Identity - FOOTER