History of Dallas Race Week
The first Dallas Race Week was June, 1982. Scott Self, a founding member of Chandlers Landing Yacht and Tennis Club, conceived the idea and orchestrated the event for many years. Chandlers Landing was founded in 1975 on the eastern shore of Lake Ray Hubbard as part of a large residential development, club, and marina.
Scott and 11 other members of Chandlers Landing Yacht Club went as a team to race Dean Guerin’s Columbia 56 in the 1978 Antigua Race Week. They won their division over many other boats from all over the world. It was a week-long sailing event with parties every night after the races. Scott wanted to bring that kind of fun to Chandlers Landing.
So, Dallas Race Week was modeled after that event, with changes to fit the local racing area. Dallas Race Week is always held the week of June 22, the longest day of the year. It starts on Sunday evening with the first race at 7 pm. There is one race each evening at 7 pm until Friday night. This schedule allows sailors to work during the day and race each evening. After each of the 6 evening races there is a dinner and a party. Every year there are between thirty and fifty boats. Each boat has between 3 and 10 crew members, contributing to a total of over 300 people participating every night.
The first few years the event was underwritten by Chase Bank and was an invitational regatta. The event has always attracted top sailors from around the area. America’s Cup skippers Dennis Connor, John Kolius, as well as Olympic gold medal winner Paul Foerster have raced in past years.Multi National Champions Bill Draheim, Kelson Elam, and Rob Johnston compete most years. Great rivalries have developed with the above and Dave Irwin, Jeff Progelhof, Doyle Sherman, Greg Olson, among others.
The event has always had the same format, but the biggest change was when Dallas Race Week changed from just a big party to a charity event with a big party. Helping Hands of Rockwall in 1999 became the primary beneficiary raising hundreds of thousands for those less fortunate. In 2006 the Rockwall Breakfast Rotary became the sponsoring agency raising money not only for Rockwall Helping Hands but many other worthy causes in the Rockwall Area.
Scott Self has participated in all thirty one Dallas Race Week events. . Scott looks forward to twenty five more years.
Dallas Race Week is the Annual Fund Raiser for the Rockwall Breakfast Rotary Club. Find out more at the Dallas Race Week website.
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