Small Niche - Chester Race Week Media Boat


CHESTER, N.S., Canada (August 10, 2017) – The Chester Race Week organizing committee is pleased to offer a complimentary media boat service to accredited media on a daily, first-registered, first-seated basis during Chester Race Week which runs from Wednesday, August 16th to Saturday, August 19th in beautiful Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.

This is an excellent opportunity to get close to the boats of all 15 fleets as they race in North America’s largest annual keel boat race week.

Media Boat Guide

Dr. George Sapp is a long-time Chester resident, J/29 sailor, Chester Yacht Club Commodore (2000-2002), and his name appears on many trophies in the CYC trophy case. George  has kindly volunteered to guide the media boat out to and around the fleets while providing commentary and answering reporter questions about the race, boats, waters, personalities and the Chester area.

Media Boat & Skipper

Tom Haney will pilot Small Niche a Southwest 21 “Baby Cape Islander” bearing “Press Boat” markings and will take up to six journalists per trip. Depending on demand and weather, the boat may take a few trips between its initial 11:30 a.m. departure and its final return to the CYC at 3:30 p.m. Tom is a CYC member, Chester-based policing and security consultant, and Chester Race Week volunteer.

Thanks to CYC members Stewart & Sydney Spahr for loaning Small Niche to Chester Race Week.

Smoking & alcohol prohibited on board.

What:Chester Race Week Media Boat
Where:Departing Race Committee float (descend left ramp of CYC dock)
21 South Street, Chester, Nova Scotia
Note: Please do not confuse “Mahone Bay” the body of water with “Mahone Bay” the community. All racing is conducted on Mahone Bay off the Village of Chester.
When:Departing daily at 11:30 a.m., from August 16-19, 2017 and returning to the CYC Race Committee float by 3:30 p.m. or earlier based on need.

  • Complimentary boxed lunch and water
  • Adult-sized PFDs
Not provided, but recommended:

To book one of the six spots available on the official Chester Race Week Media Boat each day, please register here and indicate the day(s) you would like to be on board.

  • On your first visit to the web site you will be prompted to select your regatta. Please enter “2017 Chester Race Week”.
  • On arrival at the Chester Yacht Club, please check in with media officer, Holly Dunn (details below).
3 fleets
Fastest boats: (lowest handicapped, based on PRHF* < 99 rating

  • Grand Prix and distance courses
  • Race officer: Ken Legler (Medford, MA)
3 fleets
Fast boats (mid-handicapped, PRHF 99+ rating)

  • Grand Prix and distance courses
  • Race officer: Dan Conrod (Halifax, NS)
1 fleet
Bluenose class boats in Chester harbour (our largest one-design fleet)

  • Windward-leeward courses
  • Race officer: Ollie Bone (Chester, NS)
3 feets
Classic wooden boats (many 100+ yrs old) and non-spinnaker boats

  • Around-the-buoys courses
  • Race officer: Patricia Finlay (Chester, NS)
5 fleets
  • J/24, J/70, Farr 30, Sonar, International One Design (IOD)
  • Race officer: Brian Todd (Halifax, NS)

*PRHF stands for “Performance Handicap Racing Fleet”, a handicapping system used for yacht racing in North America. It allows dissimilar classes of sailboats to be raced against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each boat class so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority. (source: Wikipedia)

Click to find registered yachts by fleet:

  • Sail #, yacht owner/skipper, yacht club, home port, yacht type, length, handicap
  • Note: you may be prompted to identify the regatta you seek. Enter “2017 Chester Race Week”

About Chester Race Week

Hosted by the Chester Yacht Club in the picturesque South-Shore Nova Scotia village of Chester in mid August each year, Chester Race Week is Canada’s largest annual keel boat regatta and plays host to more than 130 boats from up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Chester’s sailing regattas were first documented in 1856 and what became Chester Race Week was named one of Sailing World magazine’s 14 greatest sailing events in North America. “Race Week” as it is known locally, sees tourists and locals alike taking in the natural beauty of the area by both land and sea. A community-based, volunteer-driven event, Race Week boasts a full schedule of public-friendly events with live music, great food, yacht races, plus racing seminars from internationally renowned sailors, tacticians, boat builders and sailmakers. Visit

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Media Contacts

Day: Holly Dunn, M 902-266-3866,
Evening: Michael Dunn, M 902-229-5378,