Small Niche - Chester Race Week Media Boat





CHESTER, N.S., Canada (August 10, 2018) – The Helly Hansen 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 from Wednesday, August 15th to Saturday, August 18th 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.


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 15-18, 2018 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 PFD per passenger
Not provided, but recommended:


To book 1 of the 6 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 a regatta. Please enter “Chester Race Week” in the search window, then select our 2018 event.
  • On arrival at the Chester Yacht Club, please check in with media officer, Holly Dunn (details below).


Media boat guide: Tim Harris is a long-time Chester resident, owner of Tradewinds Realty, avid runner, past Chester Yacht Club Commodore (1998-99), and is the first to jump aboard any sailboat heading offshore to race or requiring crew for transport from or to the Eastern Seaboard. Tim 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: Patricia Nelder 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 am departure and its final return to the CYC at 3:30 pm.

Based in Martins River, “Pat” Nelder is a CYC member, executive director of Boating Atlantic, and was Sail Nova Scotia’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year for her role as water-side chair of Chester Race Week.

Thanks to CYC members Stewart & Sydney Spahr for loaning Small Niche to Helly Hansen Chester Race Week 2018.


Course Description

5 fleets               

Fastest boats: windward-leeward and distance courses

  • Race officer: Elizabeth Shaw O’Toole (New York, NY & Halifax, NS)

5 fleets

Fast boats and cruising (pleasure) boats

    • Distance and windward-leeward 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: Peter Van Muyden (Edmonton, AB)

1 fleet

Classic wooden and other boats (many 100+ yrs old)

  • Around-the-buoys courses
  • Race officer: Patricia Finlay (Chester, NS)

3 fleets

Farr 30, Sonar, International One Design (IOD)

  • Race officer: Brian Todd (Halifax, NS)


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 “2018 Chester Race Week”



About Helly Hansen Chester Race Week

Hosted by the Chester Yacht Club in the picturesque South-Shore Nova Scotia village of Chester in mid August each year, Helly Hansen Chester Race Week is North America’s largest annual keel boat race week (4 days of sailing) and plays host to more than 130 boats from near and far.


Named one of Sailing World magazine’s 14 greatest sailing events in North America, each August, 1,200-plus sailors arrive in Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia’s scenic South Shore to compete in one of 15 fleets racing simultaneously on five different race courses – from a 0.5 nautical mile windward-leeward course for the Bluenose class in front of the Chester Yacht Club, to the 20-plus-nautical-mile-long, off-shore distance course for big boats. The fleets can accommodate everyone from competitive one-design hulls to classic wooden boats and cruising boats racing without spinnakers.


Chester’s sailing regattas were first documented in 1856 and, since then, tourists and locals alike have taken in the natural beauty of the area by both land and sea. A community-based, volunteer-driven event, Helly Hansen Chester 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,