BATTERY PARK CITY — Nineteen international sailing crews will race in New York Harbor this weekend, and you can watch from the shoreline.
The regatta, sponsored by the Manhattan Yacht Club, and the New York Sailing Foundation, will kick off at 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will feature 24-foot boats sailing a course that runs past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The boats, each manned by a five-person crew, will compete in three races a day, with each one taking about an hour, said Michael Fortenbaugh, commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club.
"This is a great opportunity to bring together so many sailors from around the world to promote international goodwill through friendly competition," Fortenbaugh said. "What better place to have a regatta than in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, overlooking the Manhattan skyline."
Crews will come from across the world for the competition, called the Dennis Conner International Yacht Club Challenge, including teams from Argentina, China, South Africa, France and Australia. The winner will get "bragging rights" along with a large trophy, Fortenbaugh said.
Those interested in viewing the races can watch the crews get ready at Battery Park City's North Cove Marina. The races will start and end at the Manhattan Yacht Club's floating clubhouse near Ellis Island, but crews will sail back to the marina in between races. Bystanders can also watch the races from Battery Park, along the waterfront.
This is the sixth international race the yacht club has hosted. They've been holding the race about every two years, said Fortenbaugh, but they're hoping to make it an annual event.