Chatter about potential rule changes fell in the drink this week when the Worrell 1000 sailboat race announced the schedule for its 2024 event.
Billed as the 50th anniversary, the race starts May 12 with a run from Hollywood, Fla., to nearby Jansen Beach before ending May 24 in the town where it originated – Virginia Beach.
Up to 20 teams representing five different countries are scheduled to compete in a grueling event that started as a bar bet between Worrell Brothers owners Chris and Michael Worrell.
Not a true 50th anniversary because the race wasn’t run for several years because of financial issues, next years event will be raced on Formula-18 twin-hulled beach catamarans.
Runner-up Randy Smyth will again team with Dalton Tebo, as the Floridians try to avenge what many competitors considered a bogus rules violation. The two once again will sail for Team Rudee’s out of Virginia Beach. They finished second last year despite dominating the field for all but one leg, suffering from broken equipment and ditching their vessel on the beach.
Smyth and Tebo (pictured on the left and right in Kitty Hawk, N.C.), barely lost to Australian Rod Waterhouse – a Worrell 1000 veteran himself.
“It’s definitely a rival experience,” said Smyth, a six-time Worrell winner and two-time Olympic silver medalist. “There are a lot of good races, but this one requires mind, body and focus for two weeks.
“I have to come back and try to get my seventh win.”
The event is known world-wide in the sailing world and the latest edition will feature 15 teams from the United States, three from Australia and one each from the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. Other teams are at the helm and ready to get involved should a team drop out.