The Race to the Coast is considered the oldest sailing race in the United States.
The New Orleans to Gulfport race gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday in Lake Pontchartrain and concludes around noon at Gulfport Yacht Club. It's the first leg of the Sawgrass Offshore Series.
The Zydeco, owned by Burt Benrud, won the event last year. Fidelis II of the Pass Christian Yacht Club was second.
Fidelis II and the Perfidia of the Pass Christian Yacht Club, will compete in the event.
The race first sailed on the Fourth of July, 1850. The race has a unique course. It winds through The Rigolets, which ties Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico, via Lake Borgne, and finishes in the Mississippi Sound at the Gulfport Harbor.
The racecourse passes through drawbridges at two locations, the delays at which are credited back to the racers in the corrected time calculations.
A few years ago, the regatta was changed to a pursuit start format which has reinvigorated participation and improved the post-race revelry at Gulfport Yacht Club. An awards ceremony will be held after the race finishes Saturday at the Gulfport Yacht Club.