The Tennessee Valley Challenge Cup (TVCC) was first held in 1987. It replaced the Wheeler Cup regatta held from 1976 through 1986. Wheeler Yacht Club, Brown's Creek Sailing Association, and Muscle Shoals Sailing Club began the Wheeler Cup in 1976. Each club sent one boat and crew to compete for the Wheeler Cup, making it a three-boat regatta.
The three clubs created the TVCC to expand the interclub competition to include all interested crews and their boats from the three original clubs. The large increase in the number of boats and crews sharpened the competition and made the weekend parties more fun.
Over the first eight years, three more clubs joined the regatta: Pickwick Sailing Association, Lake Guntersville Sailing Club, and Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga. In recent years, Concord Sailing Club in Knoxville joined the party.
The TVCC is held during September when weather conditions are more favorable for sailing. The location rotates each year between the first six clubs. The rotation limits the distance larger boats have to travel to compete; it also allows for clubs to compete on home waters. The host is responsible for organizing the TVCC and the Saturday-night dinner party. For a brief period it was decided to adopt Wheeler Lake, being more central, as the place for the annual regatta but with the clubs rotating as hosts. Recently consensus reverted it back to the rotational basis. And that is where we are now.
The regatta is split into three fleets: dinghy, spinnaker, and non-spinnaker. The clubs compete in five races over the weekend, and are scored based on the clubs' best three finishes. The finishing times are adjusted using the U.S. Sailing Portsmouth Yardstick (originated in 1962 at Muscle Shoals Sailing Club). The club with the lowest score wins the TVCC perpetual trophy and keeps it until the next TVCC. Individual boats also compete for first, second, and third place in their fleets.