Hospice Cup charity goal: $300,000 12 classes, 150 entrants to compete on Chesapeake

September 20, 1997|By Nancy Noyes | Nancy Noyes,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It will be hard to distinguish between the sailors and the spectators until the starting gun sounds at 11 a.m. today for the Hospice Cup XVI, America's largest charity regatta.

The event will be held on the Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis with 150 crews competing and a similar number of luxurious spectator yachts holding many corporate sponsors.

Heavy wind barreling at more than 30 knots and gear-busting wave conditions winnowed last year's fleet of 140 entrants to 98 starters and 75 finishers, but today's predicted milder conditions should produce virtually full participation in nearly ideal conditions for racing and watching.

An all-volunteer effort hosted by Shearwater Sailing Club and organized by Hospice Cup Inc., the regatta's goal is to raise more than $300,000 to benefit six hospices in the region.

Hospice Cup XVI's honorary chairman is syndicated columnist and yachtsman William F. Buckley Jr.

Since 1982, when the event first was sailed as a benefit for Hospice of Northern Virginia, raising $45,000 through the regatta and post-race party, Hospice Cup has generated more than $3 million in sponsorship for hospice care programs throughout the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region -- $1.7 million since 1991.

Twelve classes are competing this year, including nine CBYRA-sanctioned handicap and one-design divisions as well as three special, non-sanctioned classes unique to Hospice Cup. The special Hospice Class for racing novices and those who do not usually race allows these sailors to show their support for hospice care, and the J/30 Caregivers class is a non-High Point event of J/30 owners, crewed by Hospice caregivers.

The Sunsail class consists of sponsored charters captained by Sunsail and crewed by the sponsors, with most of the charter fee going to Hospice Cup Inc.

Sponsors' parties will begin about 3: 30 p.m. Trophy presentations are set for about 7: 30 p.m.

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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