Downtown Sailing Center


August 23, 2009|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Summer breezes swept through the waterside pavilion of the Baltimore Museum of Industry, where folks had gathered to celebrate - in part - those same breezes. They had spent the day racing from Baltimore to Annapolis in the Sail for Kids Regatta. Now, it was time to party.

"We had beautiful wind today," said Steve Maddox, the director of operations for the Downtown Sailing Center.

The regatta, which was organized by the Downtown Sailing Center with the Baltimore City Yacht Association and the Magothy River Sailing Association, raises funds for the center's outreach programs. This was the third year for the regatta - and the party.

"We had a very small event the first year. Last year, we had about 250 people, and this year, we think it's about 400," said event co-chair Kathleen Lester. The event was attended by more than 300 party-goers, according to the Downtown Sailing Center's Web site.

"The $50,000 we raised here will help pay for more than a thousand kids [learning to sail] every summer," said Downtown Sailing Center community outreach director Peter Hegel.

A dinner buffet of fried chicken, beans and franks and sloppy Joes was set up along one side of the pavilion, and rows of shimmering trophies were lined up on another.

While officials tallied the race times of the 43 participating boats, party-goers - including Baltimore City Yacht Association social chair Holly Tilford; Bank of America loan officer Tommy Stylle; Whitman, Requardt & Associates civil engineer Matt Alish; and MLG Photography owner Mary Lees Gunther - compared notes about the race, while quaffing a few beers.

Baltimore commercial photographer Kevin Weber explained that spinning sailing yarns was an important part of the party, too.

"Everyone comes to the party and tells little stories about what happened out there. Only sailors would understand," Weber said with a laugh.

Sloane Brown can be contacted at

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