The Upper Chesapeake Bay area is served by the Upper Chesapeake Health System, with hospitals in Bel Air and Havre de Grace, and the upper bay area, in turn, supports the health system. One of the more fitting ways to tie the health system and the community support together is to use the Upper Chesapeake Bay waters.
The annual Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta is held where the Susquehanna River becomes the Chesapeake Bay with the onshore party next to the Concord Point Lighthouse. Last year's winners recently represented the Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta at the National Championship in Florida.
As winners of the Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta, Captain Al Caffo, and his crew of David Thompson, Tim Winger and Betty Caffo, represented the Havre de Grace Yacht Club in May at St. Petersburg, Fla. The Havre de Grace team had a great experience sailing among some of the most skilled sailors in the U.S.
This year's regatta, the 14th annual event, will be Saturday, June 8, off of Concord Point near the lighthouse with participants sailing out of Tidewater Marina under the auspices of the Havre de Grace Yacht Club. The regatta provides guests not only with an excellent party with music, dancing and auctions, but also the priceless opportunity to support patient care at the Senator Bob Hooper Hospice House in Forest Hill.
At the National Hospice Regatta, members of last year's winning crew learned that the Upper Chesapeake Regatta is held up as a top model of hospice events in the country. For information about the June 8 Regatta, visit http://www.uchospice.org. Sponsorships and event tickets can be purchased online, or by calling the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation, 443-643-3460. Proceeds benefit the Senator Bob Hooper House.
The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation, according to its website, "supports the mission of Upper Chesapeake Health through developing relationships with local citizens and organizations who wish to take part in the expansion and improvement of healthcare services provided in Harford County. Through the work of the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation, the community supports their hospital through philanthropic gifts, planned giving, participation in fundraising events and volunteerism."
As for the regatta, all national hospice sailing is done on two kinds of boats. The big challenge is sailing an unfamiliar boat (and to the Havre de Grace team, a much smaller vessel). The winds of the first day of sailing at the nationals overpowered the boat and its bow plunged beneath the surface. This situation required two of the sails to be taken down mid-race.
The second day of racing proved easier because the wind had abated. There were four more races that day and in a field of seven, Havre de Grace placed sixth, fifth, fourth and sixth. The Havre de Grace team abandoned the third racing day because of a shoulder injury to a crew member. As a result, the team ended up in 13th place, but met its goal of not finishing last.
The crew, according to its captain, performed very well in spite of sailing a very different type of boat in the unfamiliar location of Tampa Bay.
"I was quite proud to be part of this important event and proud of my crew who pulled together in challenging conditions," Capt. Caffo said.
In less than two weeks, another challenge will face the captains and crews participating in the 2013 Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun