Hoist sails, raise funds, fight disease


Racing sailors in this area probably already have received the mailing about the first Leukemia Cup Classic regatta, exhorting them to "raise more than a sail to fight the top disease killer of children" during the weekend of June 26-27.

The event, with race management by the Maryland Capital Yacht Club on Saturday and by the Rhode River Boat Club on Sunday, replaces the old MCYC Invitational on the CBYRA sanctioning list, and is sanctioned for High Point.

This year the regatta will have a new configuration on the water and ashore. Although most sailors will race only on one of the days, two fleets of three classes each will sail two races each day.

On Saturday, Fleet 1 will be made up of PHRF A-1, A-2 and B, and Fleet 2 will consist of Catalina 27s, Cal 25s and Tritons.

Sunday's lineup includes the three IMS splits and MORC in Fleet 1, and J/30s, PHRF C and Pearson 30s in Fleet 2.

Regatta headquarters will be on City Dock in Annapolis through the weekend, where there will be trophy presentations on Sunday. There will be a gala Saturday night for both days' racers, with dancing to live music , at the Naval Academy's Robert Crown Sailing Center.

But most importantly, the new Leukemia Cup event offers an opportunity to do some larger good, by raising donations for the Leukemia Society.

Twenty years ago, a child diagnosed with leukemia had a five percent chance of survival. Today the survival rate is 77 percent.

Leukemia, however, is still the leading fatal disease of children. This year at least 500 Marylanders are expected to be diagnosed with the disease.

The Leukemia Cup works similarly to the Baltimore City Yacht Association's Sail For Sight -- set for June 11 this year.

The sailors fill out pledge sheets and raise money with donations from their friends, neighbors, co-workers, crews and so on. The minimum pledge amount to take part in the fund-raising side of the event is $200.

There are prizes for the most successful fund-raising individuals, including trips to Bermuda, Nassau, and San Diego, as well as the Leukemia Cup trophy itself for the boat raising the most money.

Those unable to commit to more than sailing can race for a $20-per-day entry fee without raising funds and be eligible for trophies for on-water performance.

Each fund-raising boat and crew will receive caps, T-shirts and other items, and fund-raising skippers will be invited to a pre-regatta party on the Friday evening before the event.

If you can't find your pledge sheet and entry form, or if you aren't an active CBYRA racer and did not receive an entry package, call the Leukemia Society at [410] 825-2500.

Women's Big Boat Regatta

The fifth annual Women's Big Boat Regatta at West River Sailing Club in Galesville is scheduled for next weekend.

Class starts will be given for PHRF-type Spinnaker A and B divisions and for any class with five or more entrants, at the discretion of the regatta committee.

The event, which will use up to five Olympic courses, is designed to provide women -- skippers and crews -- with high-quality racing competition against other top women.

Entry fee is $20 per boat; entries should be mailed today.

For more information, contact regatta chairman Steve Pollard, P.O. Box 15498, Arlington, Va., 22215, or call him at (703) 620-8867 (home) or (703) 308-1029 (work).

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