The Hospice Cup Brightens My Saturday

| September 27, 2010 | 1 Comment

The banner on the side of Watermark Cruise’s Catherine Marie said it all this past Saturday morning. Hospice Cup: America’s Largest Charity Regatta. I have no idea what qualifies them to make that statement, but I believe it. From the time I stepped onto the press boat to the time I stepped off, I felt this happiness come over me. Maybe because it was 80 degrees under a generally cloudless sky, or maybe it was because of the company I kept.

We shoved off the dock at 10:45, me and three other members of the press, our captain, Dave Mackenzie, and three of Dave’s friends, er, crew. As we motored out to the shipping channel by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Dave gave us the rundown on some interesting facts about this year’s Hospice Cup:

  • Hospice Cup, Inc. (an uber-organization, I believe Dave called it), had brought back the junior regatta portion of the event, which featured some of the area’s top Optimist sailors. The Opti sailors were divided into teams and each team was sponsored by a family or organization. Collectively, the teams raised $10,500 for six Hospices in the Anne Arundel county area.
  • The juniors event brought together some of Annapolis’s top coaches, including Joel Labuzetta from Severn Sailing Association (SSA), and other coaches from Navy and AYC.

When our boat made it out to the race circle in the middle of the Bay, we found that there was little wind. This didn’t affect the morale of the sailors, though. We circled the 18 boats that had made the start, and laughed and joked with the skippers and crew. We admired the creative names, including FuhGedAboutIt, Hula Girl, and Running on MJ. Just motoring around, I got the feeling that these crews had a sense of pride in what they were doing; the cause in which they were supporting.

We then cruised back to Annapolis to see how the juniors were doing. We found them practicing for their big night in the Severn River between the two bridges. The Atria Manresa mansion, a Jesuit retreat house turned nursing home, took its place as a backdrop as the cameras on the press boat clicked away. We mingled with the coaches and parents out on the water, and got close to the sailors practicing. On shore we could see tents being set up for the afterparty and local band The Rovers doing a soundcheck.

I didn’t make it to the shore party, but I’m sure it was a great time. Spending six hours on the water that day made me feel incredible about this event – maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the people, but maybe it was the cause. It was a great feeling knowing that six Hospices would be taking the proceeds from this regatta and helping those who needed it.

And they say that sailing is “just a hobby.”

Here are some of Taylor’s pictures from the Hospice Cup. You can see the full photo gallery here.

The Opti sailors made the most of a shifty breeze in the Severn. The stately Atria Manresa sits in the background.


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Category: Boating, LIFE IN THE AREA, NEWS, Sports

About the Author - Taylor Michie

A 14-year old author of a sailing novel, Racing Winds, high school student, and Eye on Annapolis contributor.

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