This year’s Hospice Cup off Annapolis on September 19 saw 94 racing boats competing on three different courses, a record turnout of participants, and record fundraising to support the four hospice partners: Capital Caring Health, Luminis Health Gilchrist Life Institute, Montgomery Hospice, and Talbot Hospice.
The 94 entries represented 13 classes, from Melges 15s and Snipes to J/105s, 40-footers and a Reichel-Pugh Aquila 45. The classes divided into three racing areas: an inner course for the smaller one-designs, a pursuit course around government marks for the handicapped classes and the Cal 25s, and a southern course for the J/105s and the Vipers.
The inner course was run by Drew Mutch, PRO for the Organizing Authority, Sailing Club of the Chesapeake. Mutch was able to get five competitive races off, leveraging the northwest breezes coming out of the Severn River. With 19 entries, the Harbor 20s were the largest class in the regatta.
John Heintz in Endurance fended off tight competition from Bell Carty in Puffin and Margaret Podlich in Skimmer, who ended up tied for second nine points behind Heintz. At the awards ceremony, Heintz commented, “I was really glad they didn’t get their acts together for the first two races.” In addition to winning the Harbor 20 class, Heintz won the best overall performance in the fleet. “It was my best regatta in the Harbor 20, and I was surprised and thrilled to receive the Van Metre Trophy. A lot of credit goes to Gary Jobson and his tactics.”
Warren and Tracey Richter, racing their J/22 Committed, won easily with a “picket fence” of firsts across all five races. The Richters are one of the teams competing in all three jewels of the Annapolis “Triple Crown of Charity Sailing,” with the racing and fundraising winner to be announced in November.
The southern course was managed by Dick Neville, PRO for the Storm Trysail Club. As forecast, the northwesterly was strong at the beginning of the day. The course location south of Tolly Point was influenced by the Navy 44s who had already started their US Sailing Offshore Championship for the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy.
The first race on the southern course saw lots of shifts and boats in the fleet swapping places quite a bit—the first J/105 around the first windward mark finished 8th out of the 13-boat fleet, while the second-to-last-boat around the same windward mark finished second. Angelo Guarino of Crescendo, the winner of the J/105 class, managed to play the shifts successfully throughout the race. “Being to the right paid off on the first upwind leg,” he said. “We played the shifts on the first downwind leg and were able to fend off attacks from behind on the final downwind leg.”
According to Neville, “We started on time and had one nice race, but when we started Race number two the wind suddenly moved 50 degrees on the first beat, so we had to abandon the race.” Over the VHF, Neville told the course, “This is the worst northwesterly I have ever seen.”
On the pursuit course, Arthur Libby was PRO for the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake. Informed by the forecast, the conditions experienced by the USNA regatta and the southern course, and the close to 8 knots they were seeing, he sent the 45 boats in seven classes on the shorter course option of 7.92 miles. Libby commented, “With an ebb tide and diminishing winds the competitors had a couple of interesting mark roundings. Forty-two boats out of 45 who started finished in under three hours, most under two hours.”
In addition to the racers, race committee and usual onlookers, special spectator boats were arranged for Hospice Cup sponsors as well as caretakers from some of the hospice partners. They enjoyed the best food and drink of the day.
The awards party celebrated not just the winners on the water, but the fundraising winners off the water. Sean Simmons of Team Katsu began organizing his fundraising campaign six weeks before the regatta. Simmons has been part of Hospice Cup for years, including during his time racing on Donnybrook, once owned by one of the Hospice Cup founders, Jim Muldoon. Simmons is motivated in part because both his mother and his mother-in-law went through hospice: “I have seen what hospice can do,” he said. Due in large part to his efforts, the team fundraising was more competitive and more successful than in past years. Team Katsu was in the lead for individual team donations before race day but was scooped at the end by John Dodge of Team Kobayashi Maru. Dodge’s team is vying for the coveted Triple Crown trophy.
The real winners of the regatta are, of course, the families in hospice care with the Hospice Cup partners. Hospice Cup funds are used to cover expenses not covered by insurance, such as bereavement support.
Cumulative Race Results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=16166
Donnybrook-Brendan Trophy Starbird, Frank Martien
awarded to the team with the highest percentage of youth crew participation
Sajak Family Foundation Trophy Crescendo, Angelo Guarino
awarded for the best performance in Cruising One Design
The Van Metre Family Trophy Endurance, John Heintz
awarded to the best performance in entire Hospice Cup Fleet
Hank Lawton Trophy
1. Team Katsu, Shawn Simmons
2. Team Mirage, Lewis/Salvesen
3. Team Kobayashi Maru, John Dodge
awarded to the top fundraising teams as of the day before racing
Geri Manning Memorial Trophy Team Kobayashi Maru, John Dodge
awarded to the crew raising the most money as of the awards
The Hospice Cup Mirage, Lewis/Salvesen
Top honor awarded for best three-year performance; it qualifies the winner to compete in the annual Hospice Regattas National Championship against representatives of the many other hospice regattas sailed nationwide, each event patterned on this original hospice regatta.
Annapolis Triple Crown Charity Trophy
Hospice Cup is the final jewel in the Annapolis Triple Crown of Charity Racing. This trophy is a partnership between CRAB Cup, Maryland Cures Cancer Regatta, and Hospice Cup. The trophy, sponsored by Weems & Plath, will be awarded November 3 at Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB).