2013-06-06 / Front Page

Four island boats will be on starting line Saturday for Leukemia Cup

Proceeds from regatta benefit blood cancers
BY KEN SHANE


Impetuous, a Swam 42 owned by islander Paul Zabetakas, is one of four Jamestown boats that will race in Saturday’s Leukemia Cup. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL ZABETAKAS Impetuous, a Swam 42 owned by islander Paul Zabetakas, is one of four Jamestown boats that will race in Saturday’s Leukemia Cup. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL ZABETAKAS The 19th annual Leukemia Cup Regatta will be contested on Nar­ragansett Bay this weekend, and four Jamestown boats will be part of the fleet whose goals is to raise money for blood cancers.

The Leukemia Cup is a charity event with proceeds going to the Rhode Island chapter of the Leu­kemia & Lymphoma Society. The local regatta is one of about 35 such races that will be held across the country this year.

According to Senior Campaign Director Elizabeth Perry, the mis­sion of the Leukemia & Lympho­ma Society is to cure blood can­cers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. The society works to preserve the quality of life for patients and their families. Perry said more than 78 cents out of every dollar raised goes toward the mission of re­search and patient programs.


PowerPlay finished second in its class at the 2011 Leukemia Cup on Narragansett Bay. The boat is skippered by Peter Cunningham and managed by Newport’s Rey Sailing Inc. 
PHOTO BY MATTHEW COHEN PowerPlay finished second in its class at the 2011 Leukemia Cup on Narragansett Bay. The boat is skippered by Peter Cunningham and managed by Newport’s Rey Sailing Inc. PHOTO BY MATTHEW COHEN Locally, the regatta has helped to raise more than $1.6 million to date. “That’s a pretty impressive piece of the puzzle of our fundrais­ing,” said Perry.

In past years the regatta has been organized by Sail Newport and the Herreshoff Museum. For the last six years the New York Yacht Club has taken the responsibility. A fleet of more than 60 boats is expected. They will be broken down into several classes for the racing that begins at noon on Saturday.

Brad Dellenbaugh is the sailing director for the New York Yacht Club and he has the responsibility for organizing the sailing activities related to the regatta. Dellenbaugh said while he has not yet divided the fleet into classes, in the past one-designs such as Swan 42s and Herreshoff S boats have had their own starts. This year there will be several 12 Meters racing as well.

“This is one of those things that’s great because it’s for such a good cause,” Dellenbaugh said. “It’s unlike anything else where you’re doing it for the racing. Here you’re doing it to raise money. It’s pretty casual, but the important thing is that you get the people focused on the Leukemia Society and what their mission is.”

Tom Chiginsky, who has lived in Jamestown since 2007, owns a VX One with Michael Brown, another islander resident. The VX One is a new 19-foot one-design high-performance planing dinghy that is capable of speeds close to 20 knots. This will be Chiginsky’s first time in the regatta with the VX One, but he has participated in the race over the years in other boats.

“It’s for a good cause,” Chigin­sky said. “Anytime that sailing can align itself with a positive cause and a positive message, it’s a good thing. It’s a great thing that we have leadership from Gary Jobson, who is a cancer survivor. My part­ner in the boat is also a cancer sur­vivor. Anything we can do for the betterment of everyone is a good thing.”

Paul Hamilton and Patricia Young of Jamestown will be on the starting line with their modified Tripp 41 named Entropy. It is the couple’s first time in the regatta.

“We’re looking forward to get­ting out there and seeing how we do,” Hamilton said. “It’s a local regatta, it’s for a good cause, and we like to race sailboats, so every­thing comes together to make it a good event to race in.”

Dr. Robert Salk is a gynecolo­gist who has lived in Jamestown since 1998. He and his wife Teri, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma sur­vivor, will sail Picante, a J-109, in Saturday’s race. They have entered the regatta on eight previous occa­sions.

“This regatta has two appeals for us,” Salk said. “One appeal is that it’s early in the season and it gives us a little more practice in racing, in a relatively pleasant fashion, which is great. The second part is the charity. We’re very closely as­sociated with the Leukemia Soci­ety. My wife had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and we’re happy to support the effort to help others do well. She did quite well herself.”

The fourth Jamestown boat in the Leukemia Cup is Impetuous, a Swan 42 owned by Dr. Paul Za­betakis.

Scotty Murray, a well-known lo­cal sailor who organizes the annu­al Sail for Hope charity event, has been participating in the Leuke­mia

Cup since it began. For many years he has been the event’s lead­ing fundraiser: This year alone he has raised well over $15,000. He has qualified for the Fantasy Sail for leading fundraisers across the country seven times.

“It’s always a fun regatta,” Mur­ray said. “It’s kind of a warm-up for the rest of the spring racing that’s coming up. They’ve done a great job raising money to fund research to help find cures for leu­kemia. Every year it seems like there’s a higher level of success in terms of the recovery rate.”

An ancillary event to the regatta is an evening at Harbor Court in Newport. The live and silent auc­tion with hors d’oeuvres takes place on Friday, June 7, and is open to the public. National Leu­kemia & Lymphoma Society spokesperson and legendary sailor Gary Jobson, a blood cancer sur­vivor himself, will speak. Tickets are available online at the regatta’s website.

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