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