With pride and patriotism – Sailing For Veterans Regatta

Published on September 17th, 2013

On behalf of the organizing committee, and with tremendous gratitude, humility, and compassion, we would like to announce that the inaugural SAILING FOR VETERANS REGATTA held this past weekend on September 14-15, 2013 raised over $25,000.

What started out as a ‘light bulb going off’ type of conversation one year ago, quietly turned into a fantastic weekend filled with outreach, and donations for our beneficiaries: The Fisher House and The Focus Marine Foundation. These wonderful organizations assist injured veterans and their families and both were represented by military service men and women who these groups have assisted.

The weekend began with over 30 volunteers arriving Friday to help set-up. By 5pm Carlyle Sailing Association located outside of St. Louis Missouri, was transformed into a celebration of patriotic colors, banners, decorations, and flags. At six registration opened and the Carlyle Yacht Club sponsored welcome party began.

Saturday morning started early with the Cabin and Cat Fleets from CSA sponsoring a scrumptious breakfast. The morning was cool, the sun was bright, and at 9:30 the opening ceremonies began with the Scott Air Force Base Transcom Joint Service Color Guard. While Old Glory was raised by a Navy sailor in full dress, CSA members Cal and Bill Guthrie sang the Star Spangled Banner. We briefly heard from the Mayor of Carlyle along with representatives from our beneficiary organizations. Army LTC Rachele Smith spoke to us about her three tours and how she’s seen firsthand the perils of the Mideast war. Smith, who grew up near Carlyle, spoke very highly of the work the Fisher Houses does around the world.

It was then time to race, but with one small problem; the wind never materialized throughout the day. Thankfully, for the 90 registered boats, ranging in size from 14-38 feet, there was plenty of sun, cool weather, food and drinks, water activities, plus merchandise (various shirts, hats, visors, Tervis tumblers) and auction items to purchase and bid on (35 total including bike, kayak filled with Rum basket, artwork, Oracle swag and Cardinal Baseball tickets)

Late in the afternoon, it was time for the very popular rum (Mount Gay/Captain Morgan) party sponsored by CYC member Bob Snyder and the Vindicator Melges 24 Racing Team. A fantastic Tornatores Catering dinner was followed by our live auction with Carlyle’s own professional auctioneer. The two auctions garnered just under $4,500!!!! As the sun was setting, the Carlyle VFW color guard performed a moving flag lowering ceremony.

Sunday, again we were greeted by cool sunny skies, AND wind. The race committee’s did a tremendous job sailing the one long distance race and three races for the one-design and cabin fleets. By 1 pm lunch was being served and as soon as you finished your lunch cookie, down came the scores.

Eleven fleets were scored with 1st-3rd place trophies. Closing ceremonies ended with this very important message: We set out to recognize and remember our American treasures, injured veterans of our armed forces. We more importantly helped participants become more AWARE of the huge need our injured veterans need today, and well into the future.

With a bow, I want to personally thank every soul that helped make this a significant success. I am humbled at the outpouring of support so many gave. We will make a difference in the lives of veterans thanks to the inaugural Sailing for Veterans Regatta. We will make this bigger and better next Memorial Day Weekend.

Rick Bernstein
Regatta Chairman

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