Sailors & Power Boaters– there’s still time to sign up for the 11th Annual Pacific Union Leukemia Cup Regatta, the country’s premiere charitable sailing event hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club (SFYC) in Belvedere, CA on Oct. 22 – 23, 2016. Each year there is an elegant VIP dinner with notable speakers, a competitive regatta with 80-100 boats, a bay tour motor yacht spectator parade and 400+ sailors raising money to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the lives of patients and their families.
This fun Leukemia Cup weekend kicks off with the 2nd Annual Perkins Corporate Challenge on Sat., Oct. 22 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The Challenge is followed by the VIP reception, auction and awards dinner that evening at the SFYC in Belvedere, featuring special guest speaker Ethan Zohn, former American professional soccer player, CBS Survivor: Africa winner, co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, two-time lymphoma crusher and philanthropist. Word on the water is that the VIP Dinner is always a success.
“I consider the Leukemia Cup Regatta event at the San Francisco Yacht Club to be the highlight of the sailing social season,” says Ellen Hoke, sailor and professional photographer. “There is truly no other event like it around the Bay. The VIP dinner on Saturday night gathers sailors, sponsors and socialites all dressed in their Nautical Cocktail attire. Attendees sip on champagne as they mingle and bid on fabulous silent auction times before heading to the ‘tent’ for dinner and the evening’s speaker. What is usually dock space filled with boats on trailers is transformed into an incredible event venue – I really don’t know how they do it every year!”
On Sun., Oct. 23, the Pacific Union Leukemia Cup Regatta will begin with a Sponsor Breakfast at 10am at the SFYC and boats will board at approximately 11:30am. There are Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker divisions and a Classic Yacht class. (Register here.) There will also be a Cruising Class on-the-water parade and an awards trophy ceremony, music, BBQ and Gosling’s Rum party on the SFYC lawn and in the Regatta tent. Want to be a spectator out on the Bay? Join the SFYC at 10am for a Buffet breakfast, 1-spot on a gorgeous boat to cruise the Bay and watch the Regatta races, post-race BBQ, two drink tickets, live music, awards celebration and shopping at the Marketplace. Get tickets now!
Why get involved?
There is a great spirit of fundraising among the skippers, their crews, SFYC and spectators. “I first got involved with the regatta in 2008 after I had seen how successful the event had become at the SFYC,” said Mill Valley resident and sailor Matt Cromar. “I also hadn’t realized the impact Leukemia had on some of the folks I had known for years, so I decided to get involved. It always seemed like a great event towards the end of the sailing season that brought the whole club together and the race was always a blast. The VIP dinners were also world class -it was great to show up early one year and spend 45 minutes alone at the bar with Ted Turner. Another fun moment included spending a day cruising on the Maltese Falcon with Tom Perkins in 2008.
“In 2010, my nephew was diagnosed with ALL – a childhood acute
lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes. That made it more personal for me so I ramped up my fundraising efforts and involvement with the overall Regatta committee. I think when my nephew was given the all clear after 3 years in chemo and treatment, I felt a tremendous sense of relief that we were truly accomplishing something.”
Ellen Hoke first got involved racing and then started taking photos. “Many years ago I raced on a 1D35 (One Design 35) but once I started being the photographer at the event, I had to chose between photographing and racing, as I couldn’t do both.” Ellen donates her time and images to the event as part of her contribution.
“So, for many years now, I have had the privilege of being the official photographer for the VIP dinner. This has certainly been a very fun
aspect for me – meeting and photographing the speakers such as Al Gore, Sir Russell Coutts, Sir Ben Ainslie and Ted Turner. However,the biggest privilege I have had has been photographing the honorary skippers for the event, hearing their stories, following their journeys, celebrating their victories as their fight their disease and unfortunately on occasion mourning their loss.”
“This year I am helping to fundraise for Team GGYC (Golden Gate Yacht Club.) The club has entered it’s J22 into the race, which will be sailed by a group of our Associate Members who are also fundraising for the club/ team. This is the first (hopefully of many) years that Team GGYC will participate and contribute to this fabulous event.” (Register for the regatta.) Sailboats registered so far.
The Leukemia Cup is also looking for participants for what they refer to as the Cruising Class, which includes sail and powerboats. The Cruising Class will host spectators and their honorary skippers and their families as they tour the Bay and watch the races. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity and help raise funds to fund lifesaving research. Sign up here.
Did you know?
- Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
- Blood cancers are the number three cancer killer.
- Leukemia is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in children and young adults under the age of 20.
- In the past 66 years, LLS has been able to invest nearly a billion dollars in research funding.
- Survival rates for blood cancers have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled since the 1960’s.