ELLSWORTH — July is here and with it comes news that the 22nd annual Hospice Regatta of Maine has adopted a new format.
For the past several years, the event that is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County has encompassed races for several different sailboat classes spread out over Friday and Saturday.
Last year, sailors participated in Friday afternoon races for Luders 16 and Bullseye class sloops organized by the Southwest Harbor Fleet. In the morning, younger sailors raced Turbo 420 dinghies in the Junior Hospice Regatta, hosted by the MDI Community Sailing Center and Northeast Harbor Sailing School.
The main events took place on Saturday and encompassed the Northeast Harbor Fleet races for International One-Design (IOD) sloops and a cruising class race for boats with a PHRF rating, individual or design. The cruising class fleet was divided into spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions.
This year, the Hospice Regatta will extend over three days.
On Friday, July 13, junior sailors will again race Turbo 420s in the morning “Junior Hospice Regatta” and the Luders 16 and Bullseye fleets will race in the afternoon.
On the water, Saturday will be devoted exclusively to the Northeast Harbor Fleet IOD class races on Great Harbor. On land, the Hinckley Co. will host a cocktail party and awards ceremony at the former Morris Yachts boatyard in Northeast Harbor. Featuring entertainment and “hearty hors d’oeuvres,” the festivities are scheduled to run from 5 to 7 p.m.
On Sunday, big-boat racers will gather in the Mount Desert Island Great Harbor for the cruising boat races.
The Hospice Regatta is a major event on the summer fundraising calendar. In recent years, it has generally raised $30,000 or more annually for the Hospice Volunteers organization.
The Hospice Regatta isn’t just for sailors. Sponsors can enjoy a spectator cruise on board the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam V that includes a champagne lunch, the opportunity to view the races (with expert race commentary) and then join sailors and guests dockside at the Hinckley Yacht Services boatyard overlooking Northeast Harbor for the post-race “Rendezvous” reception.
Guests may purchase tickets to attend the Rendezvous as well.
Supporters and sailors who wish to register for the regatta, participate as a sponsor or purchase guest tickets to the Rendezvous can do so online at the HVHC website, www.hospiceofhancock.org.