Mike Kalahar of Port Angeles at the helm of Litonya, takes top honors in the 2021 Reach for Hospice’s racer class on Sept. 18. In the background is Denali, skippered by Bob Macaulay of Sequim. Photo by Anna Richmond, Gail Spurr

Mike Kalahar of Port Angeles at the helm of Litonya, takes top honors in the 2021 Reach for Hospice’s racer class on Sept. 18. In the background is Denali, skippered by Bob Macaulay of Sequim. Photo by Anna Richmond, Gail Spurr

Reach, row event raises $22K for volunteer hospice

Some on-the-water competition and a collective heart for the community led to another big year for the Reach and Row for Hospice.

The Sequim Bay Yacht Club’s annual fundraiser, held this year on Sept. 18 and 19 on Sequim Bay, raised more than $22,000 for respite care for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC).

Despite having to cancel the sailboat and rowing races with the outbreak of COVID-19, club members and competitors raised more than $18,000 in 2020, and increased that at this year’s 29th event, with crews aboard six sailboats vying for top finishes on Sept. 18 and 16 human-powered vessels of varying forms competing on Sept. 19.

Since its inception, the event has raised more than $420,000 to provide respite care for Volunteer Hospice, allowing family members to get a break from taking care of their loved ones dealing with end-of-life conditions.

On Sept. 18, skipper Soren Prip’s Sirius won the cruiser class, with Bernie Armstrong’s Pinafore in second. In the racer class, skipper Mike Kalahar’s Litonya took first place, with Rudy Heessels’ Windchild in second, Durkee Richards’ Sirius in third and Bob Macaulay’s Denali in fourth.

The overall winner of Sunday’s rowing/paddling race was Port Townsend’s Ron Moller, taking the title in an open water shell. Steve Chapin, also of Port Townsend, placed second in the same class and third overall. Second place overall was Sean Halberg of Port Angeles in a flatwater shell. Fourth place overall was Port Orchard’s Kay Bass. Mark Underwood of Bremerton took first in a double flatwater shell.

Competing in a variety of classes, including surf skis, kayaks, canoes, wherries and stand-up paddleboards, including Sequim’s Gail Green (sixth overall), Jean Neal (ninth), Kip Tulin (10th), Robert Niclas, (11th), Sean and Christina Eppers, (12th), Tim Walls (13th) and Joel Cziok (14th).

The yacht club continues its 2021 fundraising campaign for VHOCC until early December with sales of tickets for the quilt raffle, a tip jar at the bar at club events and other donations.

For more information, see sequimbayyacht.club/reach-for-hospice.

Guests are welcome at club events; for a schedule, see sequimbayyacht.club/club-events.

Those wishing to make a contribution by mail can send their tax-deductible donations to: VHOCC 829 E. Eighth St., Port Angeles WA 98362; write “Reach and Row for Hospice” in the subject line.

Tim Walls of Sequim takes first place in the stand-up paddleboard class, 13th overall, in the 2021 Row for Hospice competition on Sept. 19. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Tim Walls of Sequim takes first place in the stand-up paddleboard class, 13th overall, in the 2021 Row for Hospice competition on Sept. 19. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Litonya, skippered by Mike Kalahar of Port Angeles, is on the left, edging Windchild, skippered by Rudy Heessels of Sequim. In back, Sirius (Soren Prip), Denali (Bob Macaulay) and Pinafore (Bernie Armstrong), all of Sequim. Photo by Anna Richmond, Gail Spurr

Litonya, skippered by Mike Kalahar of Port Angeles, is on the left, edging Windchild, skippered by Rudy Heessels of Sequim. In back, Sirius (Soren Prip), Denali (Bob Macaulay) and Pinafore (Bernie Armstrong), all of Sequim. Photo by Anna Richmond, Gail Spurr

Competitors in the 2021 Row for Hospice race on Sept. 19 assemble near the starting line. Photo by Dennis Miller

Competitors in the 2021 Row for Hospice race on Sept. 19 assemble near the starting line. Photo by Dennis Miller

Ron Moller of Port Townsend crosses the finish line in first place, clocking in at 52:38.4. Photo by Dennis Miller

Ron Moller of Port Townsend crosses the finish line in first place, clocking in at 52:38.4. Photo by Dennis Miller

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sailboats gather near the starting line of the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

A calm before the race: Crew members of the Litonya prep for the 2021 Reach for Hospice competition on Sequim Bay on Sept. 8. Pictured, from left, are Nick Benge, skipper Mike Kalahar, Dan Kasseler and Greg Halberg. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

A calm before the race: Crew members of the Litonya prep for the 2021 Reach for Hospice competition on Sequim Bay on Sept. 8. Pictured, from left, are Nick Benge, skipper Mike Kalahar, Dan Kasseler and Greg Halberg. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Cristina Eppers is all smiles aboard Durkee Richards’ Sirius, just prior to the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Eppers, representing Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County where sh works as a nurse, also took part in the Row for Hospice event the following day. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Cristina Eppers is all smiles aboard Durkee Richards’ Sirius, just prior to the 2021 Reach for Hospice race on Sequim Bay on Sept. 18. Eppers, representing Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County where sh works as a nurse, also took part in the Row for Hospice event the following day. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Tim Walls cools off at the 2021 Row for Hospice. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Tim Walls cools off at the 2021 Row for Hospice. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Joel Cziok in his kit-built boat. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Joel Cziok in his kit-built boat. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Sequim’s Robbie Niclas competes in his hand-built boat. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Sequim’s Robbie Niclas competes in his hand-built boat. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Sequim’s Sean and Cristina Eppers, representing Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County — where Cristina is a nurse — finish first in their double kayak class and 12th overall at the 2021 Row for Hospice race with a time of 1:49:57.3. Cristina had crewed the day prior for on skipper Durkee Richards’ Sirius, at the Reach for Hospice race. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Sequim’s Sean and Cristina Eppers, representing Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County — where Cristina is a nurse — finish first in their double kayak class and 12th overall at the 2021 Row for Hospice race with a time of 1:49:57.3. Cristina had crewed the day prior for on skipper Durkee Richards’ Sirius, at the Reach for Hospice race. Photo by Durkee and Mary Jeanne Richards

Sequim’s Kip Tulin (foreground) and Robbie Niclas complete the 2021 Row for Hospice race on Sept. 19. Photo by Dennis Miller

Sequim’s Kip Tulin (foreground) and Robbie Niclas complete the 2021 Row for Hospice race on Sept. 19. Photo by Dennis Miller

Sean Halberg is second to the finish line at the 2021 Row for Hospice race. Photo by Dennis Miller

Sean Halberg is second to the finish line at the 2021 Row for Hospice race. Photo by Dennis Miller

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