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.