Steering their helms, releasing spinnakers, and using the power of the wind, sailboat racers competed in the Keyport Yacht Club‘s 17th annual Bill Volk Regatta fundraising event “Sailing for the Bayshore” to raise money for the Raine Foundation.
“This year will be the fifth year that the Bill Volk Regatta will benefit the Raine Foundation. ‘Sailing for the Bayshore’ was created in the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and first held in June 2013 to help those struggling to recover from the storm. Because so many of our members live in the Bayshore area and we are committed to supporting our community, we continue to support the RAINE Foundation’s mission to assist children and families in crisis through the ‘Sailing for the Bayshore’ campaign,” said Susan Mulholland, publicity chairperson for the Keyport Yacht Club.
Since 2013, the club has raised more than $70,000 for the foundation and has been the organization’s largest annual contributor, according to a prepared statement from the Keyport Yacht Club.
“We are also extremely happy to report that we raised about $25,000. This is the highest amount that we have raised in the five years that we have been partnering with the RAINE Foundation,” Mulholland said.
Raine is a non-profit organization established in 2001 to assist children and families who are in crisis. Since its beginnings, Raine has positively impacted communities by providing food, clothing, and assistance during the holidays, along with other various necessities for families in crisis throughout the year. The RAINE team consists of compassionate, caring volunteers striving to make a difference in the lives of others, according to a prepared statement.
“It’s really just a special partnership, I mean as the Raine Foundation we look forward to this event just because of the nature of getting together with the Keyport Yacht Club, building friendships, seeing how hard an organization like they are that work to help out the community so it’s organization filled with special people helping that what we feel is a special cause on a very special day and we are glad to be a part of it,” said Anthony Petruzzi, president of the Raine Foundation.
The regatta began with a captains meeting on June 9, which kicked off a two-day series of sailboat racing on June 10 and 11 at Raritan Bay.
On June 10, 26 racers were assembled into five different classes based on the type of boats they were using for the race. The racers were from the Keyport Yacht Club, Raritan Bay Yacht Club, and other parts of New Jersey and New York City.
“The five classes are based on the type of boat, except for the Navigator division, which is meant to be a fun competition for sailors who do not usually race. The Navigator class raced only on June 10, so there were a total of 25 boats that raced and 19 boats raced on June 11,” Mulholland said.
After the race sailors, club members and guests participated in a silent auction and a tricky tray that had over 100 items donated, on June 10 at the Keyport Yacht Club
building located at 115 First St.
The tricky tray and the silent auction had numerous items ranging from concert tickets for Brad Paisley, an iPad, to nautical gift items.
The items from the silent auction and tricky tray were donated by 120 area businesses and individuals, according to Mulholland.
Once the finally day of racing concluded on June 11, trophies were given to the first, second and third place winners of each class, according to Mulholland.
The Bill Volk Regatta Trophy was awarded to the first place boat of the most competitive division, the J105. The winner was Skål, Captain Paul Zajac of Raritan Yacht Club. The Vi Yurowski Trophy was given to the best performing Keyport Yacht Club boat, excluding the navigator division, and was awarded to Captain Andy Oeftering’s Shooting Star. Witch of the Wave, Captain Vince Salese of Keyport Yacht Club, won the Navigator Division, according to Mulholland.
“We also awarded the Bill Volk Regatta and RAINE Foundation Fundraising trophy to the team that raised the most money for RAINE. The Fundraising trophy went to Keyport Yacht Club members, Bill and Sandy Reseter of Team Calyspo,” Mulholland said.
After the winners were awarded and the boats were docked, guests, club members and racers enjoyed a dinner that was prepared by Keyport Yacht Club member Sherry Dietz, with help from several other members, according to Mulholland.
Attendees also listened to live music performed by Keyport Yacht Club members Bill Donnelly, Bill Reseter, other club members and guests.
Carole Olufsen, the Keyport Yacht Club’s charity committee chairperson, has been a member for 22 years.
“It’s evolved over the years, it started out pretty small and its grown. For the first 12 years we partnered with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and this is our fifth year with the Raine Foundation of Hazlet and we love them. They are a wonderful organization of volunteers that assist families in crisis along the Bayshore area and so we are very happy to partner with them, because every year we have partnered with them our fundraiser has grown,” Olufsen said. “We have more and more people supporting the event and we had wonderful donations for the silent auction and the tricky tray and this year we raffled off an iPad. We had a wonderful dinner and this whole event involving the sailboat racing, it’s just a wonderful event and we are very happy to partner with them because they are just a wonderful organization.”
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