Bill Mortensen of Pawcatuck, CT, is leading a Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association team in the Hospice Regattas National Championship, which will be hosted by Rochester Yacht Club and sailed in the waters of Lake Ontario June 12-14, 2015. A Mudhead Past Commodore, Mortensen has won multiple times in the Mudhead Benefit Cup for Center for Hospice Care. His crew for the Nationals, a round-robin series that will be sailed in Sonars, includes Mark Cika, John Sicuranza and Ty Whitman.
“Rochester Yacht Club is a top-notch facility, and organizes wonderful races,” said Greg Gilmartin, a member of the Mudhead team that competed in the regatta in 2009. “The Nationals are a fine tradition and the venue is one of the best on the lakes.” The Hospice Regattas National Championship was the first sailing championship for charity in the U.S. to promote the efforts of local regattas to support hospice programs. The event offers three days of racing for one winning skipper and crew from every local hospice regatta that has completed two regattas.
Eight of the nine previous Hospice Regatta National Championships have been conducted in Annapolis, MD, where the original Hospice Cup event began in 1982. The 2001 Championship was held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and the National Hospice Regattas Alliance board hopes varying the championship location will allow more people to learn about the local regattas and about hospice care.
The National Hospice Regatta Alliance is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) association of hospice regattas that independently raise money and awareness for hospices in their communities. The all-volunteer organization helps hospice regattas grow and learn from each other while promoting hospice care nationally. Since the first Hospice Regatta in 1982, more than 20,000 sailors, sponsors and volunteers have raised more than $12 million to provide hospice care to terminal patients and their families without regard for ability to pay. For more information, visit hospiceregattas.org.
Center for Hospice Care is a community based, nonprofit organization serving Eastern Connecticut since 1985. It provides end-of-life care to over 600 patients and families each year regardless of age, disease or inability to pay. In addition, more than 500 friends and family members receive bereavement support free of charge regardless of whether their loved one’s death occurred under hospice care. Special programs like Expressive Arts for children, teens and adults help the bereaved cope with their loss in a non-threatening, creative environment.
Local sailors have raised money through the Center for Hospice Care Regatta Series for over 25 years. To learn more about the Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association and the Mudhead Benefit Cup for Center for Hospice Care, visit mudhead.org.