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Co-skippers Phil Haydon (right) and Joe Cooper, looking towards the finish line of the 2020 Sail for Hope.

This past weekend we participated in Sail Newport’s annual Sail for Hope race, around Jamestown. In 2001, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania, a few local sailing enthusiasts scrambled to organize a regatta to honor and support those affected. The first Sail For Pride Regatta rallied over 180 boats and $110,000 designated for charities to support the NYFD firefighters, police and the victims of the attacks and their families.

The display of patriotism and generosity on and off the water made a lasting impression in the sailing community. After the inaugural year, the organizers retired the name Sail for Pride, but continued the event as Sail For Hope, reflecting the Rhode Island state motto and focused the mission to support local non-profit endeavors.

This year funds were raised for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community CenterRhode Island FrontLine Foods and Sail Newport Community Programs.

Winds were light and puffy as we circumnavigated Jamestown on this crisp sunny day. With full main up, we quickly struck the jib and set the spinnaker after crossing the start line. We sailed to the first mark with a variety other colorful sails around us. After making the turn, we struck the spinnaker and re-set the jib to sail up the west side of Jamestown. A series of tacks positioned Cepheus well at the next turn, to take advantage of the strongest winds. Keeping an eye behind us on a few other boats in our class trying to overtake us, we held on to our position under the Newport Bridge, finishing 2nd in our class with corrected time and 21st overall.  

An enjoyable day on the water with a great result and more sailing experience gained. Our thanks to Sail For Epilepsy Advisor Joe Cooper for joining us as co-skipper for the day!

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