Corinthian Yacht Club
of Bellingham
Corinthian Yacht Club of Bellingham, Washington

1st Annual Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta

copyright 2013 Jan Anderson

Saturday July 26, 2014
Squalicum Harbor Marina, Bellingham, WA

The Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta was a casual sailboat race on Bellingham Bay meant to bring Bellingham-area sailors together over their love of boating and their commitment to fighting blood cancer.

The first annual Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta on Saturday, July 26, 2014 was sponsored by the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) of Bellingham to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for blood cancer research and patient services. In 2013, more than 10,000 sailors raised more than $4 million for the LLS at more than 40 regattas across the United States.

The Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup is open to all Bellingham-area sailors as well as anyone interested in participating as crew, sponsor, fundraiser or race volunteer.

Racing and Fundraising Success!

We did it! In its inaugural year, the Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta raised more than $26,000 in the fight for a cure for blood cancers. The money will go to help fund eight Puget Sound-area researchers on grants from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), according to Jordan Gentry, LLS campaign manager.

The July 26 event saw 24 boats registered for the event, the vast majority owned by CYC members, and there was even a daysailer from the Community Boating Center rented by a visiting sailor from California.

The after party with the Atlantics was a sellout, with 200 people celebrating the fundraising and sailing success.

Taking home the beautiful silver cup for top fundraising boat were the Lehfeldts and their crew aboard Moonlight. Dan and Donna Lehfeldt, who spearheaded the drive to get the Leukemia Cup in Bellingham, raised $8,217 in honor of their son, Nathan, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia seven years ago. A few tears were shed in acknowledging that cancer treatments developed by the LLS saved Moonlight from racing in Nate's memory.

Close in 2nd place was Geschwind. Capt. Jim Gibson registered two boats for the regatta and raised $3,230.

Tapocketa Too, with honored guest Rev. Christine Finsand aboard, won the third-place prize, having raised $2,400. Rev. Finsand, of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church of Bellingham, gave a short talk at the after-race party on her 11-year battle with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

(Donations that were received or recorded after the middle of August are not included in the amounts above, so the actual totals may be higher.)

These top fundraisers, along with the other boats in the race, received sponsorships from local businesses who had their logos placed on jibs and mainsails during the race, held Tupperware parties, asked co-workers for donations, and otherwise raised money for the LLS. And the fundraising continues through the end of the year.

This regatta wouldn't have been possible without months of planning by Dan Lehfeldt, Bonnie Peterson, and their volunteer committee as well as the amazing support of CYC members and the entire Bellingham sailing community.

Special thanks go to "First Mate" sponsors Sanitary Services Corp. and the Bellingham Central Lions Club.

Other community sponsors who helped greatly in the effort with cash, prizes, and in-kind services and discounts were the Atlantics, Bayside Coin & Jewelry, Bellingham Antique Automobile Restorers Club, Bellingham Herald, Bellwether Market, Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, Double Barrel BBQ, Elysian Brewing Col, Hardware Sales, Hart Research, Hawaiian Glide SUPs, Kulshan Brewing Co., The Landings at Colony Wharf, The Loft at Latitude 48.5, LFS Marine & Outdoor, NautiGirl, Northwest Diesel Power, Oyster Creek Canvas, Photos by Martin, Port of Bellingham, Redden Marine Supply, RMC Architects, Seaview North Boatyard, SPIE, The Unity Group/HUB Northwest and West Marine.

The car show organized by Mike Grant and Dave Cahill, with participation from about 60 antique car owners like the Holmstroms and the Davidsons, was a great complement to the regatta and raised $669.

The after-race party, which included a brief summary by Dr. Jennie Crews about leukemia research, was a screaming success. Sailors and dozens of people from the Bellingham community enjoying a great barbecue dinner and beverages that included strong Dark and Stormies using national cosponsor Gosling's rum. Most everyone stayed for the dancing outside the Squalicum Yacht Club to rock 'n' roll from the Atlantics.

Oh, and there was an actual race in the sunshine, too! Although the brisk wind died before most of the boats got to the Post Point buoy and the cruising class fleet had to motor to the finish line before the proscribed 4 pm race end, it was a great day to be on the water.

Winners in the Class A fleet were Thursday night racing veterans Vitesse, Mas Kaos and G2.

Renegade won in the cruising class division, followed by Jewel in second place and K-Lynne in third. Thanks to the crew of Geschwind for towing the CBC boat back to Fairhaven at the end of the race.

There are quite a few long-sleeved Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta T-shirts still available for sale. See Dan Lehfeldt if you would like to purchase one. On the sleeves of these T-shirts are all the names of all the boats that were registered by July 1.

Also, Martin Waidelich's pictures from the party, car show and the race course are fantastic. Some of them are posted to the BBLCR Facebook page. Martin gave Kathy Sheehan a disk with a few hundred pictures. Contact her if you would like a photo of your boat, sponsor, etc.

Although some club members anticipated that the Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta would be an annual event, the CYC board plans to seek input from the membership on whether the CYC should host the Leukemia Cup next year. Look for a questionnaire accompanying your membership renewal notice later this year, and assuming that it's on for 2015, let us know if you would like to help again.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary (nonprofit) health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has invested more than $875 million in research, including nearly $74 million in fiscal year 2013 alone. The Washington/Alaska Chapter of LLS is currently funding seven researchers at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

17 OCT 2014

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Bellingham Bay Leukemia Cup
Regatta Sponsors

SSC Lions International Port of Bellingham
Hardware Sales
Double Barrel BBQ
Boundary Bay Brewery

2015 CYC Officers
and Board Members

Commodore - Dan Lehfeldt
Vice-Commodore - Steve Clevenger
Secretary - Nancy Hart
Treasurer - Troy Olney
Administrative Officer - Lesli Beasley
Membership Chair - Keturah Witter
Race Chair - Tom Anderson
Cruise Chair - Ron Battle & Chris Yoho
Reciprocity - Neal Bittner
Past Commodore - Bill Apt