View Memorial Parade of Boats before race
Colorful sailboats of all sizes will descend on Port Jefferson harbor for the eighth annual Village Cup Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 9. A fundraiser cleverly disguised as a sporting event, the regatta is designed to combine the fun and excitement of sporting achievement while raising money for pancreatic cancer research.
The boat race was initiated by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club (formerly Setauket Yacht Club) primarily to call attention to and to support efforts to combat pancreatic cancer, which has claimed the lives of two of its members in recent years. The event also promotes a closer relationship between the club and the village in the wonderful maritime setting they share.
Actor and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again act as a community ambassador for the friendly competition between John T. Mather Memorial Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, which raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation. Over the past seven years, the annual event has raised more than $377,000 for the two organizations.
Macchio’s role as ambassador for the regatta for the fifth year is to help publicize the important work of the two programs it funds. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.
The regatta consists of yacht club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing the hospital and the village. Employees from each organization help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. The festivities begin at Harborfront Park, located at 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson, at 10 a.m.
Regatta T-shirts designed by a local artist and signed by Macchio will be available for purchase along with the event’s commemorative T-shirts, hats and nautical bags. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags.
Following the regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place at the Port Jefferson Village Center, a restored 1917 shipyard building located next to the Harborfront Park.
The cup is currently held by the village, which has earned the cup a total of four times. Mather Hospital has won the cup twice, and weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 race. The event is catered compliments of Schafer’s Port Jefferson restaurant and the Port Jefferson Brewing Company.
Businesses, organizations and individuals can support the regatta and the programs it funds by making a donation or purchasing tickets to attend the Skipper’s Reception or view the regatta on a spectator boat. Sponsorships also are available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com.