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boat race

The Memorial Parade of Boats can be viewed from Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. File photo by Bob Savage
View Memorial Parade of Boats at Harborfront Park prior to race

It’s time once again to sail for a cure as the 14th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, returns on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. Last year’s Regatta raised more than $109,000 — a record sum — which was divided between Mather Hospital and the Lustgarten Foundation. The event has raised almost $860,000 over the past 13 years.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. 

The festivities begin in Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson Village, at 10 a.m, where you can purchase shirts, commemorative hats, nautical bags and mugs. 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 on their way out to the Long Island Sound for the race which begins at 1 p.m.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again serve as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather Hospital’s Palliative Medicine Program.

Following the Regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place  at 3:30 p.m. in a restored 1917 shipyard building that today serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center, just steps away from the Harborfront Park.

To sign up as a crew member for the Mather Hospital team, contact Cindy Court at 631-476-2723 or [email protected]

To sign up as a crew member for the Port Jefferson Village team, contact Sylvia at 631-473-4724, ext. 219 or email [email protected].

For more information and to purchase tickets to the reception ($50 per person includes food, wine, beer and raffles), please visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com or www.facebook.com/villagecupregatta.

For further questions, please call 631-512-1068.

File photo by Alex Petrosk

The Long Island Seaport and Eco Center (LISEC) seeks boat building/race teams for its annual Sikaflex Quick & Dirty Boat Build Competition, sponsored by the Sika Corporation, to be held at Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson on Aug. 19 and 20.

Now in its 12th year, the event provides would-be boat designers and builders to have a weekend of fun and  showcase their creative skills and talents. Using only a provided supply of plywood, plastic cable ties, and Sikaflex/sealant, two member teams must build, paint and then paddle their design around the village dock in Port Jefferson Harbor located just offshore of Harborfront Park.

Up to 12  2-person  teams will construct a boat in five hours on Saturday and return on Sunday to decorate their boats and prepare to race them at 3 p.m. Trophies will be awarded after the races for design, decoration, first built and race winners. Are you up for the challenge? Download an application at www.lisec.org. For more information, call Len at 631-689-8293 or email [email protected]. 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Sikaflex “Quick and Dirty” Boat Building Competition and Race finally came back to Port Jefferson after a long-awaited year. 

Hosted by the Long Island Seaport and Eco Center, the 10th annual competition took off this past weekend on Aug. 28 and 29. Originally scheduled for the previous weekend, it was postponed due to rain and winds caused by Tropical Storm Henri. The 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sponsored by the Sika Corporation, a supplier of marine adhesives and sealants, the event provides would-be boat designers and builders a chance to showcase their creative skills and talents. 

Throughout the weekend, visitors could watch two-member teams, working under a time limit of five hours, build their boats in the parking lot of Harborfront Park next to Bayles Boat Shop. 

Not only did the contestants have to finish constructing their makeshift boat within a few hours, but they were also expected to assemble it using a meager supply of plywood, plastic cable ties and Sikaflex sealant — no nails or screws allowed — and make sure the boat wouldn’t sink in Port Jefferson Harbor. 

Len Carolan, the event’s coordinator, said during the boat race at 2 p.m. that it had been “a wonderful weekend.”

“Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves,” he said. “The weather’s been great for us, and we’ve had a lot of newcomers. Everyone’s having fun.”

Two of those newcomers were Allyson and Richard Nuss, who just moved to Port Jefferson village from Setauket this summer. The duo decorated their blue cardboard boat with paw prints to give a shout-out to their small business, The Social Hound Dog Park and Hotel located on Belle Mead Road. 

Richard said that while walking past the Bayles Boat Shop every other night over the last few weeks, they have gotten to know the workers there. The shop encouraged the couple to build their own boat for the race and they immediately said ‘yes.’

“We’re trying to be part of everything,” Allyson said. “We thought it would be like a cool thing to do.”

Not the competitive types, they had just two goals.

“All we wanted was 1, not to sink; and 2, not to come in last,” Allyson said.

And while seven boats raced around the pier, dozens upon dozens of spectators cheered the teams on from the beach. 

“It’s getting bigger every year,” Carolan said. “And having it around the dock, it’s a perfect spot.”

Originally, he added, three more teams were set to build, but could not make the new date after the storm last weekend. 

“Seven teams are usually the average,” he said. “And I think we’ll have at least a dozen next year.”

The event ended with an awards ceremony, where guest judge Mayor Margot Garant helped announce first, second and third place winners, as well as best design. 

“The Sikaflex boat build and race is a great day to raise awareness about the LISEC organization, which is one of our founding partners down here at the maritime campus at Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park,” the mayor said. “They do wondrous things in that boat shed building, and it’s a great way to see the community connect with them, and the contributions they make.”

Garant said the turnout of viewers was “phenomenal.”

“I think this was the biggest turnout I’ve seen,” she said. 

Following the award ceremony, LISEC raffled off a special item made at the Bayles Boat Shop — a 14-foot stand-up paddle board.

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The Long Island Seaport and Eco Center in Port Jefferson held its 7th annual “Quick ‘n’ Dirty” boat build and race Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 at Harborfront Park. The competition allows five hours for teams of two to build boats out of wood on Saturday, which are then painted for three hours Sunday and raced around Port Jefferson Harbor. Port Jeff residents Ken Callirgos and Matthew Deveau came out on top in the field of eight boats, and raced their UFO-themed boat to victory.