Sequim’s Reach and Row for Hospice draws big crowd

Photo by Fran Reisner Thompson / From left, sailboats Imua (skipper Alan Clark), Denali (skipper Bob MacCauley), Gizmo (skipper John Thompson), race committee boat (skipper Jerry Fine), Sirius (skipper Durkee Richards) and Pinafore (skipper Bernie Armstrong) compete in the Reach and Row for Hospice on Sequim Bay on Sunday.

Photo by Fran Reisner Thompson / From left, sailboats Imua (skipper Alan Clark), Denali (skipper Bob MacCauley), Gizmo (skipper John Thompson), race committee boat (skipper Jerry Fine), Sirius (skipper Durkee Richards) and Pinafore (skipper Bernie Armstrong) compete in the Reach and Row for Hospice on Sequim Bay on Sunday.

SEQUIM — Some good-natured competition on Sequim Bay in mid-September proved to be another boon for local hospice advocates.

Dozens of teams and individuals turned out for the Sequim Bay yacht Club’s Reach and Row for Hospice last weekend, as rowers, paddlers and sailors raised more than $5,600 in the annual fundraiser for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County’s respite care fund.

Along with racer pledges, quilt raffle ticket sales, tips from the yacht club’s bar and general donations, the club and other community members have donated $24,000 in 2022 — bringing the 30-year fundraiser total to more than $450,000.

Fundraising, particularly through quilt raffle ticket sales, continues through December, event organizers note.

Fifty-nine entries took part in the Saturday rowing and paddling event. “Grace” of Clam Island Rowing of Silverdale was the fastest entry, followed by “Bubble Dubble” in second and “Four Rats” in third, both of Port Townsend’s Rat Island Rowing & Sculling Club. Placing fourth and fifth were Harrison Fulton and Lizzy Shaw-Sean Halberg of Port Angeles’ Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association, while a Sequim Bay Yacht Club entry, “Joe Rantz,” placed sixth.

Clallam County youth participating in the race besides Fulton and Shaw, both of Port Angeles, were Edward Gillespie of Joyce and Teig Carlson of Port Angeles. Clam Island Rowing also sent youth teams.

The Sunday sailing races were won by Class A division winner “Litonya,” skippered by Mike Kalahar of Port Angeles, and Class B division winner “Gizmo,” skippered by John Thompson of Sequim. They received the Tidyman’s Trophy.

An award that honors longstanding members of the rowing program who also contribute significantly to the yacht club as a whole, the John Halberg Trophy, went to two Sequim rowers: Carolyn DeSalvo, a member since 2016, and Diane Froula, a member since 2018. The award recognizes the efforts of the late John Halberg of Port Angeles in initiating a rowing program in Sequim.

Alan Clark of Sequim, a longtime Sequim Yacht Club Sail Fleet Captain, was honored with the Mickey McGuffin Sportsmanship Award. This honor was established by the late Fritz Gruetzmacher several years ago in recognition of McGuffin’s leadership of the SBYC sailing program.

For more information about the yacht club’s fundraising for VHOCC, see sequimbayyacht.club/reach-for-hospice.

For more photos of the Reach & Row for Hospice races, see facebook.com/sequimbayyachtclub.

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