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St. Croix Regatta to Raise Awareness and Funds for Local Hospice Care

The St. Croix Yacht Club has announced acceptance of their annual international regatta by the National Hospice Regatta Alliance with fiscal non-profit sponsorship by the St. Croix Foundation. Regatta organizers intend to attract both new sponsors and new racers to this 501(c)(3) charitable event, while raising awareness and funds for their local hospice, Continuum Care, Inc. The date to save is February 19-21, 2010.

New race courses, including a long distance course especially designed for first time racers and live-aboard cruisers, will entice those heavy displacement vessels that don’t normally participate in standard windward/leeward racing. Hard-core racers (those without a six-month supply of wine and canned goods) will find the “sausage” and “triangle” courses they love in the Buck Island Channel, and one-design dinghy racers will race inside the reef in beautiful Teague Bay. A separate Teague Bay racing circle will host the under-15 set in Optimist dinghies. According to regatta director, Juliet San Martin, “We’ll give a start to anybody who shows up to race.”

The St. Croix Yacht Club Hospice Regatta is the first leg of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (C.O.R.T.), which continues in Culebra and the British Virgin Islands in March.

As in the past, shore-side activities will include the famous Cruzan Rum party on Friday evening in the big tent, daily continental breakfast, live musical entertainment, and a weigh-in for winning skippers to receive his/her weight in Cruzan Rum. New in 2010: expanded on-site first aid facilities and a fundraising component to benefit Continuum Care, Inc., provider of hospice care in the Virgin Islands since 2000.

While hospice care is a fully covered benefit under Medicare Part A and other health care plans, over 40% of patients on St. Croix have no insurance coverage at all. Continuum Care’s end-of-life services are provided regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, according to CCI founder Tracy Sanders, including emergency care, pain relief, caregiver and family education and grief counseling. Funds raised by the regatta will help to ensure continuing coverage for all who require supportive care in their final days.

St. Croix Yacht Club, founded in 1952, has hosted an international regatta since 1993. The club has approximately 500 members and is housed on 6 beachfront acres on St. Croix’s residential East End. The club burgee is reminiscent of the Danish flag, a white cross on a red background, with a sugar mill base in the center, symbols of Denmark’s influence on St. Croix. The United States purchased the Danish West Indies in 1917. The international regatta continues to be an all-volunteer event, well known for its legendary Crucian hospitality. The regatta’s affiliation with the National Hospice Regatta Alliance brings to the Virgin Islands great racing inspired by competition, enhanced with compassion.

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