On Friday, October 4, the local yachting community came together at Newport Shipyard to paddle in the Shipyard’s annual “Pumpkin Regatta” which raised $3,022 for hurricane relief organization HeadKnowles. Different charities are chosen each year and for 2019, Shipyard employees chose to raise money to help Bahamian residents who were affected by Hurricane Dorian in early September.
“Every year, the outpouring of support for our chosen charity and everyone’s desire to race in our fiberglass pumpkins never ceases to amaze me,” said Eli Dana, general manager of Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard. “We had over 125 people join us to either race or cheer on friends and fellow captains and yacht crew in what has become a fun and very worthy annual tradition. Local residents also joined in on the fun and the result was over $3000 raised for hurricane relief.”
This year seven teams raced in a relay-style challenge across the Shipyard’s “Main Street” basin for bragging rights as fastest team. Teams are allowed to race more than once to best their own time and there were at least three capsizes in the two-hour contest. In the end, team Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry from the M/Y Odessa won with the fastest time of 4 minutes and 32 seconds. Team Boleronawa representing the S/Y Bolero and S/Y Onawa won for best costumes with their silver one-piece suits and floral head dresses. “The energy around the Pumpkin Regatta is always lighthearted and festive which is a nice outlet for captains and crew who are often working long days getting ready for their return to warmer climates,” continued Dana. “We hope to keep this tradition going for many years to come.”
Tacos and burritos from Diego’s Newport were served all evening by their local catering team and the bar was sponsored by Whalers Brewing Company, a local Rhode Island brewery and partner of Newport Shipyard. Paddlers paid $20 each to race and all attendees supported the event by buying raffle tickets, making donations, and bidding in silent auction items. Both winning teams took home a case of Whalers Rise and three bottles of rosé
Local Newport businesses including Gurney’s Resort of Newport, Newport Marriott, CK Bradley, Monelle boutique, Gold’s Wine & Spirits, Clarke Cooke House, Jey’s Auto Detailing, Newport Preservation Society, Winner Winner Newport, Mission Newport, Diegos, Wharf Pub, Diegos Cantina, Newport Shipyard, the Candy Store Cup, and Soundview Millworks. “A big thanks to our donors and sponsors who are helping to make this annual event a huge success,” Dana concluded.