Make A Wish Regatta


regattaOn Saturday, July 26, The Port Washington Jr. Yacht Club had a chance to partner with Make-A-Wish Foundation to raise funds for some of these game-changing wishes. This year there were 76 sailors of which 32 were in the “green” fleet, who are the youngest competitors. What a terrific partnership: kids doing what they love – sailing – and helping other kids have their special wish. And they have been doing this for 13 years.

Conner Johnston, PWYC, was the top fund-raiser for the second year in a row. He won the Walter “Duke” Dayton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the individual who raises the most pledge money in a given year. Samantha Maynard, Sea Cliff YC and Naadira Gafar, Douglaston Yacht Squadron, were 2nd and 3rd respectively. The juniors raised about $20,000, which translates into 4-5 wishes.

Results: Emma Feigin, Port Washington Yacht Club, won the Sportsmanship Trophy. Top boats in each division: Opti Green Fleet (the youngest sailors): 1. Neil Sawney, The Waterfront Center, 2. Tyler Curto, Sea Cliff YC, 3. Trevor Bruderman, Sea Cliff YC. Opti White: 1. Zachary Klusky, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Dylan Harrigan, Douglaston Yacht Squadron, 3. Sarah Hoell, Sea Cliff YC. Opti Blue: 1. John Croke, Sea Cliff YC, 2. Shayne Bersin, Port Washington YC, 3. John Grygiel, Port Washington YC. Opti Red: 1. Lauren Krim, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Daisy Griffin, Port Washington YC, 3. Emily Budraitis, Hempstead Harbor. Laser Radial: 1. Shawn Grahek, Hempstead Harbor, 2. Justin Smith, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, 3. Annabel Bridges, Port Washington YC.

Sharon Abruzzo, who first brought the PWJYC and Make a Wish Foundation together, shared her thoughts about the regatta. “For our family, regattas have always been a time of great fun. That’s one of the reasons why the Make-A-Wish Regatta is such a pleasure to be a part of. Along with the fun and excitement of the race (which is usually a first for many of the young sailors), there is the unmistakable good feeling everyone involved shares because it is also in support of a very special charity. That shared commitment – by the Port Washington Yacht Club, its members, the PWYC Junior Sailing Committee and all the sailors and families who participate – results in a tangible outcome, the granting of wishes to children who are critically ill. It is the Abruzzo family’s deep honor to be a part of that.”

A big thanks to George Catallo, Chair, PWYC Junior Sailing and his regatta committee: Sharon Abruzzo, Catherine Einhaus, Noreen Feldmann, Dan Griffin and Sean Grygiel. Thanks to PWYC Head Sailing Instructor Hansie von Schulz, PRO for the Green Fleet and Tom Egan, PRO for all other fleets. And finally, to Pasquale Veneziano, General Manager, Matthew Blankman, Asst. General Manager, and Randi Cervone, Executive Assistant, who weave their magic daily.

To see more photos of the Make A Wish Regatta click here.

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Andrea Watson is a Port Washington-based maritime photographer and journalist. She writes Manhasset Press' column On The Bay and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS).