Cruisers give back

Ellen Sanpere working with the St. Croix Hospice Regatta

Ellen_Sanpere Cruiser Ellen Sanpere has been a terrific champion of volunteering as you cruise. She started the “Volunteering” section on the Women and Cruising Resources page. She worked with Fundamigos in Venezuela for a number of seasons. Now that she is hanging around in the Virgin Islands, she has been giving of her time and talents to a number of causes on St Croix.

She works with the Coral Reef Jam which works to improve St. Croix coral reef conservation efforts through community education, stewardship and conservation programs. They had a great Beach Party with music and beach clean-up last weekend.

And she has been working long and hard as Press Contact for the St. Croix Hospice Regatta.

Ellen writes:

We’d love to have cruisers participate in our regatta. The cruisers who come here to race will also love visiting St. Croix. One warning, however: many who have cruised here never leave.


Here’s some info on the Regatta:

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 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 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.

About Ellen Sanpere

Free lance writer, photographer and life-long racer, Ellen Sanpere has lived on Cayenne III, mostly in St. Croix, USVI, with husband, Tony, since 1998, with annual visits to Chicago, IL where she sails Lake Michigan.

Her articles have appeared in the Caribbean Compass, Latitudes & Attitudes, All At Sea, Cruising World, The Boca, SpinSheet. She is also a contributor to Gwen Hamlin’s “Admiral’s Angle” column (Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine.)

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