Blasts from the airhorn filled the air and wind filled plenty of sails as the Albemarle Hospice Regatta got underway on the Pasquotank River in Newbegun Land Saturday morning.
Split into two courses with five races — Adult Sunfish, 420, Laser, Junior Sunfish and Open class — the regatta began at 10 a.m., following a 5K road race.
Jane Terryberry won the Adult Sunfish race, Greg Duncan, an experienced sailor and instructor at the Pasquotank River Yacht Club’s junior sailing camp, took the 420 division, although 14-year old Zach Balluzzo gave him a run for his money by finishing a very close second.
Michaela Madden won the Youth Sunfish race and was followed by first-time regatta sailors Max Worley, 10, and Julianna Connor, 11.
All of the youth participants in the regatta also attended the PRYC sailing camp run by Carol Terryberry and her family.
The camp teaches the less obvious skills necessary to sailing, such as knot-tying, as well as providing plenty of supervised sailing time for children to get the hang of sailing on their own. Many of the youngsters were sailing in their first-ever regatta today, such as partners Julianna Connor and Natalie Jennison, who placed third in the Youth Sunfish race.
Both girls said that the regatta was their favorite part of the camp. “It was great to see first time sailors in the regatta today, and very exciting,” said Carol Terryberry.
The Terryberrys have headed up the annual Regatta, though only recently at their property. In past years, the regatta has been held downtown at the waterfront area, but Carol Terryberry prefers their Newbegun Land course.
“It’s almost 270 degrees of wind here, which allows for much easier sailing,” she said.
The Run for Hospice 5K started from the boat ramps in Newbegun Land earlier that morning. Daniel O’Conner, 15, was the fastest male and had the best overall time with 21:36 while Morgan Wall, 25, finished first for the women with a time of 23:09.
Timothy Kuiper, Tarkten Pharr, Clarice Matthews and Maria Pharr also won the event in their respective age groups.
Proceeds from the 5K and Regatta will go to Albemarle Hospice, a non-profit program of Albemarle Regional Health Services that provides in-home care to terminally ill patients and their families. It covers uninsured individuals including children and the elderly and is a program that the Terryberrys believe is underfunded.
This year’s fund-raising efforts got an unexpected boost in unlikely circumstances.
During a Terryberry family vacation in the British Virgin Islands last summer, the occupants of a boat docked nearby suffered some particularly nasty fire-coral and sea urchin injuries.
As a physician, Dan Terryberry was prepared with a cache of medical supplies and Karen and Bob Spitler were able to forgo a vacation-ending trip to the mainland’s hospital because he treated them right on the boat.
While recovering, the Spitlers revealed that they were from Rhode Island and owned Spitler Race Systems, a chip-timing company that works closely with many running events.
After hearing about the Hospice event, the Spitlers generously decided to come here and time the 5K for no charge.
“That was a great help for the Hospice benefit,” said Carol Terryberry. “We were able to use a $2,000 system for free, and all that money went straight to Albemarle Hospice.”
Another fundraiser that benefits Albemarle Hospice is a golf tournament that will reach its 22nd year this fall at The Pines at Elizabeth City. Registration is available on Albemarle Home Care’s website www.ahc-nc.org .