Sail MV “” Seafood Banquet to Vineyard Cup

"Fund the Fleet" is a special fundraising challenge to rebuild Sail MV's fleet of 420s, like those being sailed here by high school students in 2003. — File photo by Photo courtesy of Sail MV

Sail MV — Seafood Banquet to Vineyard Cup

More than 300 people attended Sail MV’s 19th Annual Seafood Banquet and Auction on Saturday, July 10.

For the first time this year, Sail MV awarded the newly created Walter Cronkite Award, named for the late CBS News anchorman who was an avid sailor and a dedicated supporter of Sail MV. The winner was Ray Ellis, the artist who has donated nautical paintings to many previous Sail MV auctions.

Bidding on everything from a Shenandoah ship model to an African Safari, enthusiasm ran like a flood tide during both silent and live auctions. A fundraising highlight of the evening was a novel element called Fund the Fleet, in which $21,000 out of a goal of $50,000 was raised to rebuild the fleet of 420 sailboats used by summer sailors and high school sailors.

This weekend, Sail MV hosts the 5th Annual Vineyard Cup Regatta. More than 80 boats — ranging from 18 to 126 feet long — will compete in races on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There’s still time to register for the competition. To do so, visit Post–race parties open to the public start each afternoon around 5 pm at Owen Park, and will offer food from the Black Dog, drinks from Sam Adams and Appleton Rum, and music from the Beetlebung Steel Band. Tickets cost $30 for one evening, $60 for all three.

For the first time this year, Sail MV has joined forces with Sailors for the Sea (, a nonprofit organization that “educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters.” Sail MV is in the process of aquiring Clean Regattas certification from Sailors for the Sea, a verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible and committed to reducing their impact on local waters.

“The Vineyard Cup continues to draw growing attraction and attention from sailors and the general public — people who love to live and play on the ocean,” said Brock Callen, Sail MV’s program director. “The commitment to the Clean Regattas program from Sailors for the Sea is a natural extension of the love we share for the ocean.”