To All Volunteers and Donors of the 19th Annual CJ Team Race Regatta –
Goddard State Park, Warwick, RI – August 1-2, 2022
Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
There are no words adequate to thank everyone for their tireless efforts to make this 19th Annual Event such a phenomenal success. This competition, which is hosted by the GBSA and the EGYC, also serves as the prestigious Club 420 Association National Jr. Team Race Championship. There was a full contingent of 24 teams, 72 boats, and 155 talented young sailors from across 16 states, and from Canada, Bermuda and the Antilles. There were 10 umpires, recruited from among the top collegiate sailing programs in the country. The conditions were ideal, the racing was fast and furious, and an unbelievable 190 races were completed over the 2 days.
The winning team, West Coast Best Coast, and the runner up, NB4T A Team., were both from CA. Third place finish, Five Guys, was a mixed team from FL, CA, and MA. Of note, the event has always been more than a national sailing rivalry. It is meant to be a fun filled, educational experience emphasizing team spirit and camaraderie. After all the teams voted, the coveted Sportsmanship Award went to Shark Bait, a mixed team from NJ and NY.
The regatta is held in memory of CJ Buckley, a passionate GBSA sailor, who was just 17 when he lost his valiant battle against brain cancer in 2002. He was intrigued by the strategy and tactical decisions of team racing and was a fierce competitor on the water. His courage, spirit, determination to live every day to the fullest, and love of sailing inspired and energized his mates and they organized the first regatta in 2003,
The event has grown and endured because of the extraordinary leadership, commitment, vision, and selfless hard work of Justin and Kyle Assad who have led the Regatta from the onset. They have been assisted by an army of volunteers – over 70 strong on land and on the water – who have been vital to the process. Many sailed with CJ and, along with their families, have returned year after year to reconnoiter and to lend a hand. The regatta could not occur without their support and loyalty.
Many traditions have evolved over the years including the specially designed event tee shirts, team photos, dinner and coaches night in the carousel, and awards ceremony on the beach. However, many, like the “flying lunches” and continental breakfast have had to be discontinued because of COVID, etc.
This year, the focus has been to concentrate on PR, to increase awareness and involvement of the local community and the broader sailing audience. We have vowed to continue the welcome packages and to encourage new volunteers who are skilled in promoting wider press exposure, increasing photo availability (with on water, video and drone images), and making frequent posts on social media. These steps will significantly increase our media presence and visibility and should benefit fundraising.
Our mission has not changed. That is, to provide financial assistance to junior sailors on the Bay who would, otherwise, be unable to sail, and to honor CJ’s legacy: “Sailing is Life. The Rest is Just Details.”
With Sincere Appreciation,
Lucy and Carter