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Home2024 Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

Press Release from the Hospice Turkey Shoot Committee, Oct. 10, 2023

Local Sailor Gary Hooper in Raven Wins the 28th Annual Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta


This year’s Regatta, concluding on Oct. 1, was blessed with perfect winds on the Rappahannock for racing, pleasing temperatures in the 70’s and although it was cloudy on Saturday,  a beautiful sunny day emerged  on Sunday.  Eighty five boats registered for the Regatta and 76 made it to the starting line, including Jamestown Settlement’s square-rigged Godspeed (Photo 1), skippered by Eric Speth, and Colonial Seaport Foundation’s sloop-rigged Luna,(Photo 2), with John Collamore III at her helm, both at times full with sail, creating handsome images recalling the early heritage of sail in America.

Saturday, although cloudy, had winds of 6-10kt with oscillations from 325 to 355 degrees. There was also a significant ebbing current over 1 kt giving the competitors something to consider.  There were two courses for the Division race on Saturday: the faster A Fleet raced a seven-leg triangular course of 8.9 miles while the B Fleet raced a 4 leg 5.14 mile course.  On Sunday, the Pursuit race, where boats start based on their handicaps, and if everyone sailed to those handicaps, they would all finish at the same time.  Of course, this never happens but it does always produce a finish with larger and smaller boats racing close to each other.  Winds were a little stronger at 10-14 kts from 335 to 010 degrees. The last leg of the Pursuit race was a 1.3 mile windward leg across the river and with an ebbing current around 1.4 kts, competitors who played the current the best, staying on port tack more often passed boats ahead who stayed on starboard tack too long. Competitor Glenn Solt in Freedom, who finished seventeenth in the Pursuit race said, “if I had played the current better I would have been in the top three finishers!”

One of the true highlights of the Regatta was Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed’s performance in Saturday’s race.  An 88-foot, 40 ton square-rigger from the Jamestown Foundation was a sight to see.  After practicing for two days on the river, Eric’s team had the Godspeed (a 1996 replica of the 1606 boat that arrived at Jamestown from England) going upwind in surprising fashion and finishing 4th in her six-boat fleet.    The other historic boat participating was Luna, the Colonial Seaport Foundation’s 18th century Bermuda sloop, 21 tons, 46 ft. on deck with a 78 ft sparred length, which by her sloop-rigged design, Skipper Collamore was able to tack upwind more often. Hosted by the Tides Inn, both boats-in addition to racing- provided educational programs for Lancaster Primary School and Chesapeake Academy. In addition, on Sunday, courtesy of the Tides Inn donation to the HTSR, Godspeed gave some guests a chance to view the racing while following the racing fleet around the course.

On to results.

The overall winner of the Virginia Spirit Trophy, was Raven, a J-42 owned and sailed by local sailor Gary Hooper of Rappahannock River Yacht Club (RRYC). Compliments of the Tides Inn (, Gary also received a prize of a free room and slip for the 2024 regatta. In addition, he will receive a plaque engraved with an image of his boat compliments of AGA Correa and Sons. Raven’s team included Glenn Oxford, RuthAnn Povinelli, David Godwin, Jeff Branflick, Vince Haney, Linda Carron and John Claytor.  (Photos 3 and 4)


Other overall winners were:

Second Place Overall, was Roadrunner, a San Juan 21, skippered by Hans Lassen, of the Blackbeard Sailing Club from New Bern, NC. 


Third Place Overall, was won by Last Boat III, a Morgan 24, skippered by Frank Murphy of Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC). 


The Corinthian award, awarded for the best performing cruising boat, sponsored by Ed Tillett (Managing Editor of Waterway Guide Media), was won by Randy Alderks in Eroica, his C&C Invader. (Photo 5)


The John and Carol-Jean McConnico trophy awarded to the Yacht Club or Marina with the best fleet finishes of their top three boats was won by host RRYC by one point over FBYC.

The Wobbly Compass Award for the best performing wooden boat went again to Ricochet, the William Atkins ketch owned by Richard Williams. (Photo 6)

And the Most Beautiful Boat Award, voted by observers on the Race Committee, was William Morgan’s Skylark, a Hinkley Bermuda 40 Yawl, who will receive an engraved plaque with an image of his boat compliments of  AGA Correa and Sons. (Photo 7)

Other race results follow: Each boat cited won an award.

Division 1 was won by Valkyrie, Rick Pethoud; second, Crescendo, Ron Buchanan and third Ceilidh, Guy Blundon.

Division 2: First, Irrational Exuberance, Jesse Swartz; second, Makai, Scott Ruff and third, Bird, Reginald Garrett.

Division 3: First, Catitude, Lew Thatcher; second, Femme De La Mer, Lee Fisher and third, Whistling Gypsy, Billy Shields.

Division 4: First, Raven, Gary Hooper; second Mad Hatter, Bob Fleck and third, Goin’, Dennis Hannick, our 2022 regatta winner.

Division 5: First, Yankee Point, Todd Patterson; Last Boat III, Frank Murphy and third, Freedom, Glenn Solt.

Division 6: First, Eroica, Randy Alderks; second, Elixir, Joran Glendell and third, Resolute, Jake Pender.


Division 7: First, Joie de Vie, Russ Seltzer; second, White Hawk, Robert Brodsky and third Aerial, Warren Hottle.


Division 8: First, Roadrunner, Hans Lassen, second, Thistledowne, Bill McClure and third, Rose, Joe Hotard.


Division 9: (Typhoons) First, Sweetpea, Scott and Geoff Lawson, second, Mad Cow, John Congdon and third, Radio Flyer, Mike Kennedy.


Division 10: (Wooden Boat) First , Ricochet, Richard Williams; second, Rights of Man, Burke Johnson and third, Talelayo, Krister Allen.


The racers and guests enjoyed a cocktail party on Friday evening with music by DJ Ed Jennings, breakfast both mornings, dinner on Saturday, and hot dogs and beer during the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon,  all on the grounds of RRYC.


At the awards ceremony CO-PROs Tom Chapman and Jerry Latell, and the racers thanked the many race committee members who help make this event work: Karl and Nancy Hamm, who provided the Signal Boat, Karibbe Kat, Vicky Foley, Lynn Richardson, Allie Fisher, Jane Radford, Charles and Sue Springett, and Betsy and Peter Larabee, Steve Kancianic of Yours Truly Photography, Tom Wicks, Mitch Bober, Charlie Costello,  as well as Shaun Thaxter who led the water taxi service and  Kimberly Vail who led the registration process.  In addition, thanks went out to Frannie Bernard and her food prep crew as well as RRYC Rear Commodore John Arsenault who secured the parking and arranged transportation thanks to our local Rappahannock Westminster Canterbury facility and the parking area courtesy of good neighbor Russ Harper.


According to Co-event Chairs John Tidwell of YPYC and Tom Chapman, of RRYC, each year the success of the Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta depends on—and is the result of--a joint organizing effort of the Committee, comprised of year-round volunteers and ad hoc members from the  Rappahannock River Yacht Club (, the Yankee Point Yacht Club (, Rappahannock Yachts (, the Regent Point YC,  the Riverside and Northern Neck, VA Hospice Services, with advice or donations in kind from the Town of Irvington and the Lancaster County, VA residential and business community. The sales team led by Tidwell raised the lion’s share of the funding through their direct efforts and the sale of meals, beverages and regatta-related items. And both club Commodores (Ian Ormesher, RRYC and Win Schwab, YPYC) donated time, equipment, intangibles and also raced!


John McConnico, the regatta co-founder (his wife Carole Jean was away) thanked everyone on the 2023 HTSR Committee and the support team members.  This regatta is the high point of this annual fund-raising campaign and is a big success with all net proceeds to benefit local Hospice services.


(Often an enquiry:)  Historically called a Turkey Shoot regatta at its inception--then held the day after Thanksgiving--it was moved to early October to attract more racers due to warmer weather and separation from that major holiday. ( The name has been retained in part to distinguish this regatta from others also under the umbrella organization-- the National Hospice Regatta Alliance--and this regatta has grown to become one of the largest in the US.

Photo Credits: Tom Wicks