Members of MCVRS train with the Gloucester Volunteer Fire Dept. Photo: MCVRS

New “Rescue Regatta” to Raise Money for VA Volunteer Rescue Squad

One of the oldest all-volunteer rescue squads on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad (MCVRS) recently announced plans to hold the first ever Rescue Regatta fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday August 19 in Deltaville.

The one-day sailing regatta will feature a pursuit-style race. This is a race for money, not class racing. The purpose of the “Pursuit Starting System” is apply the corrections at the start of a race, by staggering the faster boats towards the end, said Lynn White president of MCVRS.

“That way, with the exception of the staggered start, the racers will be in the race in real time,” she said. “This is much more thrilling for novices and seasoned racers. Any and all sailboats and their skippers that can safely navigate the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay are invited,” she said.

MCVRS is seeking financial and in-kind support for the event that will be overseen by Fishing Bay Yacht Club. “Since 1956, the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad has had the privilege of providing lifesaving medical care to those most in need,” said White. “But post-pandemic—a time when health concerns seem to be on the rise, and volunteerism is at its lowest—we strain to continue as a volunteer organization. Now we seek new venues to raise much needed funds to stay strong for the community.”

“We have set our course on an event this fall that we intend to grow into a much-adored recurring contest on our beloved Chesapeake Bay and Rappahannock River,” said White.

This Boston Whaler was used in the early 1960s for boat rescues in the lower end of Middlesex County. Photo courtesy of MCVRS.

MCVRS started a water rescue program in the 1960s with a Boston Whaler as their rescue boat, but at some point stopped the program. Today, the squad leaves water rescue to U. S. Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Police and takes over the care when boaters are brought to shore.

Rescue squad members, however, had on-the-water rescue training last summer with the Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad and others in the event of emergencies that require immediate on-water assistants from closest responders or if there is an overwhelming tragedy which requires on-water rescues with “all hands on deck”. 

Rescue Regatta registration and pre-party festivities will be held August 18th on the grounds of Safe Harbor Stingray Point and hosted by Stingray Harbor Yacht Club. The post-party and award ceremony will also be held at Safe Harbor Stingray Point with hosts to be determined.

“We invite you to support this special event through a monetary donation,” said White. “In-kind gifts are also welcome depending on relevance. For instance, most sponsorship dollars will go towards funding the Rescue Squad and not the event itself because of the enormous support of Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Safe Harbor Stingray Point and Stingray Harbor Yacht Club, all of whom have committed enormous time and effort to host or manage various aspects of the extravaganza.”

The sponsorship levels are:

     • Gold $2500+ Your logo prominently displayed on event website, marketing materials, regatta shirt and committee boat banner. 6 tickets to event party.

     • Silver $1000 Your logo displayed on event website, marketing materials and regatta shirt. 4 tickets to event party.

     • Bronze $500 Your logo displayed on event website, marketing materials and regatta shirt. 2 tickets to event party.

For more information on the regatta, email: [email protected] or call (775) 235-2517.

-Larry Chowning