by Rick Roberts
This Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. the second annual Patriot Regatta will be held just off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier as a tribute to the men and women who are both active duty members and veterans of the United States military.
Alt Patriot Regatta winner Navy Team 3 shows its mettle during last year’s event1
Being held just a few days after the 12th anniversary of the terrorist’s attacks of 9-11 the event is hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club and organized and managed by the club’s Yachting Committee and the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.
More than 70 individuals of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and veterans all become sailors as they take to the waters of Long Beach Harbor on the fleet of LBYC’s Catalina 37 race boats for a day of training and racing under the supervision and guidance of skilled coaches.
In the evening, LBYC will host a reception, which includes an awards ceremony and dinner featuring a band made up of veterans known as, 'Rock for Vets.' Joining in the festivities will be 35th California Governor George Deukmejian, California Senator Ricardo Lara and Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell.
Co-chairs of the Yachting Committee, Jack Geortner and Steve Meyer along with event chair Judy Meyer have brought this regatta to the next level from its humble beginnings one year ago.
'The Patriots Regatta is more than just a feel good event for LBYC,' said Geortner. 'It has the enthusiastic and unequivocal support of the entire club, from flag officers through our staff employees. Everyone recognizes the commitment and sacrifice our Armed Forces make for us each and every day in defending our way of life. It is a privilege and an honor to show our appreciation on the water for these American heroes and their families.
'Our inaugural year for this regatta was in 2012. This year we have amped up the activities and attracted more sponsors to ensure an even more eventful and memorable day. We all look forward to a great day this Saturday and to making the Patriots Regatta an annual high water mark on our calendar.'
Regatta Chair Judy Meyer was a driving force in making this year’s event bigger and better than expected.
'This event is a way of giving thanks to these men and women who lay their lives on the line daily,' Judy said, 'so we may peacefully live our own. I wanted them to have an extraordinary day!
'I had a great advantage this year over last year,' Judy said,' because I had months to plan and coordinate this event. Last year they put it together in two weeks.
'By having the extra time this year, I've been able to fill all 11 boats with a healthy turn out from all branches of the military.
'Also, given the extra time I’ve had, we’ve been able to raise additional funding for this year’s regatta. A huge amount of that is due to the wonderful support of our sponsors; Friedman’s Appliances, Raytheon, Miyako Hybrid Hotel, Gelson's, Belmont Athletic Club, and Carson Toyota. And let's not forget the generous donations from our LBYC members as well.'
Spectators can watch this event Saturday afternoon 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier located at 15 39th Place, Long Beach, Calif. 90803.