The Pink Boat Regatta (PBR) was back again in 2023 with a series of events up and down Puget Sound. As always, the mission was simple: be safe, have fun, and raise money to end breast cancer — and raise money we did!

Photo courtesy Jan Anderson.

Beginning in late June, Pink Boat Regatta was on hand at boating events around the Sound. PBR attended Race Week Anacortes. Then in August, Duck Dodge hosted their annual “Pink Boat Night.” Lake Union was full of pink boats, crew, and the coveted “Pink Duck” stickers as well as special Duck Dodge Koozies which were sold to add to donations. The party didn’t disappoint, with pink Jell-O shots, and pinked-themed drinks served in PBR koozies.

The real race season started August 25-26 at the Pink Boat Bellingham Regatta. Bellingham Yacht Club hosted the fundraising party on Friday, and the race and awards on Saturday. Bellingham racers brought in some great donations, with Stephanie Arnold’s J/99 team, Dash, taking home the most funds raised. Many familiar faces took home trophies, including Dave Steffen’s Beneteau First 36.7, Vitesse, and Stephanie Campbell’s Santa Cruz 27, Wild Rumpus.

Photo courtesy Pink Boat Regatta.

After the Labor Day holiday, the crew arrived at Shilshole Bay Marina on September 9 ready to race the Seattle edition of Pink Boat Regatta. Seattle racers showed up 18-boats strong, competing for trophies and raising a record amount of money for the cause. Taking top honors in fundraising was the team Pink Puff with Seattle staple Margaret Pommert at the helm, raising the most funds in her team’s already impressive history. Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle provided a race committee, hosted the party, and served the drinks, while local favorites Gertrude’s Hearse entertained the crowd. Many familiar faces attended this year, including three boats that have been with the regatta since the very beginning, Farr 30 Nefarious, Jeanneau Arcadia 30 Amoretto, and Tartan 37 Tsunami, who all took home a one-of-a-kind plaque for their support.

Finally, the Tacoma Pink Boat Regatta was on September 16, with festivities at Rock the Dock Bar and Grill. While the boat count was a little light this year, the fundraising certainly wasn’t. Racers were given a sendoff by a pod of orcas swimming along the Tacoma waterfront. For the third year in a row, Jake and Angela Firman’s Hope Floats took home the black burgee for the most money raised, doubling the total raised by the second place team. The Tacoma crowd was especially generous with donations and raffles at the after-race party.

While this year’s fundraising total is still being calculated, all three regattas raised a significant amount of money from donations, as well as auctions and raffles of items from PBR sponsors — some of the most popular items were from CSR Marine, Seattle Gummy, and Ballard Sails.

Since its inception 11 years ago, Pink Boat Regatta has raised over $875,000 for breast cancer research, with all net proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Pink Boat Regatta would like to thank everyone who has offered support in any fashion. You can continue to donate this year, and please do so — we are nearing the $1 million mark and, with your help, we might hit that milestone in 2023!

Photo courtesy Pink Boat Regatta.

We learned the day after the Tacoma Regatta that our good friend, avid sailor, and longtime supporter of the Pink Boat Regatta, Cheri Trainor, lost her battle with breast cancer. Our hearts go out to Cheri’s family and our entire sailing community during this time. We keep up the fight in your honor, Cheri — fair winds and following seas.

By John Coyne, President, The Pink Boat Regatta.