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Kayak Races and Inaugural Cruisers Crawl Enhance Children’s Cup Regatta Schedule of Events; Eighth Annual Fundraiser Benefits Children’s of Alabama Patients from Mobile and Baldwin Counties - Archived

FAIRHOPE – The eighth annual Children’s Cup Regatta sets sail on May 13, 2017, to benefit patients from the Alabama Gulf Coast treated at Children’s of Alabama. Sailing enthusiasts and friends in Mobile and Baldwin counties are invited to enjoy a day of sailboat racing at the Fairhope Yacht Club, located at 101 Volanta Ave.

In addition to last year’s inaugural kayak races, this year’s events will include the first-ever Cruisers Crawl. Meant for boats that don’t want to sail, but want to be on the water, the Cruisers Crawl includes a professional photo of your boat in action, dinner, mudslides and a goodie bag. Registration starts at 4 p.m., costs $50 per boat, and is open to all classes. The kayak races kick off at 9 a.m. with the 1-mile Fun Paddle, and the 2-mile competitive races begin at 10 a.m. One- and two-person kayaks and canoes are welcome. Registration is $25 per boat. Winners will receive handmade trophies crafted by the patients at Children’s.

A family-friendly event, guests are invited to watch the races free-of-charge beginning at 12:30 p.m. The kids activity area, known as “Al’s Activity Area” in honor of local Children’s patient Al Guarisco, opens at 4 p.m. and features a waterslide, arts and crafts, games, and a chance to paint with Fairhope artist Ricky Trione. Throughout the afternoon, guests can bid on silent auction items and enjoy barbecue plates, a cash bar, and live music from Doc Rogers and the Rock Dodgers. The awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Participation from out-of-town sailors and non-yacht club members is welcome. Boats can be parked at Fairhope Yacht Club overnight. The entry fee for Performance Handicap Racing Fleet, Portsmouth, Rhodes 19 and Catalina 22 is $50 per boat. Youth Class entry fee is $25 per boat. All entry fees are tax deductible.

Children’s of Alabama patients and their families in the area are invited to attend the Regatta. A few boats will be available to take former patients out to watch the sailing action close-up.

The youth portion of the Children’s Cup Regatta is known as “Katie’s Cup Youth Regatta” in honor of Katie Hamlin of Fairhope. As a 16-year-old Bayside Academy honor student and soccer player, Katie was diagnosed with a possible staph infection in May 2009. After falling sick a few weeks later, she was induced into a coma and put on a ventilator. She was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome and transferred to Children’s of Alabama. After seven months of treatment, Katie was able to return home and is now a walking, talking miracle. Last year, Children’s treated more than 1,800 patients from Mobile and Baldwin counties at the state’s only freestanding pediatric medical facility.

For more information or to register online, visit, or call Kerrie Benson at (251) 610-4969. Event updates will be posted regularly to Day-of registration is available from 9-10:30 a.m. on May 13 at the Fairhope Yacht Club.                                        

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 41 other states and eight foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at