Sails Up 4 Cancer Regatta Weekend Rocked!

By Courtney Moore, CMB Creative Group

2023 marks the thirteenth year of Sails Up 4 Cancer (SU4C). Leading the local charge to assist families and individuals going through the trauma and treatment of cancer, Sails Up 4 Cancer has become synonymous with hope.

The Annual Regatta Weekend at Mystic Shipyard in Mystic, CT started off with a Cornhole tournament on Friday, June 16. Despite inclement weather, 32 teams from across New England came out and threw bags for a great cause. As the Cornhole tournament began, Franco from KHits was on site, and Wooly Mammoth hit the stage for some great tunes with lights by Bill Kelly of Makin’ Waves. With outstanding food from Dogwatch BBQ, hundreds of people were under the tent enjoying the music, dancing, and watching the tournament and ignoring the foreboding forecast for the next day.

Sails Up 4 Cancer founder and president Bob Davis (center, red shirt) with U.S. Navy volunteers who helped make the post-regatta party at Mystic Shipyard a success despite a deluge.   © Lisa Boyle

Coastal Connecticut Cornhole led the charge to sell out the event, and many of these players are Michael Jordan status when it comes to throwing a bag into a hole! It is exciting to watch them play. The winning teams were:

1st Place Navarro Dip & Yamil Dip, Jr.

2nd Place Neil Santos & Kris Wagner

3rd Place Sammy Correia & Colbey Santos

Regatta Day dawned with ominous clouds and thunderstorm predictions. A few boats opted out and the junior circle was cancelled, but ten boats hit the starting line and had every kind of weather possible… from rain to sun, thunder to fog. The brave crews were on everything from a Baltic 39 to a Beneteau Oceanis 45.4. Taking honors in the Non-Spinnaker class were Barnaby Blatch on Cloud Racer (Sirena 38), Toby Halsey and the crew on Patriot (Baltic 39) topped the ORC class, and in PHRF Spinnaker, John Courtney on Salt Song (Baltic 33).

“We all had a good time for a great cause – rain can’t stop Team Patriot,” said Toby Halsey. On Patriot was Elizabeth Phillips, 15; it was her first race and despite getting soaked, it will not be her last.

Among the Non-Spinnaker class was First Light (C&C 27-3), skippered by Chris Cole and placing third. Chris is cancer survivor getting stronger every day and is grateful to Sails Up 4 Cancer for the role they played in his treatment and recovery. He and Bob Davis, president and founder of Sails Up 4 Cancer and a two-time cancer survivor himself, became very close during Chris’ treatment.

“The Board members have all been touched by cancer, as well as many of our volunteers. No one is free from the wrath of cancer and creating Sails Up gave me hope when I was battling cancer myself,” said Davis. “Knowing attendees come to our events because they’re supportive of our cause is heartwarming and very important.”

As the racers braved the pelting rain, the shoreside crew battled a deluge as well. Rain dripped through the tent and a virtual river pooled around the tables and chairs, but Sails Up has an amazing team complete with volunteers from the U.S. Navy plus the amazing Mystic Shipyard staff digging trenches and running sump pumps and – and getting not just a little wet – the team got the party ready for racers to come in.

With a little luck and a lot of hope, the sun came out right as the post-regatta party began and the racers, community members, Sails Up sponsors and volunteers all enjoyed the dark n stormy’, fantastic barbecue and chili from Holly Phelps Miller (SU4C Vice President), a fantastic silent auction plus amazing entertainment from Andre & Friends – the dance floor was packed – all while supporting this amazing charity.

“We could not hold this event without the many volunteers – especially the Navy – who step up and help us annually. It is very touching to see how many people support our cause and believe in our mission,” said Davis.

Sails Up 4 Cancer will hold their next Trivia Night at the German Club in Mystic on October 21. Please visit for further information.

Sails Up 4 Cancer (SU4C) is a 501 c 3 charity organization dedicated to funding education, prevention, care, and cure for all types of cancer through the art and enjoyment of sailing. SU4C has been able to assist many local cancer centers plus individuals and families struggling financially while battling cancer. SU4C looks forward with enthusiasm, optimism, and success in fulfilling its mission.

WindCheck-August 2023 – Read magazine

Throw a bag for a great cause!

Sails Up 4 Cancer Evening with Mystic Cornhole Co. Tournament & Lone Wolf Trio Featuring Dogwatch Mystic BBQ June 15 & 16, 2018

Sails Up 4 Cancer combines Cornhole and live music from Lone Wolf Trio for an evening of fun plus delicious Dogwatch BBQ!

The event takes place on June 15, 6 pm, at Mystic Shipyard, 100 Essex Street, Mystic, CT. The music is free and open to the public, but donations to Sails Up are strongly encouraged. If you wish to eat and drink, or be in the Cornhole tournament, the prices are:

CORNHOLE & BBQ: $40 per team (2 players)
INCLUDES: Cornhole Tournament • Pulled Pork, Mac n’ Cheese, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw • Four Drink Tickets

INCLUDES: Pulled Pork, Mac n’ Cheese, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw • Two Drink Tickets

DRINKS ONLY: Drink Tickets $5/each

Sails Up 4 Cancer, now in its seventh year, is a charity organization dedicated to funding care, cures, research, education, and prevention for all types of cancer. This is accomplished through the art and enjoyment of sailing and other terrific events. Sails Up 4 Cancer has been able to assist many local cancer care centers plus Hospice organizations, our local Cancer Care Hospital, children afflicted with cancer, and both individuals and families struggling financially while battling cancer.

The Lone Wolf Trio will be on stage delivering the music audiences want to hear. Blending straight up rock and roll, diverse and alternative styling with a good time, hard driving sound, Lone Wolf locks the groove for dancing and listening. Come dance to some great music for a great cause!

Mystic Cornhole Company offers custom high-quality, heavy-duty boards and runs terrific tournaments.

Sailing instructions and a brief Q& A session will also be held for the Skippers participating in Saturday’s Regatta. Come play and listen under the big tent. Free parking.

For more information about the Friday tournament and the regatta and post-sailing- party on Saturday, please visit:

Sails Up would like to encourage your organization to apply for one of our grants. Institutions may apply for grants with the emphasis on needs and ear mark exactly what the funds will be used for. Evidence of the use of funds will be required within a specified time frame. Cancer patients and families may apply for grants through our Spinnaker Fund. Applications are available at

For Further information: Bob Davis, Sails Up 4 Cancer • •

    Our Sponsor

On Watch – Bob Davis

POSTED BY 120SC ON JUNE 01, 2017

As the Founder and CEO of Sails Up 4 Cancer, Bob Davis is a two-time cancer survivor who’s using the sport he loves to help countless people in southeastern Connecticut.

“Compared to the guys I sail with I got started pretty late, sailing an old Sunfish around Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey,” says Bob, a longtime resident of Niantic.  “It was really cool to be out there sailing alone, especially at dusk. If I had to pick a sailing mentor, it would have to be Jeffery Lutz from Point Pleasant, NJ. I always admired his skills and the fun he had…not taking himself too seriously. Much later, I had the good fortune to race a Colgate 26 with Gary Jobson at the helm. I was starstruck! Gary was incredibly calm and focused, and it was a tremendous experience.”

Bob is an enthusiastic member of the Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association. “The Mudheads is a fantastic organization with great sailors, and it’s a real honor to sail with and learn from some of the most talented sailors in our area,” he says. “I volunteer for a variety of events and committees, and I’m ecstatic that they perform Race Committee duties for the Sails Up 4 Cancer Regatta. They’re the best – no one comes close. The entire membership is such an integral part of our community in so many ways.”

“When I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2004, I wasn’t prepared to just sit back and not become actively involved with my prognosis, although at the time was ‘watch and wait.’ I became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, who at the time had a regatta run by the Mudheads in Mystic. That was all it took to appreciate how many sailors were affected by leukemia and committed to raising money to put an end to these cancers. It was very moving. In 2010, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. They call it ‘The Beast.’ It’s a horrible cancer with a low survival rate and grueling treatment. Well, I beat it. I was incredibly lucky and knew I needed to do more to return my good fortune to the cancer patient community.”

“We held our first Sails Up 4 Cancer Regatta in June of 2011,” says Bob. “I was pretty stressed, but it wasn’t as chaotic as it could have been. We had a great group of volunteers and I had quite a bit of experience with the Leukemia Cup Regattas. This was my baby and it was important to me for it to be successful, not only as a regatta but also as a fundraiser. We’re now in our seventh year, and the event is pretty much on autopilot. We’re set with the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association, which has been great to us. We’re dialed in with the Mudhead Race Committee, and we have a much larger board and volunteer base. We have a great group of repeat sponsors and donations for our silent auction. Jeff Marshall and the staff at Mystic Shipyard are a tremendous source of support, having hosted the event under the big tent and helping out with the stage, power, ice and overall logistics.”

“We now dedicate our efforts from the Sails Up 4 Cancer Regatta to Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut, and we continue to raise the bar with participants in our Wellness Expo, which is near and dear to me. As a cancer survivor, I believe it’s extremely important to integrate traditional treatment with stress reduction modalities to increase your overall wellbeing and survival chances. Acupuncture, meditation, nutrition, yoga, massage therapy and many other things carry substantial benefits for cancer patients.

Sails Up 4 Cancer ( is the beneficiary of the Connecticut Spring Boat Show, hosted by Brewer Essex Island Marina in Essex. “This was our fourth year, and it’s a great show where we garner a lot of really sweet connections,” says Bob. “We also work with Marley’s Café in Essex and Bartenders Express in Branford, who donate a percentage of their revenue to us. We have lots of fun while raising some much-needed funds.”

“The Sunshine Kids are our guests of honor during the regatta, which will be held June 17. They and their families sail down the Mystic River on Mystic Harbor Cruises’ Prudence to watch the start of the race on Fishers Island Sound, and Captain Jonathan Wilkes is also donating a percentage of his year-end revenue to Sails Up 4 Cancer. The Pirates or Free Men of the Sea greet them when they return to Mystic Shipyard, Mystic Pizza provides lunch, and Drawbridge Ice Cream provides ice cream. They have a painting class supervised by Julie Garvin-Riggs and the Florence Griswold Museum. Josie Davis from the String Theory School of Music puts together a group of students for The Kids Playing for Kids Band. Mekhael Srour and Martha Slater of Allure Dance Studio conduct line dancing classes, April Brunnell makes balloon sculptures, Tracey Anderson paints faces, the Mystic Fire Department brings a truck to the Wellness Expo if they’re not on call, and the Mystic Aquarium donates 50 tickets.”

“One of the reasons for starting Sails Up was to earmark funds raised for what I felt was critical, and we specify how we want donations to be used. For example, we requested that our $10,000 donation to the Lawrence + Memorial Cancer Center be divided between their transportation fund and their new Single Woman Head of Household Fund. Through our Spinnaker Fund, individuals going through cancer treatment can apply for financial assistance. If they’re approved, we send them a check directly.”

“The most rewarding thing about Sails Up 4 Cancer is the number of people we have been able to help. It’s the smiles on the faces of children when they’re on a boat for the first time. It’s the Thank You cards we receive from financial assistance recipients. Knowing that we’re making a difference in the lives of cancer patients is what it’s all about!”

Sails Up 4 Cancer Annual Regatta & Wellness Expo

Sails Up 4 Cancer (SU4C) announces the exciting details for the 2016 Annual Regatta and Wellness Expo on June 18. The Regatta is open to all sailors and all classes. Entry forms and additional information may be found on the website. The Skipper’s meeting is Friday, June 17st 1800 hours, at Mystic Shipyard. Scratch sheets and sailing instructions will be distributed and all sailors and crew are welcome to attend.

The Regatta’s first gun is set for 1200 hours in Fishers Island Sound on Saturday, June 18. This is an ECSA sanctioned race and good for points. Following the race the Post Regatta Shore Party will be held under the tent at the Mystic Shipyard,100 Essex Street, Mystic, beginning at 1700 hours.

SU4C pays tribute to children battling cancer with their special guests of honor, The Sunshine Kids. The children will cruise down the Mystic River aboard the historic vessel, Prudence, one of only three original Maine Steamboats still on the water today, to watch the start of the race. Upon arriving at Mystic Shipyard, the kids will get a wonderful welcome from pirates, artists and musicians. To close their day, Mystic Aquarium will provide the group with passes.

In tandem with the regatta is the Wellness Mystic Shipyard from noon-5pm featuring local healers from reiki to reflexology – all homeopathic options for those battling cancer. Enjoy an array of exhibitors offering information for healthy living and lifestyles. Attendees will receive information on acupuncture, yoga, massage, nutrition, meditation and pre-cancerous screenings.

For the post-regatta shore party, SU4C, with Mystic River Yacht Club will light up the grill for a BBQ, with entertainment by Rock N’ Soul Revue featuring Josi Davis. Also included in the festivities are: open bar with wine and beer plus our famous Dark- n- Stormy stations; plus silent auctions and awards ceremony.

The Wellness Expo is free and open to the public. The post-regatta party is $25 (whether you race or not!)

Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters – especially Holmgren Subaru and Mystic Shipyard.
See you under the tent!

For more information please visit: