The Leukemia Cup kicked off on September 8 with a VIP reception and dinner for major sponsors and top fundraisers at the San Francisco Yacht Club. Eight year old Campbell Nolan, the honorary skipper of the Leukemia Cup, welcomed the VIPs and offered some poignant words of thanks to all involved in our event. Campbell was diagnosed with rare T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in September 2005. He is currently enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug specifically addressing T-Cell, and is being treated at UCSF Children?s Hospital. Since his diagnosis, Campbell has demonstrated great courage, insight and faith beyond his years.
World champion sailor Paul Cayard was the keynote speaker. Those who attended would agree that Cayard riveted the crowd with thrilling footage and stories from his recent adventure in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, skippering the Disney-sponsored Pirates of the Caribbean.
There were 55 boats on the start line racing under PHRF with spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions, as well as one-design classes for J/105 and Rhodes 19.
The event raised an impressive $140,000 to honor blood cancer patients and help fight leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. This far exceeded the organizer’s goal of $100,000 and is in fact the most successful first time Leukemia Cup Regatta ever.