CHARLESTON, S.C. — The winner of the annual Hospice Regatta of Maine, hosted every year by the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County and held in the Great Harbor of Mount Desert Island, qualifies to compete in the Hospice Regattas National Championship.
Ned Johnston currently holds that title of Maine champion, at least until the next local competition a few weeks from now. He has qualified several times in the past but never competed at nationals.
Sometimes it was due to the schedule — a regatta held in July or August when he’d rather be racing here in Maine, for example — and sometimes it was a location or with a fleet of boats he wasn’t excited about.
But this year, when it was announced that the nationals would be held June 20-23 at the College of Charleston, with the college’s fleet of perfectly identical racing J22s, he jumped at the chance.
“I’ve always wanted to sail in Charleston,” he told the Islander Tuesday. He and his friend Bill Smith of Northeast Harbor made the trip, meeting up with Carter Cameron, a Charleston resident with family connections to Maine.
The team finished the weekend as national champions. Johnston faced off against nine other skippers who had won their local regattas. They came to Charleston from Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Johnston and crew were presented with the Virginia Brown Perpetual Trophy by Mark LeNeave, president of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance,
The 2019 Hospice Regatta of Maine is set for July 12-14. Visit hospiceofhancock.org.