St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Over 65 women participated in this year’s annual Bikini Race, donations more than doubled to over $10,000 raised for charities, and a record-setting 18 boats registered. Although the forecast called for rain and storms, the day was sunny with a very light breeze, and all boats started and finished.

This year, on the starting line were 17 boats, each representing one of the 17 major sponsors. St. Augustine Sailing Sisters raised over $10,000 for this year’s charities, Rethreaded and the Betty Griffin Center. Fundraising included race registration fees, donations, sponsorships, and even some raffles of donated items.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

The Bikini Race

The first race was held in 2016, and this year’s numbers represent a 50% increase from 12 registered boats to 18. Out of the eight all-female racers, five had never participated in the all-female class before.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

This year’s race started with a postponement to wait for the wind to fill in so racers could battle not only each other, but also the new moon high falling tide rushing out at several knots.

The mixed class started first, followed by the all-female category. Pura Vida took the lead at the start and held it the entire race. A couple boats had trouble with touching the windward mark, and executed their penalty turns before continuing the race.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Winners in the all-female class were Veria, above, first place, skippered by Bri Muller, Olive Oyle with Piper Blackford second place, and Ariel with Kathleen Floryan third place.

In the mixed crew class, the winners were Pura Vida first place skippered by Brigette Wagner, Kotchka second place, and Fireball with Angie Ullmann third place. A special mention for perseverance was awarded to Stephanie Helburn and Jenna Blumenthal for finishing the course in a very small open sloop, Ponce.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

SASS

The goal of St. Augustine Sailing Sisters, SASS, who hosts this race, is to Engage, Empower, and Excel. These goals are to include women in a local sailing group, to encourage other women to see, do, and be more, and to improve ourselves and others in the community.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

SASS hosts two sailboat races a year; the Spring Foward (sic) Race the week of the time change, and The Bikini Race in August. Members meet regularly, plan events, connect with crew and captains, and strive to increase fundraising for the chosen charities.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center
My beautiful recycled aircraft seat bracelet from REthreaded, a gift from one of my crew who works for Boeing. Another of my crew, we discoverd, happened to be a neighbor of one of the REthreaded administrative team, so it was doubly fun to feature them.

REthreaded – Charity Beneficiary

This year’s main charity is REthreaded. REthreaded is a group in Jacksonville, Florida that offers opportunities and employment to survivors of human trafficking. The women are involved in production, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, and administration.

One of their product lines is their Southwest Airlines(r) Collection and the Project Runway All Stars Accessories Line. These are handmade bags, purses, pouches, travel accessories, and even jewelry constructed from recycled airline seat leather donated by Southwest Airlines(r).

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Betty Griffin Center – Charity Beneficiary

The second charity this year is the Betty Griffin Center that offers protection and services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children in St. Johns County, Florida.

They operate a shelter and provide assistance, counseling, and transitional support to women. Also, they work to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault problems, and educate the community to break the cycles of abuse.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center
Perpetual trophy for the Women at the Helm Bikini Race.

Race Results

Final race results for the mixed fleet were Pura Vida in first place, Kotchka in second place, and Flamingo in third place. For the all-female fleet, Veria took first place, Olive Oyle second, and Ariel third place.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

The boat with the most bikinis on board was Kotchka, and the crew on Ponce, above, won a perseverance award for completing the race.

The 17 boats who raced were; Ariel, Augusta Belle, Fireball, Flamingo, Frost Byte, Katana, Kotchka, Monkey’s Uncle, Naked Option, Olive Oyle, Pura Vida, Ponce, Second Wind, Snow Goose, Swim Up Tiki Bar, Thousand Island, and Veria.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Special Guests

Commodore Diane Korbey from the Ft. Pierce Yacht Club, above in blue, sailed on Monkey’s Uncle. Diane single-handedly ran the main sail for the entire race.

St. Augustine, Florida Mayor Tracy Upchurch conducted the presentation of awards.

Tim Furmann provided on-the-water photography of the sailing fleet.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

St. Augustine Yacht Club floated a “VIP” pontoon boat for spectators. The Race Committee included the Rear Commodore of Sail, Justin Muller, Jamie Rohrbough, Maury Kiser, and Dan Floryan. They anchored at the starting line on Carlton Sizer’s boat. SAYC member Elise Sloan sailed with us on Monkey’s Uncle to record the race from the competitor’s viewpoint.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Sponsors

Sponsors this year ranged everything from a trucking company, Cypress Trucking, to an exp real estate agent who also sailed in the all-female class, Kathleen Floryan.

Captain Sponsors donated $500 or more, and SASS recognized them with a burgee flown by one of the racing vessels. Also, SASS featured their business links and logos on the SASS website and Facebook page, all race T-shirts, and displays at all race events.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Racers flew flags for all Captain Sponsors: Meehan’s Irish Pub, Kingfish Grill, St. Augustine Yacht Club, FACIT trans, Rockstar Racing, First City Fishing Charters, SailTime, Duval Landscape, Cypress Truck Lines, Inc., RealtyWeb.Net, Yacht Sales by RoseAnn, The Sports Corner, exp Realty, St. Augustine Sailing, and Kathleen Floryan.

First Mate Sponsors donated $250 to $499, and received business links on the SASS website and Facebook pages, and their logo on all race T-shirts and company materials displayed at all race events.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Sponsors at the First Mate level included First Mate Yacht Services, Maritime Creative, Craft’s Trophies and Awards, The Papagalo Company, LLC, Sailors Exchange, Hansen Marine, UBS, Zaxby’s, Ruggeri & Shanks Real Estate, Mellow Mushroom, Veria 2043, Fantasea, It’s Your Time Sail & Slumber, Sail Ready LLC Rigging Services Northeast Florida, and Lotus Island Remedies.

Crew Sponsors donated up to $249 and were featured on the SASS website.

At the Crew Sponsor level, Schrum Private Wealth Management, Watson Realty, Oceanside Endodontics St. Augustine, and Saint Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation all made donations.

, St. Augustine Sailing Sisters’ Bikini Race Benefitting Rethreaded and Betty Griffin Center

Stream2Sea

For the race, every registered captain received a boat bag full of fun swag! One of the items was a week’s worth of Stream2Sea spf 20 Sunscreen and Leave-In Conditioner.

Thanks to Stream2Sea for the extremely generous donation of two huge 32 ounce containers of reef-safe products in biodegradable containers, as well as Sting Relief. Stream2Sea has generously given me a discount code “KimW” for you to use at the checkout at checkout to save 10%.

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