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Pirates invited to ply Pungo, Annual regatta helps district hospital

By By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer
Later this summer, pirates will be seen sailing the waters near Belhaven. But they won’t be the scurvy scalawags that made that profession famous.
Area residents and sailors are invited to participate in the Pirates on the Pungo Regatta, an annual fundraiser for the Pungo District Hospital Foundation being held July 20, 21 and 22.
And despite it’s name, event co-Chairman Bob Haynes said participants are not encouraged to pillage and plunder competing boats during the two days of races.
The fundraiser was initiated in 1999 by the hospital foundation in conjunction with local yacht clubs, according to regatta committee member Paul Bailey. The event was held every year until 1996, when it was canceled “because interest dwindled,” Bailey said. But, he said the foundation is working hard to breathe new air into the regatta this year.
Haynes was equally enthusiastic about the event’s potential for success.
Sponsored by the Pamlico Sailing Club, the River Rat Yacht Club, and the Belhaven Yacht Club, the 2007 regatta offers two days of sailboat racing. But visitors don’t have to get wet or even set foot on the deck of a boat to enjoy the festivities.
A dinner and dance will be held at the Wilkerson Center in Belhaven the night of July 21.
Belhaven’s River Forest Manor is the anchor site of the weekend’s events, providing dockage, accommodations and launch facilities at a reduced rate to regatta participants. Water taxi service will be provided by PDH Foundation. RV and camper spots are available on a limited basis. A boat ramp is available for launching boats. Trailer storage will be available at the ramp.
The regatta will highlight the local sailing community and the sailing waters of the Belhaven area while raising funding for Pungo District Hospital Foundation to help support the hospital in its service to the citizens of Beaufort and Hyde Counties.
Regatta registration forms will soon be available by visiting www.piratesonpungo.org. For more information contact Bob Haynes at (252) 964-3442.