MBLB Continues Its Support for SYC’s Defenders’ Memorial Day Challenge Regatta

Winning Coast Guard team of Defenders' Challenge Regatta
Winning Coast Guard team (left to right: Commodore Guy Brierre, Ensign Rachel Burchill, MSSE3 Jeff Weaver, and Skipper LCDR Andrew Czarniak)

Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett continued its support for the annual Defenders’ Memorial Day Challenge Regatta held for members of the military at the Southern Yacht Club (SYC), where Alan Brackett is a member. The event recognizes the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, for their devotion to duty and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we all may enjoy liberty.

21 gun salute at the Defenders' Challenge RegattaWhile the day is full of fun, camaradarie and friendly inter-service rivalry on the water, the Flag Ceremony and 21-gun cannon salute remind us of the true significance of Memorial Day and what everyone is there to honor.

“I truly appreciate MBLB’s stalwart support of the Defenders Challenge. Their contribution makes it possible for us to provide breakfast, barbeque and beer, as well as Defenders Challenge baseball caps, keepsake engraved medallions for all sailors and their guests, and a marker trophy for the Champion team,” said Cherrie Felder, regatta chairman.

All five branches of the Armed Forces—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy—are invited to crew Flying Scots owned by the SYC for the regatta. The club has 12 boats available and there are three people to a crew. Each branch is guaranteed two boats, and the first to request additional boats is accommodated. All teams sail in a series of five short elimination races around inflated markers. The winning skipper from each branch of service then chooses his crew from all of his teammates, and those five skippers and crew sail in a series of five more races to determine the championship.Defenders' Memorial Day Challenge Cup

This year, the Coast Guard won the Defenders’ Memorial Day Challenge Regatta. They have won every year but the first, when the Army won.

The First Annual Defenders’ Memorial Day Challenge Regatta

In the fall of 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation held a meeting at Southern Yacht Club, introducing the Coast Guard’s program for building eight new Leadership 44 training sailboats to replace the aging Luders yawls the Coast Guard Academy had acquired from the U.S. Naval Academy a number of years ago. After the presentation, Vice Commodore, Julian Richards, was talking with Foundation board member, Cherrie Felder, and suggested that Southern should do something for the Coast Guard to show their appreciation of their support and cooperation.

Julian mentioned a regatta tied to the Juby Wynne Memorial Day regatta, and, after agreeing with Julian, Cherrie learned first hand about the Halloweeny Rule. She was appointed Regatta Chairman, and followed up calling Capt. Peter Troedsson, an experienced sailor and Chief of Staff for the Eighth Coast Guard District. Troedsson expressed his appreciation, but suggested that a challenge to all of the services might be more fun, and the die was cast for the first annual Defenders’ Memorial Day Challenge Regatta.

The Marines' crew at Southern Yacht Club

Southern Yacht Club members at Defenders' Challenge Cup

Crew members at Defenders' Challenge Regatta