7th annual New York Harbor Regatta

7th annual New York Harbor Regatta

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On Friday, September 15th, in hopes of capturing that last bit of summer, Billion Oyster Project hosted the 7th annual New York Harbor Regatta & Bash in New York Harbor and on Governors Island—a favorite among sailing enthusiasts and New Yorkers alike.

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The ultimate waterfront party presented a full day of wonderful activities, starting with half a day of sailing in the iconic New York Harbor. When the clock struck 2:00pm, more than twenty boats made their way to the race against the backdrop of the downtown Manhattan skyline. Sailors and supporters from New York City-based companies and organizations competed in the J24, Colgate 26, J80, and Melges classes for the opportunity to win the NY Harbor Cup.

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Ticketed spectators enjoyed a front row seat to the regatta from a spectator cocktail cruise aboard the Manhattan II – part of the Classic Harbor Line fleet of classic yachts, which boasts a 100-foot long all-glass observatory. Aboard the yacht, fresh oysters from Fishers Island Oyster Farm and light bites courtesy of The Clam were served. Intimate tables and a well-stocked bar along with exhilarating race commentary completed the race viewing experience.

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VIP guests were invited onboard the Mariner III which was hosted by Murray Fisher, Chair of Billion Oyster Project, and Pete Malinowski, Executive Director of Billion Oyster Project. A raw bar courtesy of Empire Oyster and light bites by Oceana Restaurant made the view experience on the Mariner III unforgettable.

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The party continued after the race, as invitees disembarked on Governors Island for a festive evening bash at the brand-new Island Oyster restaurant & bar - an open-air oyster bar with magnificent views of downtown Manhattan—while the sun set behind the scenic Statue of Liberty. Patrons that did not make the daytime regatta later arrived via a ferry, which was only a 10 minute ride away from the Battery Maritime Building in the financial district. Even former Senator, Daniel Squadron, came out and showed support. 

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Later on, guests were joined by the racing teams and other partygoers for an amazing night marked with a live DJ, open bar, oysters, and seasonal bites from local eateries including Ed’s Chowder House, Midnights, Glazed and Confused, The Roxy, Brooklyn Crab, The Clever Co, and many more. There is nothing like having a fun and memorable night while supporting a wonderful cause. 

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All proceeds from the event supports New York Harbor School and The Billion Oyster Project's mission to create a diverse network of environmentally literate students, schools, and communities working together to restore New York Harbor.

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The New York Harbor School is the only one of its kind in the city. For Harbor kids, the only way to commute to class is by the Governors Island Ferry. The guests at the bash were able to experience this commute as they traveled on the ferry to reach the party. But, can you imagine doing this every day to get to school or work? These kids show their dedication by traveling far from all over the five boroughs to receive their well-deserved education. The Harbor School’s location is deliberate, as students can learn from and within the water, and gain maritime skills as they work on restoring the devastated oyster reefs around their surroundings.

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One of the school’s major initiatives is the Billion Oyster Project, a harbor oyster ecosystem restoration project that runs educational activities, restaurant oyster recycling initiatives and other programs throughout the city. The project’s goal is to restore one billion oyster to New York Harbor by 2035. With these kids, and New Yorker’s support, we can reach that goal one shell at a time.

Special thanks to Charlotte and Melody. Photos courtesy of Mary Alice Fisher

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