Adventuress Cup funds sea-faring education for youth

Posted 9/16/21

Sailboats, motorboats, participants, and supporters will converge in Puget Sound for the second annual Adventuress Cup.

Races start at Shilshole Bay at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, where all …

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Adventuress Cup funds sea-faring education for youth


Sailboats, motorboats, participants, and supporters will converge in Puget Sound for the second annual Adventuress Cup.

Races start at Shilshole Bay at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, where all participating vessels will gather at the northern end of Shilshole Breakwater.

The cup, organized by the local nonprofit Sound Experience, will have a motorboat parade kick off the event  from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with sailboat races following  in their wake at 2 p.m. and sailing to 5 p.m. 

Sailboats will be split into three separate classes for the event, and competitors will race around buoys from the starting point near Shilshole Bay, all the way to Seattle and back toward the finish line.

“We’re gonna run three different [race] courses that are appropriate for each boat class,” said Rusty Lhamon, the race boss for the cup.

“I’m really enthusiastic about the event and looking forward to it.”

The event wraps up around 6 p.m., and race awards will be handed out afterward. All  activities will follow COVID safety guidelines and procedures from local and national authorities.


As of Tuesday, 31 individuals and 21 racing teams registered to participate in the races.

All proceeds from the event, including entry fees to donations, support Sound Experience, the schooner “Adventuress,” (the 108-year-old vessel the cup is named after), and numerous other educational programs hosted by the nonprofit.  Sound Experience was founded in 1989, and has many programs where kids and teens can sail on the schooner, learning through first-hand experience as crew members. 

Proceeds from the cup will help Sound Experience maintain the schooner Adventuress, and continue to host events like the Adventuress Cup in the future.

If properly maintained and repaired, “the ship can go forever,” said Catherine Collins, Sound Experience’s executive director. “You have to stay on top of maintenance…the future of the ship is in our hands.”

The schooner is a core part of Sound Experience, and without it, many of the nonprofit’s maritime programs wouldn’t be possible.

Organizers and participants are hoping to raise at least $125,000 by Saturday to fund their numerous programs.

The cup brought in $84,000 in 2020.


The pandemic has caused a lot of turmoil for the underserved youth around the Puget Sound area, but Collins is determined to give many of those kids and teens the opportunity to have a fun and informative experience on the Adventuress.

“There’s been a heck of a lot of trauma with interruption of normal life for these kids, they need social interaction,” Collins said. “We need to be prepared as youth service providers to support the mental health of young people.”

Many of Sound Experience’s programs serve underprivileged kids who wouldn’t get a chance to learn about sailing otherwise.

“There are so many kids that really need this, there’s lots of great effects with maritime education,” Collins added.

“We have the best crew ever … there’s just so much to be proud of.”

A lot of the programs revolve around giving marginalized communities the opportunity to sail around the Salish Sea and enjoy a fun space where they can learn about teamwork and community connection.


More than 30,000 kids and teens have come aboard the Adventuress for their inspiring programs for over three decades.

One of Collins’ favorite programs is “Girls at the Helm,” a week-long event where girls from grades seven through 12 can sail the Salish Sea, learn more about women in the maritime industry, and connect with a diverse crew of women. The girls get to participate in every aspect of sailing the Adventuress schooner, while learning the significance of teamwork. The program helps the girls develop confidence as leaders, sailers, and advocates for the future of the Salish Sea.

“They get to see women play all of the leadership roles aboard the ship, like captain,” Collins said.

Sound Experience has many other programs aimed at educating the youth about the maritime trade, advocating for diversity and inclusion, and encouraging leadership and integrity in every child or teen that boards the Adventuress.

The cup has numerous sponsors including Port of Port Townsend, Admiral Ship Supply, 1st Security Bank, and much more.

For folks who feel more comfortable participating in the cup virtually, there are online opportunities to complete pre-race challenges, and improve their teammates’ boat’s handicap, or overall score.

Virtual participants can view a livestream broadcast of the Adventuress Cup on Sound Experience’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Those interested in donating to the nonprofit can do so by clicking the “donate” button on the top right corner of the website at


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