Marco Island Yacht Club (MIYC) members raced in and provided boats to operate the 41st Southwest Florida Charity Regatta, organized by the Gulf Coast Sailing Club (GCSC) and held on March 18-19 in Naples.
A portion of net proceeds from the event will support the Children’s Bereavement Program of Avow, and other charitable causes, such as Freedom Waters Foundation which provides therapeutic on-the-water experiences to children and their families suffering with illnesses as well as veterans with disabling conditions; the Marco Island Community Sailing Center and the Naples Community Sailing Center, which was co-founded by Gulf Coast Sailing Club, both of which offer learning opportunities to youth and adults regardless of financial means.
MIYC participants included Commodore Lois and Ed Dixon who raced their multi-hull sailboat “Tri-Power.” Crew on the sloop “Eve” were members Peter and Wendy Coggins. The Signal Boat “Grand Pelican” was provided by Captain Pete and Peggy Frazier. Pin Boat (mark setting) “RSM Bluewater” was provided by Captain Jim and Linda Marr. Mark setting crew included members Henry Stanly, Trevor Haworth and Geoff Walker. The Regatta Committee was assisted by MIYC Fleet Captain Chuck and Meredith Downton.
There were 85 sailors crewing on 17 sailboats of all classes competing to win the GCSC 2017 Charity Regatta. Hundreds of beachgoers were inspired by beautiful boats and sails on the Gulf of Mexico.
Four buoy races were held on Saturday and two buoy races were held Sunday off the Naples Pier with four sailboat classes, Spinnaker Aand B, Non-Spinnaker and True Cruising.
At the regatta dinner fundraiser at the Naples Sailing & Yacht Club, with close to 150 guests in attendance, Thomas Lockyear, managing director of the Museum of the Everglades, gave an interesting presentation about the nautical history of Southwest Florida dating back to the Calusa tribe of Native Americans and outlined the exhibitions available at the four Collier County Museums.
GCSC Commodore Paul Carlson applauded the sailing community, which extended from sailors from as far north as Fort Myers and south to Marco Island, noting that the regatta would not be possible without the many sailors, sponsors and volunteers. “Gulf Coast Sailing Club has been sponsoring the charity regatta for 41 years, and we are only able to make this possible through the tremendous giving hearts of the sailing community, our members and the generosity of our sponsors. All our boats are winners to us and deserve equal applause. We hope to continue this tradition in 2018.”
Spinnaker A & B Class
1st place: Obsession, Skipper Gary Schwarting. Boat Type: Melges 24
2nd place: Flame, Skipper Jim Doane. Boat Type: J-105 35
3rd place: Tri-Power, Skipper Ed Dixon. Boat Type: Corsair
1st place: Sundance, Skipper Patrick Evans. Boat Type: Alerion Express 28
2nd place: Lion Heart, Skipper Dana Castro. Boat Type: Rocket 22
3rd place: Finn, Skipper Marty Wassmer. Boat Type: Bruckmann 42
True Cruising Class
1st place: Blue Heron, Skipper Brian Lawton. Boat Type: Beneteau 34
2nd place: Dragon Fly, Skipper Dr. Ulrich Rohde. Boat Type: Beneteau 47.3
3rd place: Essence, Skipper Paul McDill. Boat Type: Pearson 35