Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ready, Set, Sail!

Two members of Marco’s Model Yacht Club race their sail boats while another attempts to put his in the water. PHOTOS BY NATALIE STROM/COASTAL BREEZE NEWS

Two members of Marco’s Model Yacht Club race their sail boats while another attempts to put his in the water. PHOTOS BY NATALIE STROM/COASTAL BREEZE NEWS

By Natalie Strom 

natalie@coastalbreezenews.com 

The Marco Island Model Yacht Club is once again gearing up for its annual Regatta. The 9th Annual Marco Island Mid-Winter R/C Laser Championship Regatta is set to take place March 2nd to the 4th at Mackle Park. The event has grown in size and popularity over time and this year proves to be no different.

The Marco Island Model Yacht Club was formed in 1993 by Commodore, George Domenech, and fellow friends, John Moulton and Tom Schwartzburg. Bonding over their fondness of model yachts, the men endeavored to begin sailing their 1/4 scale model sailboats at the pond at Mackle Park. Thanks to the generosity of the Marco Island Parks and Recreation division, proper buoys were installed so the men could practice racing there.

That same year, the club was recognized by the American Model Yachting Association, which asked them if they would like to sponsor a Regatta. With little experience, the newly-formed club, of course, said yes. About 18 participants took place in the first AMYA Regatta on Marco Island. This

Members of the Model Yacht Club practice for the upcoming Regatta.

Members of the Model Yacht Club practice for the upcoming Regatta.

year, the club expects close to 40 participants.

There are currently about 20 members of the Marco Island Model Yacht Club, all of which race the same type of model boat; the Revolutionary R/C (radio controlled) Laser. This radio-controlled sail boat is the most widely sailed, easiest to use and is the least expensive of its kind. With a set-up of only five minutes, it is great for beginners as well as the more experienced. Domenech, Moulton and Schwartzburg chose this type of boat to encourage any and all to participate in the club. Membership requirements are quite simple. An annual fee of $30 is necessary to join along with owning an R/C Laser. Those interested are encouraged to stop by the Tuesday and Sunday practices from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Mackle Park. George will even drop a boat in the water for newbies to try out.

These practices, however, are being taken much more seriously as the Regatta fast approaches. For the past two years, Jim Kaighin, of the Bahamas, has won

Commodore George Domenech prepares his model sailboat.

Commodore George Domenech prepares his model sailboat.

the event. Participants, like Jim, come from all over the world. Past races have included contestants from Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Tennessee, Massachusetts, California and even England.

Registration is taking place now for the March event. The entry fee for the Regatta is $100 and must be turned in by February 17th. Entry forms are available online at www.rclaserna.com

This year, the event will be hosted by the MIMYC and the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department. Dave Brawner, President of the American Model Yachting Association, will be the PRO (Race Director). The rules of the Regatta follow the International Sailing Federation guidelines. This means that the model sailboats and their controllers must follow the same rules as full-size sailboats. Participants’ boats may not touch the start or finish buoy just as in regular racing. Rules such as right-of-way also apply.

The event, governed by the International Rules of the International Sailing Federation, is not all rules, regulations and racing. Social cocktail and dinner parties are planned for both March 2nd and 3rd following full days

Model sail boats on Mackle Park Lake.

Model sail boats on Mackle Park Lake.

of racing. Racing starts at 2:00 PM on Friday and 10:00 AM on Saturday. The final race to determine the winner takes place on Sunday, March 4th, at 3:00 PM. An awards presentation will immediately follow. All are welcome to attend this free and exciting event.

The Regatta and MIMYC have become so popular in the past few years that the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department has generously provided them with a new set of bleachers, a platform dock and a new pavilion at Mackle Park. Thanks can be attributed to Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director, Bryan Milk, who has seen first-hand the interest and attention paid to this activity.

So let the breeze carry you to Mackle Park the weekend of March 2nd. You will surely enjoy the races, rivalries and raucous that the Annual Marco Island R/C Laser Mid-Winter Championship Regatta promises to deliver.

For more information about the Marco Island Model Yacht Club or the upcoming Regatta, contact George Domenech at 321-283-7771 or by email at sjprmi@yahoo.com. One may also visit their website at www.orgsites.com/fl/marcoislandmodelyachtclub

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