Island residents will be treated to a colorful sight in the Gulf of Mexico on November 12, when the Marco Island Yacht Club Annual Fall Regatta takes place directly off Marco Island’s beach. Competing for sailing awards in Marco waters will be South Florida skippers and crew, in as many as 24 sailboats.
Proceeds from the regatta will go to the Marco Island Community Sailing Center Youth Sailing Program, which promotes interest in sailing through education and instruction programs. The Sailing Center, located just north of the Jolley Bridge, is sponsored by the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department.
Sailboats will be divided into competitive classes based on type, size, sail configuration, etc. The race committee will establish a series of courses, based on existing wind and sea conditions, with mark points identified by large yellow and orange buoys, and accompanied by officials on “mark boats.”
The best venues to view the racing will be on the beach or in any of the condominium buildings along the beach. The Marco Island Marriott invites residents to watch on its beach, where yacht club members will provide a play-by-play narrative at various times. For $5 a vehicle, the Marriot will also offer all-day parking in their lot on the east side of Collier Boulevard.
Racing starts Saturday, November 12 at approximately 10:30 AM, and concludes around 3:30 PM. If wind conditions are as anticipated, boats with spinnaker sails (the large balloon sails of different colors) will be hoisting their spinnakers as they round the mark closest to the beach. This will provide wonderful photo opportunities.
Event hosts and supporters include the Marco Island Yacht Club, the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department, and the Marco Island Marina Association.