On Saturday, November 14, Marco Island residents will be treated to a colorful sight in the Gulf of Mexico directly off the Marco Island beach. Up to two-dozen sailboats, along with their skippers and crews from South Florida, will converge on Marco Island to compete for sailing awards in the Marco Island Yacht Club’s Annual Fall Regatta.
Proceeds from the Annual Fall Regatta will go to the Marco Island Community Sailing Center Youth Sailing Program, which promotes interest in sailing on the Island through its education and instruction programs. The Sailing Center, just north of the Jolley Bridge, is a program sponsored by the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department.
Racing will start on Saturday at approximately 10:30 AM, and will conclude by about 3:30 PM. A series of courses will be established by the race committee (based on existing wind and sea conditions) with mark points identified by large, yellow and orange buoys accompanied by officials on “mark boats.” The sailboats will be divided into competitive classes based on type, size, sail configuration, etc. The best venues for Marco Island residents to view the racing will be either on the beach, or in any of the condominium buildings along the beach.
The Marco Island Marriott is inviting community residents to watch the regatta on their beach. They are offering all-day parking in their lot on the east side of Collier Boulevard, for $5 per vehicle. There will also be a “play-by-play” narrative of the races provided by yacht club members at various times on the Marriott beach.
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.
The Annual Fall Regatta is hosted by the Marco Island Yacht Club, with support from the City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department, and the Marco Island Marina Association. For additional information, see the Marco Island Yacht Club website: www.marcoislandyachtclub.net.