Thursday, October 28, 2021

Annual Fall Sailing Regatta

Marco Island Yacht Club Annual Fall Sailing Regatta

Saturday November 17 and Sunday November 18

In the Gulf – Directly off of Marco Island Beach

This weekend Marco Island residents will be treated to a colorful sight in the Gulf directly off of the Marco Island beach. Two dozen sailboats, along with their skippers and crews from South Florida will converge on Marco Island to compete for sailing awards. They will be sailing both Saturday and Sunday in the Marco Island Yacht Club’s Annual Fall Regatta. Proceeds from the Regatta will go to the Marco Island Community Sailing Center which promotes interest in sailing on the Island through its education and instruction programs…

Races will start on Saturday at 12:30 P.M. and Sunday at 9:30 A.M. They will conclude by approximately 3:30 P.M. both days. A series of courses will be established by the race committee (based on existing wind and sea conditions) with mark points identified by large, red inflated buoys accompanied by officials on “mark boats”. The boats will be divided into competitive classes based on type, size, sail configuration etc.

The Regatta will conclude Sunday evening with an awards dinner at the Yacht Club.

Competing in the races will be at least a half-dozen multi-hull boats (tri-marans, catamarans) along with at least a half-dozen new class of boat called Melges-20. The Melges-20, introduced in 2008, has rapidly become a very popular competitive racing boat. Designed by the Melges boatbuilding company in Zenda, Wisconsin, the Melges-20 is a smaller version of its big sister, the Melges 24. Called a 20, relating to their twenty-foot length, they have become known for their agility and speed. Sailing downwind, they have been known to reach exceptionally high speeds for small sailboats – – – 12 to 15 knots. And with their spinnakers hoisted (the large, balloon-type sails with different colors and designs) they create great photo opportunities.

The Regatta is being hosted by the Marco Island Yacht Club with support from the City of Marco Island, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Marco Island Marina Association. Proceeds go to the Marco Island Community Sailing Center through their support organization, the Marco Island Community Sailing Center Boosters – – a 501(c)3 charity. Co-chairs for the event are Yacht Club members Lois Dixon of Marco Island and Des Moines, Iowa and Chuck Downton of Marco Island and Cincinnati, Ohio.

The best venues for Island residents to view the racing will be either on the beach, or in any of the condo buildings along the beach.

The Marco Island Community Sailing Center, located adjacent to the Yacht Club parking lot near the Jolly Bridge, is an outgrowth of the former MICKYS (Marco Island City Kid’s Youth Sailing) program. The Center is devoted to promoting the sport of sailing (both recreational and competitive) on Marco Island. This past summer over ninety Marco Island youth, from age 8 on up, participated in sailing instruction using small eight foot boats at the Center. Future plans are to expand programs to include more and different types of boats, along with more advanced courses and adult instruction.


Chuck Downton

Marco Island Yacht Club Organizer



Lois Dixon

Marco Island Yacht Club Organizer



Rocky Cale

President, Marco Island Community Sailing Center Boosters



Mindy Matusiak

Recreation Manager, City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation



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