The Sailing Association of Marco Island (SAMI) was privileged to have Steve Colgate and his wife Doris as our special guest speakers at the recent membership meeting held at the Isles of Capri Community Center. The Colgates founded the first offshore sailing school in the United States in 1964.
Steve’s presentation was actually a documentary of all the sailing that led up to six transatlantic races, two America’s Cup trials, and numerous other sailing championships, which ultimately culminated in three years of racing as the principal helmsman on NIRVANA, an 81′ Maxi from 1982-1985. Princes, kings, royals, and celebrities, (Ted Turner of Condor who proved to be the most challenging competitor) are but a few of the persons who came on board, often sailing with and befriending the crew along the way. The various principalities, cultures and behind the scenes events as well as the rich history added not only interest, fun, excitement, and drama, and in some cases trauma to this three-year sailing experience.
Each event, port and celebrity was professionally captured on film by Doris who is a master photographer. It not only enhances the documentary, but greatly contributes to making this material worthy of a novel to be followed by production for TV and/or Hollywood.
Since Steve has already successfully published 12 books on sailing, and has written and continues to write articles for various sailing magazines, he now has our encouragement and support in writing his next book.
Steve and Doris Colgate now reside in Fort Myers, Florida where they continue as Chairman and CEO in running Offshore Sailing School, the leading school in the United States for 55 years, which has produced over 150,000 graduates since 1964.
Having Steve and Doris as special guest presenters was such an honor to SAMI and other local clubs (Marco Island Yacht Club, Naples Sailing and Yacht Club, Gulf Coast Sailing Club and the Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society), members and guests. It was also a pleasure having them stay with us as overnight guests. The next morning, in parting, we agreed a special bond of friendship had been born out of mutual admiration, respect and desire to help keep the art of sailing alive.