There were 85 sailors crewing on 17 sailboats of all classes competing to win the Gulf Coast Sailing Club (GCSC) 2017 Charity Regatta off Naples Pier on Saturday, and Sunday, March 18-19. Hundreds of beachgoers were inspired by beautiful boats and sails on the Gulf of Mexico. The thousands of dollars raised will benefit: children in the Southwest Florida community who are affected by the loss of loved ones through the Avow Children’s Bereavement Program; Freedom Waters Foundation which provides therapeutic on-the-water experiences to children and their families suffering with illnesses as well as veterans with disabling conditions; the Marco Island Community Sailing Center and the Naples Community Sailing Center which was co-founded by Gulf Coast Sailing Club, both of which offer learning opportunities to youth and adults regardless of financial means.
Four buoy races were held on Saturday and two buoy races were held Sunday off the Naples Pier with four sailboat classes, Spinnaker A and B, Non-Spinnaker and True Cruising.
Gulf Coast Sailing Club 2017 Charity Regatta Chairman and Principal Race Officer (PRO) Craig Spicer announced the winning boats in the regatta today, with ratings adjustments based on the West Florida Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF).
Spinnaker A & B Class
1st place Obsession Skipper – Gary Schwarting Boat Type: Melges 24
2nd place Flame Skipper – Jim Doane Boat Type: J-105 35
3rd place Tri-Power Skipper- Ed Dixon Boat Type: Corsair
1st place Sundance Skipper – Patrick Evans Boat Type: Alerion Express 28
2nd place Lion Heart Skipper – Dana Castro Boat Type: Rocket 22
3rd place Finn Skipper – Marty Wassmer Boat Type: Bruckmann 42
True Cruising Class
1st place Blue Heron Skipper – Brian Lawton Boat Type: Beneteau 34
2nd place Dragon Fly Skipper – Dr. Ulrich Rohde Boat Type: Beneteau 47.3
3rd place Essence Skipper – Paul McDill Boat Type: Pearson 35
At the Regatta Dinner fundraiser, March 19 at Naples Sailing & Yacht Club, with close to 150 guests in attendance, Thomas Lockyear, Managing Director of the Museum of the Everglades, gave an interesting presentation about the nautical history of Southwest Florida dating back to the Calusa tribe of Native Americans and outlined the exhibitions available at the four Collier County Museums.
GCSC Commodore Paul Carlson applauded the sailing community which extended from sailors from as far north as Fort Meyers and south to Marco Island, noting that the regatta would not be possible without the many sailors, sponsors and volunteers. “Gulf Coast Sailing Club has been sponsoring the charity regatta for 41 years, and we are only able to make this possible through the tremendous giving hearts of the sailing community, our members and the generosity of our sponsors. All our boats are winners to us and deserve equal applause. We hope to continue this tradition in 2018.”
The top sponsors of the GCSC 2016 Charity Regatta are Family Wealth Planning Group of Raymond James at Platinum level; Sherry Ann Davis at Gold level; and Naples Hansen Team Realtors, Mark Muller, Bob and Lorelei Diamond and Finemark National Bank at Silver level. In-kind donations contributed to the overall fundraising efforts by numerous generous contributors.
Membership to GCSC is open to all those interested in sailing, having fun and contributing to being the “Heart of Sailing” in Southwest Florida.