Steve Romaine, avid sailor, longtime member and past commodore of the Caloosahatchee Marching & Chowder Society sailing group has happily returned to his Florida home fresh from a European excursion and nine-day Mediterranean cruise. Now he's eager to boast the sailing club's upcoming 47th annual Summerset Regatta which will sail the high seas of Fort Myers Beach and its surrounding areas Friday to Sunday, Oct. 5 to 7.
"The Summerset Regatta is a west Florida handicap Boat of the Year event, attracting avid sailors from all over Southwest Florida," Romaine said. "Last year, we had 53 boats involved. This year, we're optimistic that we'll have that many, and potentially even more. It's the oldest continuous regatta in Southwest Florida, and it's all to benefit youth sailing, from the profits we raise during the annual event. Last year, we're proud to state that we were able to raise $10,700 for youth sailing programs for our area, from Tampa Bay to Marco Island, and $6,400 went to our local Edison Sailing Center.
"This year, our annual event will kick off Friday, Oct. 5, with the Scanlon Lexus of Fort Myers Skipper's meeting for racers and cruisers, at Bonita Bill's, 702 Fisherman's Wharf, at 6:30 p.m."
Racing in the gulf commences Saturday, Oct. 6, during the Offshore Sailing School buoy races, beginning at 9:25 a.m. off of the Pink Shell Island Resort.
"This will be a great day for spectators to gather on the north end, anywhere from the pier and Times Square down to the Beach Pub, to see our sailboats out there, giving it all they've got. Boats will line the Fort Myers Beach gulf lines all day that day," Steve said.
Once racing for the day comes to an end, the Pink Shell Island Resort will host a very special cocktail party later that evening.
Sunday morning, it's back to the regatta, where racers compete in the West Marine distance race, starting and finishing in the water in front of the Pink Shell.
"Spectators on the island will get some good view time in at the beginning of the race, as well as toward the end of that race, later in the afternoon," Romaine said.
Following the Sunday race schedule, the Pink Shell will host the Morgan Stanley banquet and awards ceremony, for those who participated in the regatta.
"Prizes will be given to the winner, and it's sure to be a wonderful time. We are always so happy with the Pink Shell and their hospitality," Romaine said. "We also have fantastic door prizes for everyone who participated in the regatta."
The 47th annual Summerset Regatta is open for the public to compete. Registration for all entries, whether racing or cruising, is open until Wednesday, Oct. 3. Registration and entry information can be addressed to the CMCS Rear Commodore of Racing, Steve Roake, at 549-2434, or email Steve@TheRoakes.com.
For more information about the regatta, visit CMCS-Sail.org or SummersetRegatta.com.