Summerset Regatta sails this weekend
Sailboat races will be seen on Fort Myers Beach Saturday and Sunday
On Fort Myers Beach, a longtime sailboat racing tradition helps mark the return of autumn.
An expected armada of 30 sailboats will be taking part in the 56th annual Summerset Regatta of races Saturday and Sunday organized by the Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society. Three shorter races are expected to run Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. from off shore in the general vicinity between the Lani Kai Island Resort down to Bowditch Point Park. Sunday’s distance race will run from from Fort Myers Beach to Wiggins Pass Beach in Naples, beginning at the same time, said racing organizer and Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society Vice Commodore Beverly Duff.
Views of the boats will be plentiful up and down the beach, with the Fort Myers Beach Pier a popular gathering spot for views, along with the resorts, restaurants and parks along the route.
The festivities begin Friday with a skippers meeting at Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe and Tiki Bar.
Sailors from Fort Myers Beach, Naples, Marco Island, Punta Gorda, Tampa as well as Cape Coral and Fort Myers are expected to take part. The net proceeds from the event will go towards funding youth sailing programs throughout these areas of west Florida.
Traditionally, four to five different classes of sailboats will do a series of buoy races on Saturday and a Distance Race on Sunday.
Salty Sam’s Marina, Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina and Moss Marine Marina are among the spots hosting the many sailboats from out of town for the weekend full of parties and activities.
There will be a barbecue Saturday evening with cocktails at the Original Shrimp Dock at Salty Sam’s Marina, Duff said.
Tickets are required to attend and are generally for those connected to the race or its sponsors.
For more information or to register, visit https://www.summersetregatta.com.
An awards dinner will be held at the Original Shrimp Dock at Salty Sam’s Marina Sunday after the races.
The Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society was formed in 1970 in Fort Myers Beach and boasts a membership of boaters throughout Southwest Florida. The club’s signature event, the Summerset Regatta has run for 56 years, and proceeds go towards supporting youth sailing and education initiatives in Southwest Florida. Now based in Cape Coral, the organization promotes sailing activities with an emphasis on offshore sailing, racing, and cruising.
This weekend’s races will raise money to promote youth sailing and educational initiatives in Southwest Florida with contributions from local and regional sponsors. Among those supported by the Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society are the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers and the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center summer camp on Fort Myers Beach.
Duff, of Fort Myers, will be on her sailboat, a 42-feet Catalina sloop as part of the committee boat watching over the races. Duff, who has participated in the races before, said the attraction of the regatta is “just getting out there and having fun with our boats.” Joseph Periard will be the judge of the race.
“It take a little bit of muscle and know-how,” Duff said of the competition. “Hopefully, we will have some decent winds.”