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On Saturday, Feb. 11, with a cloudless sky and light winds, the Marco Island Yacht Club held their Annual Winter Regatta. Nine sailboats participated in maneuvers and racing during the day-long event, which could easily be seen from Residents Beach, J.W. Marriott’s beach and surrounding condos.

“The Winter Regatta used to run from Naples to Marco and could only be seen from Keewaydin, which is only accessible by boat,” explained Commodore Lois Dixon. “We decided it was important to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness for our sailing program; so we switched our location to be visible by the many Marco Island beaches.”

“We have been watching the sailboats all day,” said Marilyn Jesserer, a visitor from Webster, NY. “It has been quite a treat for us.”

“Hank and I have been sailing and racing for over 30 years. We just gave it up last year when we sold our sailboat.”

Tom Nista from Massachusetts wasn’t aware of the winter regatta and was wondering what was going on with all the sailboats.

“That's really cool that the proceeds from the Regatta go towards the Marco Island Sailing Program. My daughter’s were involved in sailing back home when they were younger.”

“This is our first time visiting Marco Island. We are only here for a week. We are power boaters but have really enjoyed watching all the water activity today,” said Mike Cooper of Nashville, Tenn.
​​The day of racing concluded with a dinner and awards ceremony at the Marco Island Yacht Club. Event organizer and MIYC Sailing Fleet Captain, Chuck Downton, thanked all participants and shared the day’s results. 
​​Commodore Lois Dixon's sailboat, TriPower, was the winner of the Spinnaker Class. Lois and her husband Ed have shared a love of racing and teamwork for over 35 years.

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“Giving back to the community is very important to us,” explained Dixon. “Sailing is our life. We have such a love of the sport and want to give back. We even started a sailing school back home in Iowa, where we live six months out of the year.”

All proceeds from the Marco Island Winter Regatta go toward the Marco Island Community Sailing Program. The Sailing Center is located just north of the Jolley Bridge.

For more information about the sailing program or future regattas go to cityofmarcoisland.com and SailPlay.com.


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