Offshore Sailing School 50th Anniversary Pro-Am Regatta
Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta Presented by Merrill Lynch Raises $10,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
FORT MYERS, FL (January 12, 2015) − To cap off Offshore Sailing School’s 50th Anniversary, owners Steve and Doris Colgate organized a Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta held at The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.
Offshore Sailing School Chairman, Steve Colgate, welcomed 50 sailors and guests for a weekend of competitive sailing, January 8-10, 2015. This Party with a Purpose, in memory of St. Charles Yacht Club past commodore Chuck Wright who battled acute myeloma leukemia (AML), was presented by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, with contributions from participants in the program, friends and other donors. Mary Wright, Commodore Wright’s widow, received a special award on behalf of her husband at the Awards Dinner.
The program started with a gala kick-off barbecue on Thursday. Friday was a full day of sailing, with morning practice and four races in the afternoon, celebrated at an awards dinner Friday night with an exciting world-sailing show by Gary Jobson.
At the end of the “friendly competition” Friday, Colgate announced that, “$10,000 had been raised for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), making the total contribution from Offshore Sailing School to LLS $141,000 over the past five years.”
The four celebrity skippers all gave their time for this fundraiser. Their wins and credits are extensive; here is a short bio on each:
Gary Jobson − award-winning journalist, TV commentator, author of 18 sailing books, multi-time America’s Cup competitor, Chairman of the Leukemia Cup Regatta program, and a lymphoma survivor.
Dawn Riley − the first woman to manage an entire America’s Cup syndicate, sail in three America’s Cup competitions, and two Whitbread Round the World races, founder of the America’s Cup contender campaign for America True, now running Oakcliff Sailing Center.
Ed Baird − America’s Cup winner Team New Zealand and Alinghi, three-time Match Racing World Champion, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year; Ed Baird’s boat won the regatta.
Mark Reynolds − four-time consecutive Olympian, two World Championships and three-time Olympic Gold medalist; Reynolds actually tied with Ed Baird, but on a tie-breaker finished second.
Regatta crews hailed from New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida and Alberta, Canada. “The participants’ enthusiasm for racing for this so important cause to fund research and cures for blood diseases, was heartfelt,” said Colgate.
The Races were exceptionally close on the Gulf of Mexico off Ft. Myers Beach as spectators can attest as they watched from donated spectator boats.
1st place went to Ed Baird (skipper) with Tim Cordle, Roman Kierzek and Joe Gilles. 2nd place went to Mark Reynolds (skipper) with Nick Lubar, Joe Wieland, and Mike Piazza. 3rd place went to Dawn Riley (skipper) with David Edwards, Stephen Colen and Robin Mills; and 4th place went to Gary Jobson (skipper) with Tim Wade and his sons, Tripp and Mike.
When asked at the Awards Dinner how many in the room had been touched personally or by knowing someone with leukemia or lymphoma, most raised their hands, reported Colgate.
Members of the St. Charles Yacht Club in Ft. Myers, FL supported the event by hosting spectator boats and attending the Regatta Awards Dinner. Raffle tickets for limited-edition Colgate 26 sailboat models also contributed to the event’s success.
Colgate thanked regatta presenting sponsor Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for their support in helping cure blood cancers, and in-kind sponsors: The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina, and Cruising World and Sailing World magazines.
Founded in 1964 by Olympian and America’s Cup Steve Colgate, Offshore Sailing School is headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida with five sailing vacation campuses in Florida and the Caribbean, and two commuter locations in New York Harbor. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, Offshore Sailing School has taught more than 130,000 adults and their families to sail or improve their sailing skills. For more information call 888-454-7015, email Sail@OffshoreSailing.com.
Beth Oliver, Director of Marketing