Skip to main content

A Regatta for Older Sailboats

The St. Petersburg Classic Regatta is taking the idea of racing "classic plastic" to a whole new level, and it's helping raise money for charity to boot.

These days, it sometimes feels as though grand prix raceboats are competing against smartphones to see which cutting-edge design can become obsolete faster, but luckily that’s not the case in most “everyman” regattas. While PHRF fleets are going strong nationwide, the event organizers of the St. Petersburg Classic Regatta have taken the idea of racing “classic plastic” to a new level with an event that’s only open to boats older than 20 years. If this sounds enticing, and you live (reasonably) close to Tampa Bay, start looking at the entry process, as this regatta also serves as a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels, a program that home-delivers hot and nutritious meals to low-income senior citizens. 

The St. Petersburg Classic Regatta is set to take place on January 17 and will be presented by the St. Petersburg Sailing Association and hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, which provides complimentary dockage for raceboats and also hosts a dinner and an awards banquet. This year’s event will feature racing across several divisions, with the cruising class commanding the biggest numbers. Additionally, trophies are awarded for non-performance related merits, including the prettiest boat, the oldest boat and the oldest skipper awards. A separate Good Neighbor Trophy will be awarded to the boat that makes the largest donation to Meals on Wheels.

The sixth-annual St. Petersburg Classic Regatta is expected to attract 60 boats, making it one of the more popular regattas on Florida’s west coast. “Last year was spectacular—we really stepped it up, and we hope to do so again this year,” said Gerry Douglas, the VP and designer of Catalina Yachts. “Somehow, seeing old boats help out old folks seems like a pretty good idea.” Last year, the event raised $10,500 for Meals on Wheels, which was originally founded in St. Petersburg in 1968 (before becoming a nationwide program), and readers are gently reminded that you don’t need to compete to donate.

Related

maintenance-02

Cruising: Old Sailors Never Die

“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.” It may be a hoary old joke, but one of my problems at age 79 is I can no longer get easily in and out of a little dinghy, and neither can my (several years younger than me) wife. For this, and various other reasons I will ...read more

01-LEAD-DSC_0953

The Mighty Compass

Here’s to the humble magnetic compass, without a doubt the sailor’s most reliable instrument onboard. It’s always there for you and with the rarest of exceptions, always operational. Yes, I love my chartplotter, autopilot, radar and AIS. They help me be a safer and more ...read more

02-En-route-Jost-Van-D

Chartering: Swan Song in the BVI

Joseph Conrad once wrote, “The sea never changes.” And while this may or not be true, something most definitely not open for debate is the fact we sailors, “wrapped in mystery,” as Conrad put it, are continually changing—whether we like it or not. I found myself thinking these ...read more

220307FP51_1JML0332

Boat Review: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

If you can sell more than 150 catamarans off-plan before the resin has even hit the fiberglass, you must be doing something right. Despite costing around $1.1 million once fitted out and on the water, Fountaine-Pajot’s new 51 has done just that. The French yard has been at it ...read more

00LEAD-IMG-9035

Ready to Fly a New Sail

It’s a typical humid, southern Chesapeake Bay summer day when I show up on the doorstep of Latell & Ailsworth Sailmakers in the one-stoplight, one-lane-roadway, rural tidewater town of Deltaville, Virginia. I’m late getting here to work on a new jib for my 29-foot, Bill ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Dates for the 2024 America’s Cup Announced

Ever since making the controversial decision to hold the next America’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain, instead of in home waters, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has been hard at work organizing logistics for the event.  The Racing Area for the Challenger Selection Series and the ...read more

00LEAD

A Force for Change: Captain Liz Gillooly

I first heard about Capt. Liz Gillooly in 2016 from my cousin while working three jobs in our shared hometown on the North Fork of Long Island and living with my parents to save money for a boat. But despite being the same age and growing up only 13 miles apart, Liz and I never ...read more

291726157_3222349914654950_8713674249134934221_n-2-1024x684

Sailing in the Growth Zone

The Goal This year, I’ve had a specific goal to be a better sailor. Some people have laughed and said, “Why do you need to be a better sailor? This was my 22nd year racing on the same boat, with the same crew. I like to win and want to make sure we stay at the top of the fleet. ...read more