2023 Rainbow Regatta hosted by the Salty Sisters
April 3rd brought hustle and bustle to downtown St. Pete’s waterfront. With 65 sailors registered, Sunfishes, prams and optis occupied the parking lot of beautiful North Shore Park. Thanks goes to the Salty Sisters, led by Marti Cochran, who coordinated with the City of St. Petersburg for exclusive use of this property. It was perfect and made parking, rigging and launching easy and convenient. The day was spent unloading trailers and rigging on the shore by the many FWSA sailors who were preparing for a practice race and gearing up for the annual FWSA Rainbow Regatta the following day. The weather was beautiful and the wind cooperated for a sun-lit and scenic beach launch and the race was completed without a hitch. Sailors and Race Committee personnel came off the water and were confident that the next day’s official race was going to be spectacular…there were even manatee sightings!
After the practice race, FWSA sailors gathered at 3 Daughter’s brewery for a night filled with great beer and tacos but most importantly, it was a night of reuniting and socializing with a wonderful group of FWSA friends from the west coast of Florida who share a love of sailing. Many of us even stayed late for night tactics and to try our hand (or mind) at a little bit of trivia.
On the morning of April 4th, sailors, Race Committee personnel, and many, many volunteers arrived at the park with hopeful thoughts that the light winds would continue so that we could get in our races. We were greeted under the tent with a special welcome by co-chairs Jennifer Anderson and Jennifer Parramore and the commodore of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Brian Smith. Gina Bowden-Pierce and Margo Currey, our stellar PRO’s for the day continued our morning kick-off with a skipper’s meeting and then we headed to the beach.
Five Prams and 13 Optis launched first from the beach, followed by 47 Sunfish. The first race was started in very light wind (3-4 kts) and unfortunately dropped to zilch before we made it to the windward mark. However, it was a beautiful day to paddle or be towed in ☺
After boats were washed and put back on their trailers, we enjoyed a delicious lunch under the tent and then thank you’s were given by the Salty Sisters to the many volunteers that made the regatta happen. Although no trophies were awarded, a good two days was experienced by all. A huge thank you to all the Salty Sisters who provided FWSA members with a fabulous 2023 Rainbow Regatta!!
As we start our preparations for next year we are putting in our order with the wind gods for 8-12 knots, sunshine and 70 degree temperatures.
The 2024 Rainbow Regatta will be hosted by the Luffing Lassies in Sarasota in coordination with a celebration of FWSA’s 50th anniversary of sisterhood and sailing.
There is nothing better!
Joy Sheets, FWSA Vice President
The Rainbow Regatta is held each spring and hosted by FWSA Member Clubs on a rotating basis, generally in alphabetical order.