67 Years Young!

Old City Pier

Old City Pier

This weekend is the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s 67th Annual Labor Day Regatta. If it were a building it would be eligible for historic designation.  If it were a person he/she would be eligible for retirement benefits (or a Golden Buckeye Card for all you from Ohio).  As an event, it is clearly the longest running sporting event in the City of Sarasota.  If there is any competition at all it might be lawn bowling but those octogenarian's aren't due back in town for a couple more months so I don’t know who to ask.

It is actually one of the longest running sailing regattas in the United States and the undisputed champion this side of the Mississippi River, below the Mason Dixon Line.  No question about it.

The Sarasota Sailing Squadron Labor Day Regatta began before what we know as Bird Key even existed as a land mass!  Country Club Shores didn't exist and the coolest place to party in town was a casino on Lido that’s been gone for 45 years.

The headlines in 1947 included Discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls, Jackie Robinson signs with Brooklyn Dodgers, Army Debunks Roswell Flying Disk Rumor and Hollywood Blacklist Created…

67 years young as we say here in Sarasota…a town where 90 year olds are still being treated for sports related injuries.

67 years young with over 200 preregistered racers as I write this on Tuesday.  We are expecting over 300 boats on the water which means event will involve thousands of people.

Donna Hillmyer is our Regatta Chair this year and what a fine job she is doing.

Donna is showing our organization this event is very young and has a great deal of unrealized potential.

It is only under her direction that we have grown our sponsor list to include generous donors like Intercoastal Medical Group, Gulf Auto Clinic, Action Quest, Duncan Seawall, Z Blok, Coffin Jewelers and Publix Supermarkets.

It is only under her direction that we have reached out to St. Armands merchants to participate in the crowds who will be coming to our little key in a few days.  Partners include Island Pursuits, Florida Destinations, FantaSea, Café L’Europe and a number of other retailers.

And most importantly, it is only under her direction that we have partnered with All Faiths Food Bank to create a food drive involving yet another group of commercial participants acting as donors and drop off destinations for food donations.

There are so many new and exciting elements to this 67 year YOUNG event I can’t even begin to list them in this article so I implore you to visit our website for additional details and plan on spending some time at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron this weekend seeing how you can help and have fun.


67 Years Young! — 4 Comments

  1. I am so proud to be a member of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. The venue is beautiful, the volunteers are so talented and the commitment to the promotion of sailing is unsurpassed. Here’s to another 67 years in which many more changes will take place, but the spirit will remain the same.

  2. Thank you Donna and Dave Hillmyer, Zoe Burnett and all the volunteers, sponsors and sailors who made this event successful.

  3. What a terrific article Donna – you have truly put your heart and soul into this event and into the community! Way to go!! Enjoy the weekend…you deserve it! – Kati, Doug, Rocket and Drake

  4. Congratulations to Donna Hillmyer and the organization for all the good work & best wishes for what is sure to be another successful regatta.