APOLLO BEACH – The coveted Pirate Musketoon Award is once again securely on display at the Tampa Sailing Squadron clubhouse in Apollo Beach.
During its 50th annual Gasparilla Regatta Feb. 7, the squadron recaptured the award from longtime rival the Davis Island Yacht Club following a grueling race hampered by fog and 12-knot winds.
“I haven’t seen that many sailors wearing foul-weather gear since I was on Leman Lake in Switzerland,” said regatta chairman and vice commodore Dan Fels.
The fog, however, didn’t deter the hard-core sailors from pulling up anchor and setting sail from Apollo Beach.
“We had 29 boats in the race,” said Fels. “Only two didn’t make it.”
Despite the weather, Fels said the squadron’s 50th annual event went off without a hitch.
“It was definitely a success,” he said. “And getting the award back was icing on the cake. We were pretty pleased. Davis Island only had it for a year.”
Scoring for the award is done by adding the points from racer/cruiser, true cruiser and mother lode classes for each club.
In keeping with the Gasparilla tradition, crews dressed in pirate costume for the regatta’s 10 races, with winners announced at a post-regatta dinner at the squadron’s clubhouse.
In the Spinnaker Class, first place went to Jabberwocky, captained by Jeremiah Laureano. In the Non-Spinnaker Class, Wing-It, captained by Mike Doyle, captured the title. In the True Cruiser Class, Capt. Doug Smith led cruiser Emily Sue to victory. And in the Mother Lode Class, Capt. John Chapman captured first place in Sweet Surrender.
“The celebration was a huge success,” said Fels. “We served more than 175 dinners, including 39 full racks of ribs.”
In addition to the ribs prepared on the squadron’s smoker, the dinner included home-smoked tuna provided by squadron member Angus Reiger, Greek salad from Alpha Pizza of Apollo Beach, corn on the cob and 30 homemade desserts prepared by squadron members.
For more information about the Tampa Sailing Squadron, visit www.sail-tss.org.
D’Ann Lawrence White is a freelance writer who can be reached at email@example.com.