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Sail with the Stars

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Imagine playing tennis with Andy Murray, or golf with Tiger Woods or basketball with LeBron James. It’s the stuff of ‘bucket list’ dreams. Sailors can in reality get the chance to crew for the sport’s most celebrated skippers at two special events. The first is the Bitter End Yacht Club’s (BEYC) Pro-Am Regatta, set for October 25 to November 1 out of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. The second is Offshore Sailing School’s 50th Anniversary Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta, which will take place January 8-10, 2015, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

The line-up of legends at the BEYC Pro-Am include icons Dave Perry and Dave Ullman as well as Taylor Canfield (US/World #1 Match Racer), Stephanie Roble (USA #1 Woman Match Racer), Alec Anderson (2013 Champ), Bora Gulari (Moth World Champ) and Anthony Kotoun (US Moth Champ). Skippers and their BEYC guest crews will sail in modified J/24s called IC-24s for the serious racing. Sunsail 384 cats will be used for the Defiance Day races, and Lasers, Hobies and IC-24s for the Scuttlebutt Championships.

“Guests return annually for this event for an opportunity to race with, learn from, and socialize with some of the top sailors on Earth,” says John Glynn. “It’s a great mix of not too serious, but just serious enough competition. Some participants say they learn more in a week at the Pro Am than they learn in an entire summer or year of sailing. And of course, the venue doesn’t hurt. It’s a chance for northern folks to extend their season, or practice up for Key West. This year our key fun feature is the opportunity to see foiler Moths in action, and for some guests, a chance to sail with a world or national foiling Moth champion, or learn how to sail one.”

Headliners at the Offshore Sailing School’s 50th Anniversary Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta include America’s Cup sailors, winning skippers and syndicate heads such as Steve Colgate and Mike Toppa, Ed Baird and Dawn Riley, respectively; Olympic medalists Steve Benjamin and Mark Reynolds; US Olympic Athlete of the Year, Dave Curtis; and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Jud Smith.

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The public is invited to participate as sailors or spectators for only $1,000 per person double occupancy for 3 night accommodations, most meals, regatta, complimentary use of Colgate 26 sailboats and leisure at the Gulf-front Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.

“Offshore Sailing School’s Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta culminates a year of celebrations and special events to commemorate our 50th Anniversary,” says director of marketing, Beth Oliver. “It is a leisure weekend getaway to a sunny, warm beach-front resort in the middle of winter, making new friends and sailing with some of the most accomplished sailors in the world – all while raising funds to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”

For more information on the BEYC Pro-Am call (800) 872-2392, Email: binfo@beyc.com or visit www.beyc.com or for the OSS Pro-Am call 800-221-4326, Email Sail@OffshoreSailing.com or visit www.OffshoreSailing.com

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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