Mote Marine Laboratory was pleased to accept a Bird Key Yacht Club donation of $10,000 resulting from the April 2017 Sarasota Bay Cup: The Mote Marine Laboratory Regatta competitive sailing race.

This year, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Bird Key Yacht Club joined forces to present the regatta. The historic Sarasota Bay Cup, which dates back to the 1920s is the oldest race on Sarasota Bay. The regatta was discontinued during WWII and resurrected in 2008 by the Bird Key Yacht Club. Then, in 2015 while the club’s marina base was being renovated, the regatta was held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. This year, the club returned as the regatta host with a first-ever commitment to contributing proceeds to a non-profit partner —Mote Marine Laboratory.

“The Club is thrilled about the overall success of this year’s regatta. We met our objectives and at a recent meeting even confirmed our commitment to continuing the partnership with Mote for the 2018 cup,” said Bill Jacobs, 2017 Race Chair.

This year’s race classes included a Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF), which is a handicapping system used for racing. It allows dissimilar classes of sailboats race against each other with the goal of canceling out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each class of boats so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority.

Other classes were one-design races (a form of racing where all boats are virtually identical or similar in design) for Flying Scots and E-Scows (two types of sail boats) and youth sailing races. For the youth sailing, children were completely responsible for sailing their boat.

Next year’s 2018 Sarasota Bay Cup will be held April 21, 2018. According to 2018 Race Chair and Mote volunteer Jon Turner, “As a marine-based club, partnering with an international renowned nonprofit like Mote Marine Laboratory felt like an easy choice.”

Mote Marine Laboratory is also pleased with continuing this partnership as it encourages residents to get outdoors and experience the local waters. “The positive impact of the Sarasota Bay Cup extends far beyond just Mote Marine Laboratory and Bird Key Yacht Club,” said Mote President & CEO, Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “This event brings together participants from so many different yacht clubs and diverse stakeholders in our region who are passionate about sailing, Sarasota Bay and our shared marine environment. In doing so, the regatta participants also helped support our Mote scientists’ efforts in leading today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans.”

Learn more about the 2017 Sarasota Bay Cup: The Mote Marine Laboratory Regatta.