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SW Florida Sailboat Racing Clinic to be held at Pink Shell
October 10, 2018

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Offshore Sailing School will kick off its 55th anniversary with a special clinic at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina this December.

Offshore Sailing School Director of Marketing Beth Oliver said the racing clinic is one of the many activities they are undertaking for their 55th anniversary banner.

"We will be celebrating that in 2019, but actually kicking it off with the clinic at the Pink Shell," she said.

The SW Florida Sailboat Racing Clinic will be held from Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina.

The clinic, which has been held at Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands, changed locations to Pink Shell last year due to the hurricanes.

"All the participants loved it, and we are doing it again," Oliver said.

The Go-For-The-Gold Guest Expert and lead coach for the SW Florida Sailboat Racing Clinic is Morgan Reeser. During the clinic he will conduct morning and lunch seminars, facilitate recaps at the end of each day and participate in on-board coaching.

"He is going to be leading the coaching and shore- based seminars," she said.

Reeser was named US Sailing National Coach of the Year by the Untied States Olympic Committee in 2014. In 2000, he retired following the Sydney Olympic Trials and became a full-time coach for Olympic competitors.

Other coaches for the week will include Tom Babel, who has more than 40 years of sailboat racing, sail making and coaching experience; Rod Favela, who is the owner of Vela Sailing Supply and an expert on performance rigging and layout and Charlie Smythe, who is a Grand Prix sailor, boat captain and seasoned coach.

Oliver said the four-day clinic is a great tune-up for those who live in the colder parts of the country and put their boat away for the winter.

"They are not able to sail unless they go to the warm racing circuit. This December is a winter ice breaker. They can get their tune-up and learn new skills, so they are ready in the spring for the frost to thaw," she said.

The one bedroom villa accommodations packages include two sailors for $4,320 per person, three sailors for $4,085 per person, four sailors for $3,970 per person and a single sailor for $5,030.

"You do have to have some sailing experience. We are not teaching how to sail, but using basic skills and enhancing them to learn how to race, or race better," Oliver said.

The package includes such items as five night accommodations in a White Sands Villa at Pink Shell Beach Resort; 18 hours of coached racing instructions and practice races; seven in-depth shore seminars; six hours of regatta racing; a complimentary meet-and-greet orientation party with hors d'oeuvres and island punch; two full breakfast complimentary coupons; box lunches at lunchtime seminars; barbecue on the beach Tuesday and an awards dinner Thursday.

"It's a hands-on racing clinic for those sailors that have basic sailing skills and experience. It enables them to learn more, or new strategies and tactics to win more regattas," Oliver said, adding that members of clubs and racing organizations register because they want to increase their skills.

Once sailors arrive to the clinic they will attend a welcome reception, allowing everyone to meet their crew mates. Oliver said they put together four individuals based on their sailing and racing experience, which is done through a racing resume.

"It's action packed," she said of the clinic.

There are 16 spots available for the clinic. To register, call (888) 454-7015, email sail@offshoresailing.com, or visit www.ofshoresailing.com.

Other anniversary events will include an Insider's Guide to the BVI Sailing Flotilla, which is scheduled for February 2019. Oliver said with Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria having gone through Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands they want everyone to know that they are back up and running.

"Scrub Island is having their grand reopening this week," Oliver said Monday afternoon. "The British Virgin Islands are back up and running. We want to help stimulate more people returning to the British Virgin Islands and show them the recovery efforts. We are hosting one of our six flotilla sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands in February."

She said the Colgates - Steve, who is 83, and Doris, who is 76 - are still completely in charge of the company and are cohosting that flotilla.

Over the 55 years, Oliver said they have graduated 150,000 people through their programs.

"We have a very loyal graduate base. Our No. 1 referrals come from friends and family," she said. "We are very fortunate to have an exceptional reputation."

Ninety-nine percent of their participants are from the United States who travel to destinations for the sailing experience.

There are a handful of Offshore Sailing School courses individuals can take at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina.

Oliver said for $150 per person, individuals can take sailing lessons. She said it requires two people per lesson at a two hour minimum.

Other courses offered are Learn to Sail Courses, Fast Track to Cruising Courses, Live Aboard Cruising Courses, Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses and Corporate and Group Outings and Team Building.

Oliver said they also have a woman's week, Fast Track Cruising Course, coming up at Pink Shell in 2019. She said the course is for women and taught by women.

"Doris is a spearhead for getting more women into racing. When she married Steve and married the company, one of her first efforts was starting the National Women's Sailing Association. Then she started the Women's Sailing Foundation that provided ways and monetary support to get more women and girls into sailing," Oliver said.

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