(ran NS, S editions of TAMPA BAY AND STATE)
There are big boats, little boats and a Sunday Scramble just for sailboards. And at the end, there's a party for both participants and spectators in this weekend's Carlisle Classic Regatta.
The Windjammers of Clearwater are sponsoring the races from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Blvd. on Sand Key. The center is across the street from the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. There is no charge for spectators.
After the races, a water taxi will take both participants and spectators from the sailing center to an island party on Compass Island in Clearwater Harbor. A disc jockey will provide music. The awards ceremony will take place at the island party, which will continue until dark.
Tickets for the island party are $12 a person. The cost covers a grouper sandwich or hamburger dinner, drinks and the boat ride. In years past, 350 to 400 people have attended the party.
The weekend's festivities begin tonight with a skipper's meeting at 7 p.m. followed by a party at the sailing center. People still can register for the races from 6 to 7 tonight.
Saturday's races in the gulf are for larger boats with current Performance Handicap Racing Fleet or Florida Offshore Multihull Association ratings. Races in Clearwater Bay are for smaller boats, like catamarans, sailboards and one-designs.
The Sunday Scramble, another race for sailboards, is planned for 9:30 a.m..
About 150 boats are registered for this weekend's events, but there is still room for more.
"This event is a fund-raiser to raise money for the sailing center," said Janet O'Brien, a member of Windjammers. "We donate boats . . . and pay for needy kids' sailing lessons. We really promote sailing in the community, and we have a lot of fun."
Windjammers of Clearwater has about 300 members who meet at the sailing center at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
For information on Windjammers of Clearwater or to register for any of the Carlisle Classic races, call Ted or Janet O'Brien at 785-8634.