The U.S. F18 Class Association awarded the 2015 F18 Americas Championship to Charlotte Harbor Regatta, Inc. The international event is scheduled for Oct. 17-25, 2015 at Port Charlotte Beach Park in Charlotte County, Fla.
“The U.S. F18 fleet is very excited to be returning to Florida for the F18 Americas Championship next year. Charlotte Harbor's bid was very well received by the fleet and everyone is looking forward to awesome sailing and Southwest Florida hospitality," said U.S. F18 Class Association President Mike Easton.
The event is expected to attract more than 60 boats from around the world to Charlotte Harbor and marks the second international sailing competition to be awarded to Charlotte Harbor Regatta Inc. in recent years. The non-profit organization, which was formed in 2009 to promote sailing on Charlotte Harbor, also ran the 2012 International Association for Disabled Sailing World Championships.
“We’re thrilled by the confidence the F18 class has shown in Charlotte Harbor Regatta by awarding us this prestigious international regatta,” said CHR Chairman Brian Gleason, who traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, to present the organization’s bid during the class’s 2014 national championship regatta. “While our growing reputation as a premier racing venue has spread in recent years, the F18 Americas will help us expand on our previous efforts and raise the profile of Charlotte Harbor even more.”
The bid was supported with a grant from the Charlotte Harbor Visitors and Convention Bureau and CHR will partner with the Charlotte County Community Services Department to stage the regatta at Port Charlotte Beach Park. County tourism director Laura Steiner welcomed the announcement and the opportunity to showcase the harbor.
“This is a very prestigious event which will bring international attention to Charlotte Harbor as a world-class sailing destination,” Steiner said. “This is an excellent example of a successful public/private partnership.
Gleason said past participants in the annual Charlotte Harbor Regatta, many of whom were competing in Texas, were instrumental in the national class granting the 2015 event.
“We’ve enjoyed sailing in the Charlotte Harbor Regatta over the years and we’re excited to see the F18 Americas Championship coming to the venue,” said Dave Ingram, the class’s southern U.S. representative and a repeat CHR participant.
For F18 sailors who want to get a sneak peak at Charlotte Harbor, the 2015 Charlotte Harbor Regatta, which is set for Feb. 5-8, 2015, includes the F18 fleet.