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Bird Key revitalizes Sarasota Bay Cup with charitable partnership

The Mote Regatta will be held on April 21 and 22.


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  • | 6:00 a.m. April 12, 2017
Bird Key Yacht Club Commodore Charlie Wilson and Mote President and CEO Michael Crosby
Bird Key Yacht Club Commodore Charlie Wilson and Mote President and CEO Michael Crosby
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A view of Sarasota Bay almost always includes a sailboat or two with their billowing sails and surrounding sparkling water.

This year, on April 22 specifically, expect nearly 100 more of the picturesque craft. The Sarasota Bay Cup is back for another year. 

After a two-year hiatus while its marina base was being renovated, Bird Key Yacht Club is returning as the regatta host and is bringing Mote Marine Laboratory along for the ride. Last November, race chairman Bill Jacobs and other organizers strategized on how they could bring the regatta back in a special way.

Jacobs knew charitable regattas had succeeded elsewhere and thought about giving it a try, which was followed quickly with the idea of Mote as a beneficiary. After meeting with Michael Crosby, Mote’s president and CEO, Jacobs brought his idea before Bird Key’s board of governors. The regatta is now just two weeks away.

“We’re just honored by this,” Crosby said. “For these folks in our community to feel that Mote is without a question the organization they want to support with this regatta, it’s a perfect fit. We’re truly honored to be the first-ever charitable partner in what is a classic regatta event.”

The funds generated from the regatta will go toward Mote’s general research, which involves monitoring the health of Sarasota Bay.

Crosby said Mote will enter a boat and, while racing, use it to experiment with various natural products to repel hull fouling.

“We’re very proud to have a couple great sailors here at Mote ... and we’re in it to win it,” he said. “We’re always trying to do science, every day we’re trying to do science.”

Jacobs hopes to continue the idea of a charitable regatta, and he likes the idea of continuing to partner with Mote.

“Our goal is to try and keep it with Mote Marine,” he said.

To register visit birdkeyyc.com and click “Register for Regatta.”