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Summerset Regatta draws 36 sailboats for weekend racing

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Oct 5, 2021

There were 36 entrants in this weekend’s 56th Summerset Regatta on Fort Myers Beach. The overall winner was Cape Coral’s Tim Horner for his times in Saturday’s short-distance races and Sunday’s long-distance race.

At the after party for the 56th Summerset Regatta, one would have been hard-pressed to find a complainer among the sailors dining at the buffet at the Original Shrimp Dock Bar & Grill.

Bright sunny skies, no rain and steady winds made for smooth sailing on the Gulf of Mexico off Fort Myers Beach this past weekend for the annual competition which drew 36 sailboats.

When it was all over, it was Cape Coral’s Tim Horner holding the winner’s trophy for the non-spinnaker division. The skipper, a native of Minnesota, headed a two-person crew aboard his “Eroica.” Together, they guided the 33-feet long Tartan boat to two first-place finishes in the shorter buoy races and a third-place finish in the distance race. The distance race went from Fort Myers Beach to Knapps Point off Sanibel after a late change in the schedule.

Horner’s boat, named after Beethoven’s third symphony, was also the West Florida Performance Handicap Racing Fleet non-spinnaker boat of the year for Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Florida in the 2020-21 season.

Horner credited his crew of Cape Coral’s Justin Buckshire and Port Charlotte’s Brandi DeLancey with their win over the weekend. “Without the crew, there is no way we could have done this,” Horner said. He stressed their “attention to detail” in the victory. “To have a good crew, they have to be smart people.”

“Trimming the sail for the best boat speed” is key, he said.

“This boat is an awesome boat,” Horner said. “I love competitive sailing.”

Horner, who runs a long-term care insurance business, has been active in the Summerset Regatta races since moving to Florida in 2004.

He said he chose to name his boat after Beethoven’s “Eroica” because he said the composer’s third symphony is “great for sailing, for competing.”

A native of Lake Minnetonka, Horner has been sailing since he was 16 growing up near Lake Minnetonka where he and friends used to build sailboats. “A lot of my buddies in high school were into sailing,” he said.

Buckshire called Horner “a great teacher, a great skipper. That’s why I joined his crew.”

Buckshire said knowing “when to tack and when not to tack, reading the waves and the wind” were among the key factors in their successful performance. “The wind is always changing,” he said.

Other top finishers in the 56th Summerset Regatta were Eric Millbrandt’s “Full Tilt,” which took first place in the spinnaker division.

Mike Busher’s “Serendipity” was the top finisher in the “A” division of the cruiser non-spinnakers while Brock Johnson’s “The Lone Ranger” finished first in the “B” division.

Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society Vice Commodore Beverly Duff was pleased with the weekend’s sailing adventures, which also included a barbecue at Salty Sam’s Marina and a skipper’s meeting at Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe and Tiki Bar.

“It went very well,” Duff said. “Fabulous winds, good weather, good seas. Everybody seemed to have fun and enjoyed themselves. We had excellent hosts.”