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Bahamian man wins 4th radio-controlled sailboat regatta
By News-Press.com
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:00:58 AM

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Rocky Cale, left, Bryan Milk, winner Jim Kaighin and George Domenech gather for the regatta awards ceremony at Mackle Park Lake. / Sue Keller/marcoislandflorida.com

Competition and love of the sport brought 27 skippers from around the U.S. and beyond to the 10th annual RC Laser National Championship Regatta for three days of model sailboat racing at Mackle Park.

“Dave Brawner, president of the American Model Yachting Association, is well versed in all the rules and runs a very good regatta,” said George Domenech host of the regatta along with Rocky Cale.

Brawner had a team of helpers that included Harvey Spriggs, Dave Dumas and Mary Lee Cale.

The competition included two fleets and 34 heats.

Jim Kaighin from the Bahamas got his fourth regatta win at Mackle Park and his third North American Championship.

This year, the only female competitor was 13-year-old Lindsay Kaighin from Sarasota.

A natural at sailing, she belongs to the Sarasota youth sailing program, where she competes in sailing an optima, a dingy about 8 feet long with a single sail. This was her first time competing in a remote-control regatta with her dad and uncle.

“Great regatta with new faces. Hats off to Lindsay. I know she is going to be back ... bring your friends next year,” said secretary Dave Brannings

RC Lasers North Americans supplied the trophies for the Regatta.

“Every winter we give the winner a red hat. I don’t think Jim needs another one,” said Domenech, presenting the hat to Lindsey Kaighin as Rookie of the Regatta.

Theresa Raegay from St. Petersburg sells RC laser sailboats. This was not her first time at the regatta.

“This is some of the best racing I’ve seen,” said Raegay. “Great sportsmanship, challenging racers and a brand new rookie who almost took the show.”

“I don’t know whether I want to say that was more fun or more stressful, but the whole weekend was stressful with Barr and Rob chasing me down, said winner Jim Kaighin. “What a fun regatta as it always is.”

Bryan Milk, city of Marco Island director of community affairs, presented the trophies to winners on Sunday.

“Every year I have a budget to promote to the City Council and Rocky Cale and George Domenech inspire me because they help me all the time,” said Milk.

“Bryan Milk has been very instrumental letting us have the set up that we have here at Mackle Park Lake,” said Domenech. “This is one of the best sailing venues in the United States. This is what this lake should be used for.”

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