More than 250 youth sailors will compete on the Caloosahatchee River this Saturday and Sunday in the annual River Romp Sailing Regatta.
The multi-class regatta is a Junior Olympic competition sanctioned by United States Sailing.
About 20 members of the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers will represent Lee County in the competition, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, from the north side of the Caloosahatchee River in North Fort Myers. The two-day competition continues at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
Sailors ranging in age from 8-17 will compete in International Optimist, Club 420, Laser Full, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 classes. US Sailing officials will observe up-and-coming young sailors. Some Optimist National Team members will compete.
The River Romp Sailing Regatta is the second largest youth regatta in Florida and one of the Junior Olympic sanctioned events during 2013.
"The Florida sailing community looks forward to visiting Lee County each year for this regatta," said Stephanie Webb, regatta chair, in a prepared statement. "Lee County is a perfect sailing venue, and with the fresh win of Team Oracle in the America's Cup, interest in sailing has increased."
Most sailors bring two family members with them to the regatta, which means about 750 visitors will be staying in Lee County hotels and frequenting area businesses.
The regatta is hosted by the Edison Sailing Center and supported by the Lee County Sports Authority and Lee County Parks & Recreation. The regatta is free and open to spectators. Sailing is visible from Centennial Park in Fort Myers.
For more information about the regatta, visit www.edisonsailingcenter.org.