CLEARWATER - Mother Nature punished the Memorial Holiday Boat Parade, organized by the Island Estates Yacht Club, with low tides, brisk winds, and cool temperatures all of which contributed to a reduced number of participating boats. Thirty-six boats, from as far north as Tarpon Springs and south to St. Petersburg, registered for the Saturday, December 9th event. This year the parade honored the memory of Beverly Fey, Paul Adair and Nancy Warfield all members of the yacht club who passed away this year.
The parade began in Mandalay Channel at 6:30 p.m. and navigated its way around many of the canals on Island Estates before heading across the intracoastal waterway to Coachman Park. The parade continued under the Memorial Causeway Bridge and down the Clearwater Marina channel before proceeding past the judging stand at Clearwater Yacht Club.
Judges this year were Bill Horne, Clearwater City Manager; Bill Blum, Fleet Captain of the Island Estates Yacht Club; Frank Briskman, Rear Commodore elect; Clearwater Yacht Club general manager Tom Brusini; and Fay Nicholson.
"I've been a judge of this parade in several past years and this year's boats were absolutely spectacular. The decorations seem to get better and better each year. This is a southern tradition and a wonderful community event that we can all be proud of," said Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne."
The 2006 winners of the Memorial Holiday Boat Parade are:
Best in Parade
Hawk - Cheryl and Joe Salerno, Tarpon Springs
Power Boats 30' or more Category
1st - Razzle Dazzle - Tom Lewis, Clearwater
2nd - Freebird - Frank Jantschek, Indian Shores
3rd - Diogenes - Jim Flynn, Clearwater
Power Boats 29' or less Category
1st - Seahunter - Tom Tafelski, Largo
2nd - TK's Island - W. Todd Fornshell, Clearwater
3rd - Billfish - Bill Seitz, Clearwater
Sail Boat Category
1st - Decision - Bob Roberts, Seminole
2nd - Inspiration - Gardner Lloyd, Clearwater
Many local businesses contributed cash to help fund the boat parade and gift prizes awarded to the winning boats. The Island Estates Yacht Club, a non-profit organization, will donate all cash proceeds above parade expenses to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The Marine Aquarium does a lot of good for our area. The Aquarium was greatly challenged last year with many rescues resulting from Red Tide and they are always in need of operating funds. We are proud of the many local businesses for helping to make this year's parade a success," said Bill Blum, Island Estates Yacht Fleet Captain.
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