Fort Myers, Florida – The sailing club with the unusual name – Caloosahatchee Marching & Chowder Society (CMCS) – began celebrating a milestone achievement on Saturday. Their annual Change of Watch Banquet was held January 11th at the Marina at Edison Ford with live entertainment from The Pitbull of the Blues band and kicked off their 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2020.
Local historian and acclaimed author and speaker, Robert N. Macomber – also a founding member of CMCS – gave a keynote speech and led the toast ushering in the club’s 50th year in Southwest Florida.
Macomber regaled the crowd with memories of other founding members and their colorful personalities, events and boats that helped keep the CMCS fleet unique and successful since its inception in 1970. He noted that keeping events fun, casual and creative have always been a signature style of the club. Deciding from the beginning not to own real estate property has also proven a key to success; keeping the club flexible with operations and meeting locations while watching many more formal yacht clubs fade into history throughout the years.
To fulfill the Change of Watch, outgoing 2019 Commodore Jason Pim installed Jim Slager as the club’s leader for the 2020 calendar year and recognized incoming and outgoing officers and board members. Rear Commodore of Cruising Roy Malkin awarded the CMCS Cruising & Exploration Award to Kim Brown and Judy Anderson, who narrowly beat out other members in having the most cruises and nights out on the water in 2019.
Captain Diane Fowler and Roger Wood earned the club’s Bomgardner Award, which goes to the most well-rounded and prolific sailors; those who earned the most points participating in both club cruising and racing events throughout the year.
The 2019 Racing fleet champions in Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker and True Cruising classes will be recognized at the club’s January membership meeting on January 21st at the Cape Coral Yacht Club and is open to guests. On January 26th, CMCS will host a Chili Cook-off event at the same venue, and then a Winter Sailboat Racing Series will be held on each Saturday from January 25 – February 22 off Fort Myers Beach, FL.