Marco Sailing Center poised for expansion

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Rocky Cale is pleased with the Marco Island Community Sailing Center’s physical growth over the last year and he’s happy to show the improvements to the rest of the world.

Cale, sailing center president, points with pride to the 120-feet of beach area that’s been added since the start of 2012 and the storage shed and additional training boats that addition has allowed.

Those improvements were highlighted during the city Parks and Recreation Department program’s first open house.

“We want to get better public exposure and to show what our facility is all about,” said Rocky Cale, sailing center president.

Located at the base of the S.S. Jolley Bridge, and next to the Marco Island Yacht Club parking lot, the Sailing Center has a summer youth sailing instruction program.

Cale said the future could see an after-school program established for students at Marco Island Charter Middle School and the addition of an adult program.

Dominic Martin approached the Sailing Center Saturday with excitement gleaming from his eyes.

Martin, 10, of Marco, was there with Karen Shepard of Naples.

“We heard about the summer sailing program, so we decided to come on down to see if he’d be interested in getting into it,” said Shepard. “I hear that it’s a great program, so we’re going to give him a chance.”

Martin’s gaze was fixed on the nearby beachfront where small sailboats awaited willing passengers, eager for a supervised free ride.

“She just told me about it and it sounded like fun,” said Martin.

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