In the fall of 1993, I was fleet captain for the Punta Gorda Sailing Club. E. David Johnson, a local attorney and crew member on my sailboat Skaal, asked me if I thought a regatta to help the Royal Order of Ponce de Leon Conquistadors would be a good thing and doable. He also imagined, “Wouldn’t it be great to drive over the Peace River bridge and see 100 sailboats on the Harbor?” I said it sure would and so together we set out to create the Conquistador Cup.
We picked April 2, 1994, for our first cup race. That coincided with a Conquistador-planned week-long celebration that was to include fishing, golf, shuffleboard, tennis tournaments and even a window decorating contest in downtown Punta Gorda. It was to be the start of a yearly celebration for the Conquistadors.
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