Pro-Team Challenge: From Novel Idea to Trophy-Worthy Tradition
DETROIT, MICH. (June 30, 2016) – For the first time in its seven-year history, the Pro-Team Challenge at the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, known unofficially as the “race within the race”, will be recognized officially as a class. The announcement was made at a media event in June where celebrity representatives from the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers participated in a blind draw to choose four Michigan boats to represent them in the famed race to Mackinac Island that is hosted by Bayview Yacht Club and begins its 92nd edition on Saturday, July 16.
|Set Sail for Autism representatives join celebrity sports figures and mascots “Hooper” (Detroit Pistons), “Roary” (Detroit Lions), “Paws” (Detroit Tigers) and “Grizz” (Oakland University, home of Set Sail for Autism) at a media event to select entrants in the Pro-Team Sports Challenge, now an official class within the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. (Photo credit: Bill Eisner) |
Click here for video of the drawing for Pro-Team Challenge teams.
The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, working with Bayview Yacht Club and Detroit’s four professional sports teams, started the race in 2010. Since then, the competition has become a favorite among sailing crews. The chosen owners and crews each plan a visit to their respective team and are outfitted in team gear and given flags to fly during the race.
“Six years ago, when we were brainstorming this concept, we never could have thought it would become so popular with the sailors and Detroit’s pro sports teams,” said Bill Harrington, Officer, Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. “I was a bit surprised at the competition between the teams and the pride they take in winning. Everyone has really embraced this competition.”
This year’s Pro-Team Challenge also will include representatives from Set Sail for Autism as honorary team members, giving them the opportunity to participate in all activities associated with the program, including the pro-team visit. Set Sail for Autism, a program to help young adults with autism reach their full potential, benefits Oakland University’s Center for Autism and is a community partner of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.
The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race offers two courses: the Cove Island Course of 259 nautical miles and the Shore Course of 204 nautical miles. The Mackinac Race Authority’s new rule states: Teams will be scored by their overall finish in each team’s respective division. The team with the best overall finish in its respective division will be declared winner of the Pro-Team Challenge.
The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association presented a plaque recognizing all the past winners of the Pro-Team Challenge and the pro team they represented. It hangs at Bayview Yacht Club and will be updated with 2016’s winners.
Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Pro-Team Challenge contenders for 2016 are: Ed Vermet/John Hughes’ J/120 Nauti Boys, representing Bayview Yacht Club/Detroit Yacht Club/Detroit Pistons on Cove Island Course; Tom Day’s Islander 36 Alliance, representing Albatross Yacht Club/Detroit Lions on Shore Course; Matthew Schriner’s Santana 35 Flash, representing Port Huron Yacht Club/Detroit Red Wings on Shore Course; and James F. Shaw’s Santana 35 Its a Zoo, representing Port Huron Yacht Club/Detroit Tigers on Shore Course. Set Sail for Autism representatives are Evan Anderson (Pistons), Evan Hodge (Lions), Will Brunetti (Red Wings), and Jake Skelly (Tigers).
Past Winners of the Pro-Team Challenge are:
Year Boat Team
2015 Legend Lions
2014 Mostly Harmless Pistons
2013 Shenanigan Lions
2012 Notso EZ Money Red Wings
2011 Sorcery Red Wings
2010 Epic Tigers
For the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race NOR, go to www.bycmack.com and click the "Documents/Forms" tab. To register, click here.
Joining Bell’s Beer in sponsoring the 2015 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Mich., Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Aitken and Ormand Insurance, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Pentastar Aviation, and the Bayview Yacht Club Foundation.
More About Bayview Yacht Club
Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. Located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair, it has been hosting the Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925 and has more than 1,000 members. For more information: www.byc.com.