From the Chair-
The 1st day of July! Already! I’m not quite sure where they time has gone, but the Race is upon us. So, a few things to take care of prior to the race…
Thank you to all who’ve submitted your rating certificates, etc. At this point in time, about half the fleet is ready to print their ‘boarding passes’, having completed all the information required. The other half of the fleet….. well, not so much. So, despite my hope in the last message that it would be final ‘nagging’ message, I’ve got to nag a little more-
Rating certificates – the preliminary splits have been posted; I expect them be finalized about the middle of next week due to the July 4th holiday. Don’t see a rating for your boat yet? While there have been a few challenges and some certificates are still pending (they should arrive early next week), for the most part if you’ve submitted your certificate but don’t see your rating posted, it’s because you’ve neglected to do that one thing I keep asking for….. you didn’t sign your certificate and the rating certificates are not valid without a signature in accordance with ORR and ORR-EZ Rules. So, sign that certificate and get it uploaded (or send a signed copy to me and I will upload it for you with pleasure), then you’ll see your rating posted on the website. Another reason to sign your certificate: I will not approve your entry until you do so. That in turn means that you can’t print your boarding pass prior to registration at Bayview or Port Huron and that darned unsigned rating certificate will be in your skipper’s package for you to sign at registration, which means you could hold up the line, which means…and so on and so on. Please, just sign them and send them now.
Other reasons you think that your entry should be approved but isn’t – take a look at your boat’s information screen. Is the information accurate? Anything left out? Here comes the big hint: is your boat registration information (State of registration, registration numbers, expiration date) all there and correct? I make a real effort to contact you all by email if there’s information that’s missing or needs updating to detail exactly what is needed for approval.
I also review your crew list and have perhaps requested a parental waiver for the crew members who may be considered minors (the reason why you and your crew members birth year(s) is/are requested). Has the waiver been returned to me?
I know this seems to be a bunch of unrelated stuff of little importance to you, but to the Race organizers the little stuff is critical in order to run a safe, fair and fun regatta irrespective of whether it’s the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race or an off-the-dock race and I appreciate your attention to the details. And a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you, whether you’re ready to print your boarding pass or still have a little work to do. I appreciate your patience with me as we go through this process together – for answering all the questions I’ve asked of you to make sure I’m understanding your intentions correctly or for sending you to another person who can answer some of your questions better than I.
Now – the nagging is done and onto other stuff! The 2017 Super Mack will still be racing despite attracting only about half the boats targeted. I’m not sure why that is frankly, but at the request of Chicago Yacht Club and only at the request of Chicago Yacht Club, the Super Mack will go on.
This is about the time that the anxiety about the Race starts to set in. ‘Do I have all the safety equipment I need?’ Check the Safety Equipment Requirements. ‘Can I get a boat inspection prior to the Race?’ Ask Bob Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org or 586-291-2818). ‘Are my sails in good shape?’ You should know that by now, but if not, ask your sailmaker. ‘Have I provisioned the boat with adequate food/water?’ I can’t answer that one for you (LOL!)-
I attended a meeting in Port Huron this past week with respect to the Race, so this is a good opportunity to remind you to: a) give Dock Master Mike Davenport a call at 810-531-4497 if you need special docking in Port Huron, and b) hail the Dock Master on Channel 9 to receive specific docking instructions when you enter the Black River.
A more sober thought: with the proliferation of motor vehicle terror related attacks around the world in the last year, our Race (like many of our college or professional sports arenas) could be considered prime targets, I suppose. I have certainly noticed increased security measures at the football games (‘Go Blue! Go Green! Go Gators! Go ‘Bama! Go Longhorns! Go [insert your team here]!’) that I attend. And with so many of us provisioning our boats in Port Huron from shore side, I merely want you to be aware that auto access may be more restricted than we recall from last year. So, please, respect law enforcement officials and first responders and their requests as they are both concerned and responsible for our collective safety. And of course, ‘if you see something, say something’.
Good news- no road construction on I-94 from Detroit to Port Huron! Or at least there wasn’t last Monday.
I may not get another message out before the start of our Race and if I do, it may be missed by those of you who will be on your way to the Chicago race. To make sure I reach everyone, let me just once again thank you all for your support throughout the year. Be Safe, Sail fast, Have fun!
Tricia Smotherman, Race Chair, 2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race