Ticking all the right boxes
DETROIT, MICH. (April 16, 2018) – The best thing about this year’s Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race just may be that there will be little change in how the event’s 94th edition, scheduled for July 14, unfolds. The world’s longest consecutively run fresh water race, organized by Bayview Yacht Club, has a devoted title sponsor in Bell’s Brewery and is as good as it gets when it comes to annually delivering exciting racing as well as colorful fun both before its start on lower Lake Huron and after its finish at Mackinac Island.
“There just isn’t a race like this anywhere else in the world,” said Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Chair Gary Shoemaker, who also is a member of the Mackinac Race Authority, charged with keeping the race competitive, fair and fun for its participants while protecting the race’s viability for the future. “We work hard to be thoughtful and thorough in our decisions about the on-water competition so that we will have safe racing and the competitors will want to come back. As well, we have the tradition of Boat Night on the Black River the Friday prior to the start, and then hundreds of spectators line the shores as the fleet heads out on Saturday morning. After finishes on Sunday and Monday, the Pink Pony (an iconic bar on the island) is where most of the sailors find their way to get an delicious Bell’s Beer once they get their boats cleaned up, and finally, on Tuesday they attend a giant awards celebration on the grounds of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. Nobody throws a party like we do. Three hours of live music, awards…with 2,500 of our closest friends…it’s pretty spectacular.”
|The many sides of Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race include vibrant shore-side activities both prior to the start and after the finish. Clockwise from left: last year’s winner Il Mostro at the finish; Boat Night on the Black River; parade to the start; Awards Party at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. (Photo Credit: Martin Chumiecki/Bayview Yacht Club) |
? With a registration deadline of June 1, 131 boats have signed up, thus far, for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which alternates its schedule with the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (July 21). The events are only a week apart, and Shoemaker is targeting a fleet numbering in the low 200s, which would keep the race at its averages for the last five years. (In 2016, the last time the race preceded the Chicago Mac, 219 teams entered.)
? Last year ORR-EZ replaced PHRF for the smaller boats sailing in Racing classes on the Shore Course of 204 nm, while ORR was maintained for the larger boats sailing in Racing classes on the longer Cove Island Course of 259 nm. That will happen again in 2018, with both courses also hosting Doublehanded, Cruising and One-Design classes. The Cove Island Course will provide for a Multihull class as well. So far, the Racing class on the Cove Island Course is showing to be the largest, with 48 teams registered. In the Racing class for the Shore Course, 17 are entered.
? One-Design classes are looking strong again with 10 J/120s, five J/35s and eight Beneteau First 36.7s among the registrants for the Cove Island Division, while six C&C 35 MKIs and four Santana 35s have signed up for the Shore Course division. (A minimum of 10 boats is required to constitute a class, and there has been interest shown by the Tartan 10 class.)
? Twenty-two cruising boats have signed up for the Shore Course, while four are showing for the Cove Island Course racing. These are classes, along with the Double-handed, that Shoemaker sees strengthening over the coming years.
? Trophies for the 2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race include the J.L. Hudson Trophy for the boat with the best corrected time in Division I and the Canadian Club Classic Trophy for the boat with the best corrected time in Division II. Special competitions include the Corinthian Challenge (for all-amateur teams) and the Pro-Team Sports Challenge (held in conjunction with community partner Set Sail for Autism and the Detroit Sports Media Association) as well as the North Sails Yacht Club Challenge.
Sponsors for the 2018 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race include Bell's Brewery, Grand Hotel, Gill, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry, North Sails, Pentastar Aviation, Aitken Ormond Insurance, Frankenmuth Insurance, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Vortexx Pressure Washers, Sykes Webster, and Bayview Yacht Club Foundation. Supporters are Detroit Sports Media, Marx Layne, Marygrove Awnings, Mike's Marine Supply, General RV Center, and Thomas Hardware Company.
For more information go to www.bycmack.com or contact Race Chairman Gary Shoemaker at firstname.lastname@example.org
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