2019 BELL'S BEER BAYVIEW MACKINAC RACE INCLUDES STRONG FIELD OF COMPETITORS AND INCREASED COMMUNITY OUTREACH
95th Running of the Bayview Mackinac Race will feature the longest boat to ever compete, and Warrior Sailing with a crew comprised of military veterans
DETROIT (June 12, 2019) - Bayview Yacht Club, one of the nation's most storied and historical sailing clubs, today announced the kickoff of the 2019 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, the 95th consecutive running of the Bayview Mackinac Race. The popular event starts Saturday, July 20, with the first boats crossing the starting line at 11:30 a.m. on Lake Huron, just north of the Blue Water Bridge.
"It is that wonderful time of year, preparations are underway both on and off the water for the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race," said Bob Nutter, Chair, 2019 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. "For 2019, we have a tremendous field with 220 boats registered to compete, including 38 first time boats, one them being, Whitehawk, a 105 ft. ketch, the longest boat to ever take part in the race."
2019 welcomes back title sponsor, Comstock-based Bell's Brewery for the ninth consecutive year.
"It is hard to believe this is the ninth year Bell's Beer has been the title sponsor of this great event. As a competitor of seven Bayview Mackinac races, I have witnessed firsthand the passion the owners and crews have for competing. For more than 30 years Bell's has shared that same passion for brewing the best beer," said Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell's Brewery. "Through all those races and through all of our growth during that time, we have stayed true to our Michigan roots and are proud to continue our partnership and a shared commitment to the 2019 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race."
Nutter continued, "It is tremendous to have our longtime sponsor Bell's Brewery back on board as boat owners and crews get ready for the challenges Lake Huron presents."
From its traditional start in southern Lake Huron, the fleet will head north on one of two courses. The Shore Course covers 204 nautical miles (235 statute miles) along the Michigan shoreline heading west to the Mackinac Island Bell's Beer Finish Line. The longer Cove Island Course is 259 nautical miles (298 statute miles) and takes sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading west toward the finish line off of Windermere Point on Mackinac Island.
Approximately 2,000 sailors will take part in the annual regatta, with an estimated 75,000 sailing fans, families and partygoers attending the festive activities in Port Huron leading to the Saturday start, and excitement on Mackinac Island for the race finish. 2019 will be the fourth year competitors will race under the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) handicap system for both the Cove Island Course and Shore course (ORR- EZ).
According to Nutter, "When the Mackinac Race Authority (MRA) instituted ORR across the fleet it was designed to deliver more competitive racing based on standardized data for hull dimensions, sail inventory and size, as well as how much crew a boat will carry. We feel it has accomplished its goal."
As in the past, the J.L. Hudson Trophy will be awarded to the overall winner of the Cove Island Course and the Canadian Club Classic Trophy will be awarded to the overall winner of the Shore Course. The Corinthian Trophy will go to the boat with the best corrected time in seconds per mile on either course with an all-amateur crew. The awards ceremony and party will be held at Woodfill Park, located at the foot of the hill leading to Grand Hotel, on Tuesday, July 23.
Financial support from Bell's and other partners has made it possible for the race to give back to the community. For 2019, in addition to longtime partners, Set Sail for Autism and Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race welcomes Warrior Sailing as a community partner and as a competitor in the race.
Warrior Sailing provides maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. It uses sailing as a platform to positively impact the participant's physical and mental health while reconnecting them with the camaraderie and teamwork previously found in military service.
Later this summer up to 20 young autistic adults and their chaperones will board J/120s at Bayview Yacht Club and participate in the Set Sail for Autism Thursday Night Race on the Detroit River with a goal to raise awareness of autism within the sailing community. The Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race will also make a donation of $1,500 to SSA that will benefit Judson Center Autism Connections.
Alliance for the Great Lakes focuses on supporting and restoring the Great Lakes. The Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race will make a donation of $1,500 to the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
"The support from all of our partners, especially Bell's has permitted us to include such outstanding programs as part of the race," said Sandy Fullerton, 2019 Bayview Yacht Club Commodore.
Adding to the excitement of race week in Port Huron is the Bell's Oasis Tent. Located east of the Harbor Master, the interactive zone will feature an assortment of live local music, Bell's swag giveaways, activities and a fun atmosphere to enjoy a great variety of Michigan-made beer with the team from Bell's Brewery. The tent will be open Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. each night.
Sailing fans around the globe can again track individual boats or the entire fleet on both the Bell's Brewery (www.bellsbeer.com) and Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race (www.bycmack.com) websites through Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices on each boat that are provided by YB Tracking.
Each year the economic impact of the race on the communities involved is approximated between $30 and $59 million (depending on weather conditions), making it one of the premier events hosted in the state of Michigan, and one with a major economic impact to a host of local Michigan businesses, especially in tourism.
ABOUT BELL'S BREWERY
Bell's Brewery began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we've grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 550 people over a 41 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. 100% family-owned and independent, we strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and lagers. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.
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 Mackinac Race since 1925 and has more than 1,000 members. For more information: www.byc.com.
Marx Layne & Co.