Bayview Mackinac Race - The Sailor's Own Stories....
1999 Mac for "Triple Threat"
The 1999 race was a landmark race for the crew of Triple Threat, our family owned 1981 Pearson Flyer, because that race marked the first time 3 generations of Niederer's sailed the race. The event was written about in our local newspaper, the Bay City Times July 15, 1999, (copies are available in their archives) and included a photo. The family members included myself (Bruce Niederer), my father (Sheldon Niederer), and my 2nd son Alex age 13. At the time he was in 8th grade at Cramer Jr. High in Essexville, MI. The crew was rounded out by friends - Dave Leece, Barry Duke, and Shirley Darbee.
We have raced mostly up the shore course in Triple Threat, but did earn a 2nd place in PHRF K in 1993 on the Cove Island course. Earning the flag was a great thrill of course, yet I have often said that if I did the race for flags I would have quit long ago. That said, the 1999 race marking the first time one of my sons raced with us is something I will always hold very dear. Following a very close second would be the next years race when all three of my sons (Dan, Alex, Eric) raced with me. They have all continued to race since that time, both on Triple Threat and in our local 110 and lightning fleets. In fact, Alex earned a trophy from the 110 fleet last season for the most improved sailor in the fleet after racing as crew in the regionals with John Huff finishing second.
Last year my father couldn't race because of health reasons, and won't race this year as well. My oldest son, Dan, will likely miss the race this year as well because he is in California at Camp Pendellton with his Marine Unit. Both Alex and Eric will be racing again this year in the 80th running of the Bayview-Mac race. As each year passes and I wander the docks in Port Huron, I see a lot of boats and crew that have been at it as long or longer than myself, but very few young faces. Racing this race together as a family is the highlight of every summer for us, and is a tradition not soon to end.
If you have any stories or anecdotes about your racing the Mackinac Race or even some old racing pictures that you would like to share with us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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