Experienced Sailors Only At Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
UPDATE: Windquest 1st Finisher At Fast Port Huron-Mackinac
MACKINAC ISLAND (AP) – The lead boat has finished the 90th annual Port Huron to Mackinac Island race.
The website of the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit shows that Windquest was across the finish line in northern Lake Huron at 6:15 p.m. Sunday. Il Mostro was about 1.3 nautical miles out at 6:30 p.m.
Conditions were near perfect Saturday as more than 200 sailboats set off just north are off from near the Blue Water Bridge at Port Huron.
Bell’s Brewery sponsors the race. Race chairman Art LeVasseur says winds were ideal for the racers.
The winners are based on a handicapping system that considers each boat’s ability. There are two courses, one called the Cove Island and the other called the Shore Course.
MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – Looks like it’ll be a beautiful weekend for one of Michigan’s premier events, the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. High winds aren’t expected, temperatures should stay in the low 80s.
And nothing, really, matter more than the weather when it comes to sailing, according to Bayview Yacht Club Commodore Tim Prophit.
“I raced in 1985 when Tomahawk sunk and that was kind of like the big, famous race for adverse conditions, but sometimes the real light areas are a big challenge because you need to figure out — if you’re going a quarter of a mile an hour, you want to be going a quarter of a mile an hour in the right direction,” Prophit said.
Crews, though, are ready as more than 200 sailboats and crew test their skills against Lake Huron. Let’s just say it’s not the first day at the rodeo for most of them.
“Most of the guys, 50 to 60 percent of the crew, have been racing 30 plus years,” Prophit said. “I think typically, you’ll have 200 to 300 years of Mackinac racing experience on any boat that I race.”
Count Prophit as one of the “Old Goats” — those sailors who have been part of the contest for at least 25 years.
“This will be my 32nd one, they’re all different, they’re all fun,” Prophit said, adding that he’s been fortunate to sail with a lot of great people.
Prophit says there have been some changes as part of the 90th annual contest.
“We’re moved the Hudson trophy and we’re going to start alternating it between between the two courses, as long as we have two courses,” Prophit said. “That way over a two-year period everybody has the same chance to win the J.L. Hudson trophy, which is the big, prestigious overall trophy for the race.”
The race generates more than $39 million in business between the two points.
Over 1,600 sailors from around the country — and as far away as Peru — will put their skills to the test to be one of the first to cross the finish line at Mackinac Island.
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