2005 Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race
Fastest Race on Record

Though it was a slow beginning, with officials having to delay the Saturday (July 23) mid-day start off Port Huron, Mich., by almost an hour due to light winds, the 2005 Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race became the fastest on record for its 81 years of existence. Proof was in the performance of Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) Andrews 68 Equation, which--with an elapsed time of 25:29:46--broke the 2001 course monohull record of Houla (30:32:13) by more than five hours. Equation sailed in IRC Class B on the 254 nautical mile Southampton Course, one of two courses offered in the race and, for the first time, devoted solely to IRC-rated boats and Open Class multihulls. Houla’s record also was beaten by 10 of 11 Santa Cruz 70s that sailed in IRC Class A (the 11th yacht retired after running aground) and by two more of Equation’s nine other classmates. A total of 267 boats competed in 21 classes.

According to Equation crew Peter Griffin (Detroit), it was the wind angle that put them in the record books and the winner’s circle (their corrected time secured a class victory as well). Equation fetched to the NGS buoy, a special mark originally commissioned and set each year by race host Bayview Yacht Club to mark the only required turning point of the course off Southampton, Ontario, approximately 99 miles northeast of the start. "We had a boat speed of around nine knots," said Griffin, "then went from a jib to our code zero sail when the wind clocked right, and we saw 10-11 knots. It was a beautiful night, and we jibed at the NGS mark around 2 a.m. in the morning."

After the NGS mark, Equation found itself again pointing at its next waypoint: the finish line off Mackinac Island. "It was so unusual not to drift at some point or be sailing at an angle where you can’t get there," said Griffin. "We just pointed to where we wanted to go."

A squall, with 30-knot breezes, hit the fleet during Sunday’s early morning hours and caused some equipment mishaps; however, Equation was far enough ahead to miss the brunt of it. The damage, including one demasting and several torn sails, fell mostly upon the PHRF Racing and Cruising Class boats sailing the shorter (204 nm) Shore Course, which ran along Lake Huron’s Michigan coastline. When the wind finally clocked to become more westerly, it served Equation an "on-the-nose" course, but not for long, and certainly not for as long as for those boats following behind.

"I’ve never quite seen this race do what it did this time," said Alcott, who counts this as his 33rd time competing in the event, which stands out as one of the longest freshwater sailing races in the world. "Breaking the record is the last thing we ever thought we would do, but it became fairly clear after rounding the NGS mark and fetching again…we started thinking about it a little."

Alcott said his fame may be short-lived, however. "With the way boats are being built these days, that record won’t stand long—maybe two, three years if we’re lucky."

Bill Alcott and crew sailing Equation.
Photo by Walter Cooper.


The 2005 Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race was the first major race in the Midwest to offer racing under IRC, sailing’s newest handicap system offered in the U.S. A total of 130 boats and 11 classes sailed IRC on the Southampton course (three of the classes sailed one-design as well), which meant that nearly half the fleet eagerly embraced the development. Eight classes sailed under the traditional PHRF rating on the Shore Course, with one of those classes sailing one-design as well.
Race Chairman Luiz Kahl (Grosse Pointe Woods) said the Bayview Yacht Club prevailed in helping boat owners get their IRC ratings prior to the race despite Mother Nature’s insistence on a long Midwestern winter. "A lot of boats didn’t get back in the water until very late this year," said Kahl, "so that put a squeeze on us."

Kahl added that the Bayview Yacht Club held two workshops in the spring to help owners and measurers "demystify" IRC and the process by which to get boats measured and rated for certificates. Helping was Barry Carroll, the head of the IRC in the U.S.

"I’d qualify the Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race as a huge success from that perspective alone," said Kahl. "Considering the high interest and demand for IRC Certificates in the U.S. this spring, the U.S.-IRC office and the RORC are to be commended, too, on all the work they have done to get IRC off the ground."
Barry Carroll added, "We were hoping to have 300 IRC-rated boats for the year, and we are already at 450 and expect 500-600 at year’s end. We are seeing several years of malaise and ‘not much going on’ turn into a lot of action."

According to Peter Griffin aboard Equation, the race’s Southampton Course teams were happy with their boat’s IRC ratings, which take out much of the "perception" found in PHRF and makes it a true measurement. "There wasn’t any rating protest or controversy that I was aware of," he said. "And since Bayview Yacht Club made IRC mandatory, not a choice, on the Southampton course, it was a great way to push it."

For a second half of the summer sailing season in the local Detroit area, IRC will be added to the offerings along with the prior mainstay, PHRF.

The overall winner among all IRC-rated boats on the Southampton Course was the IRC A class winner Colt 45, owned by Allan Fletcher (Alpena, Mich.).

The overall PHRF winner among racing classes on the Shore Course was PHRF L class winner Bantu, owned by Thomas Kuber (Menominee, Mich.), while the overall PHRF winner among the cruising classes was Cruising Class A winner Insatiable, owned by Norman Silverman (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). Winning the Open Class was Nice Pair, owned by Bruce Geffen (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

All elapsed and corrected times are available at www.byc.com/mack05/.

For its 14th year, BACARDI U.S.A., INC., the #1 distilled spirits distributor in the United States and the world, is the title sponsor of the race.

2005 Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race
Top 3 Finishers in Each Class

CC 35 Class (Shore Course)

1. Regardless, C&C Mk-I, D Padilla, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 2. Bravo, C&C Mk-I, Frank Tenkel, Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. 3. Bedlam, C&C Mk-I, Andrew Stoesser, Sarnia, Ontario

Cruising A Class (Shore Course)

1. Insatiable, Tartan, Norman Silverman, Grosse Pointe, Mich. 2. Canvasback, Little Harbor 52', Lee C Howley, Vermilion, OH . 3. Dog Dayz, Tartan, Dan VandenBossche, New Baltimore, Mich.

Colt 45. Photo by Walter Cooper.

Cruising B Class (Shore Course)

1. Wind Toy IV, Morgan, Robert Bunn, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 2. Allure, Catalina, Wick Smith, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. 3. First Light, Beneteau, Brad Light, Essexville, Mich.

Cruising C Class (Shore Course)

1. ZAO, Catalina, Frank A. Kunick, Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. 2. Columbia IV, Catalina, Jeff Jones, Shelby Twp., Mich. 3. Yare, S&S, John Tipp, Troy, Mich.

Cruising NA40 Class (Shore Course)

1. Velero VII, NA-40, John Barbour, Grosse Pointe, Mich. 2. Velero VI, NA-40, Andy Denbaas, Port Huron, Mich. 3. Bananas, NA-40, Ted Tulupman, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

IRC A Class (Southampton Course)

1. Colt 45, SC-70, Alan Fletcher, Alpena, Mich. 2. Evolution, SC-70, Kohler/Reichelsdorfer, Sheboygan, Wis. 3. Thirsty Tiger, SC-70, Albert Dottavio, Joliet, Ill.

IRC B Class (Southampton Course)

1. Equation, Andrews 68, Alcott, St. Clair Shores, Mich. 2. Denali, Nelson / Marek, William F. McKinley, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. 3. Twister, Dubois, Herb Wake, Menominee, Mich.

IRC C Class (Southampton Course)

1. Dolphin, Mull, larry ruhland, Bay City, Mich. 2. Natalie J, Nelson / Marek, Philip D. O'Niel III, D.D.S., Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 3. Margaret Rintoul IV, Frers, K. Anderson/E. Smyth, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.

IRC D Class (Southampton Course)

1. Sagitta, J-44, Jon Somes, G.P. Park, Mich. 2. Majic, Sydney 41, Dorsey Ruley, Chicago, Ill. 3. Eagle, Sydney 38, Shawn O'Neill, Chicago, Ill.

IRC E Class (Southampton Course)

1. Station Wagon, SR 33, Steve Beeler/Tom Vigrass, Port Huron, Mich. 2. Power Tripp, Tripp 40, James Kraft, Troy, Mich. 3. Surprise, Mumm 30, David Irish, Harbor Springs, Mich.

IRC F Class (Southampton Course)

1. Collaboration 2, Beneteau 40.7, Robert Vickery, Barrington, Ill. 2. Smokum Too, Beneteau First 42S7, Pete Mather, Thornbury, Ontario 3. First Tracks, Beneteau First 40.7, John W. (Jay) Hawkins, Cleveland, Ohio

IRC G Class (Southampton Course)

1. Blitz, Peterson 43, Larry Soutar, Oxford, Mich. 2. Pendragon, Contessa, G. Thomas/ J. Trost, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 3. Gauntlet, Kaufman, GUY HIESTAND, Grand Rapids, Mich.

IRC H Class (Southampton Course)

1. Big Schock , Schock 35, Bob Sheppard, London, Ohio 2. Polarity, J-36, Murphy Palmer, Clinton Twp., Mich. 3. Spectre, Frers, B & G Schappe, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.

IRC I Class (Southampton Course)

1. Flyer, Oyster, Maynard Rupp, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. 2. Freeway, Morgan, Doug Carlson, Grosse Pointe, Mich. 3. Solutions, Castro CS34, Mark Craig, Grosse Pointe, Mich.

J105 Class (Southampton Course)

1. C-JEM, J-105, Con Ruffing, Grosse Pointe, Mich. 2. Macho Duck, J-105, David Klaasen, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 3. Phantom , J-105, Jim Best, Beverly Hills, Mich.

J120 Class (Southampton Course)

1. Capers, J-120, Don Hudak, Mentor, Ohio 2. Carinthia, J-120, Frank Kern III, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 3. Merlin, J-120, R. Amsler, Clinton Twp., Mich.

J35 / T35 Class (Southampton Course)

1. Mr Bill's Wild Ride, J-35, William Wildner, Harrison Twp., Mich. 2. Bretwalda, J-35, Robert W. Pethick, Orchard Lake Village, Mich. 3. Falcon, J-35, Bayer/Bayer/Welch, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.

J/35 Fleet. Photo by Walter Cooper.

Open A Class (Southampton Course)

1. Nice Pair, Crowther, Bruce Geffen, Ann Arbor, Mich. 2. Moxie, Corsair F31R, Gary Hall, Plymouth, Mich.3. Stampede, Corsair, Ron White, South Bend, Mich.

PHRF J Class (Shore Course)

1. Eliminator, C&C Mk-II, P. Van Tol/ B. Vandevusse, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. 2. Shape, Santana 35, Win Cooper III/Chris Benedict, Flint, Mich. 3. V Max, Santana 35, Mark Nagel, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

PHRF K Class (Shore Course)

1. Marksman, Islander, Brian R. Lang, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 2. Loon Magic, Catalina, J. Shinske/B. Wilson, St. Clair, Mich. 3. Rough Rider, Pearson 36, Joe Parker, Caro, Mich.

PHRF L Class (Shore Course)

1. Bantu, BL, Thomas Kuber, Menominee, Mich. 2. Chippewa, Tartan, Robert Wall, Algonac, Mich. 3. Camelot, Tartan 33, Ronald L. Konczalski, Grosse Ile, Mich.