JULY 16TH, 2016
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Records and Winners for 92nd Edition
The 92nd Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race provided a fast ride for winners in nine classes on its 259-mile Cove Island Course and seven classes on its shorter 204-mile Shore Course.
"It was a resounding success with near-perfect conditions for most of the race and mostly downwind and reaching legs," - said Chair Kyle Burleson, "and of course there was plenty of camaraderie and revelry before the start during Friday night's Boat Night in Port Huron and then again on Mackinac Island, which hosts thousands of sailors and their families for two days after the racing is over."
Even though Rick Warner (Marine City, Michigan) and his crew aboard the Orma 60 Areté set a new elapsed course record for the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race on Sunday morning, it was Alan Gurski's and Ben Gougeon's (Bay City, Michigan) 35-foot Adagio that won the race's Division III (Multihull) overall when it arrived at Mackinac Island around 6:16 p.m. that night. Areté had finished just before 11:15 a.m. to finish the Cove Island Course in 21 hours, 44 minutes and 58 seconds, shaving nearly two hours off its own record, which it set last year, but Gurski stole the spotlight with his ride that, on corrected time, put him at the top of the scoreboard and Areté in third position.
"It was a nice, fast ride; I’d give it a 10," - said Gurski, who explained that Adagio was built 46 years ago by his father-in-law (Gougeon’s father) who also once won this race with her. "It was a downwind run to Cove Island; we made the turn and hardened up to where we were reaching and broad reaching the rest of the way. A storm hit us 30 miles from the finish, but we were well prepared and were fast all the way into the Straights of Mackinac. We were passing lots of the Santa Cruz 70s along the way, so we had a good feeling that we were near the front of the fleet."
Rick Warner of Marine City, Michigan and his crew aboard the Orma 60 Areté; Areté on its way to the finish line and a new course record. (Photo Credit: Martin Chumiecki/Bayview Yacht Club)
Of his record-breaking run Warner said, "It was light before Cove Island, so we had to work it there, but then we saw 26 knots into the Straights of Mackinac. I think we had to complete only four maneuvers on the boat throughout the whole race. It was nearly a full moon, so we could see the boat, feel it better, and get more out of her. It was great to set the record last year, but coming back to beat it is rare, so this was special for us."
Evolution, the Santa Cruz 70 owned by Terry Kohler and Peter Reichelsdorfer (Sheboygan, Wis.), won Class A and overall honors in Division I (Cove Island). Reichelsdorfer’s son Richard, who served as skipper/navigator, explained that the team’s plan, after looking at weather models, was to stay west of the fleet. “The first couple of hours were tricky, because the wind didn’t do what it was supposed to, but we still stuck with our plan, hugging the Michigan shoreline. We had some traffic issues in the first six to eight hours, which cost us: by 7 p.m. Saturday night, we were three to four miles behind everyone. But we stayed patient, and as the overnight hours came, we were able to see the rest of our class starting to sail higher and slower because they were being lifted toward the Canadian shore (that we wanted to avoid). Once we saw that, we made the effort to sail lower and keep getting the separation on our competition. We made our gains and passed them. We were fourth to finish over the line (shortly after 6 p.m.) behind Heartbreaker, Natalie J and Denali. Interestingly enough, those boats had seen what we were doing and came down to match our line. They are faster, so all we needed to do was stick with them. There aren’t many passing opportunities on the second part of race, so we just got to the finish as fast as we could."
The Hunter 37 Freedom, which won Class J (Cruising), also won overall honors in Division II (Shore Course). "It’s probably unusual that an older (built in 1987), heavier boat would win," - said skipper James Cooper (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.), "but we also won class and overall in 2012 with this boat. Like all winners, we stayed awake and aware in the middle of the night, and given the conditions and the fact we have an asymmetrical, we were able to do well."
The first of two storms caught up with Freedom 10 to 15 miles from the finish, causing the boat to broach twice. "We put a kite up three hours into the race, and only took it down once…when the storm removed it for us," - said Cooper, laughing. "We tore our chute and got a second one up and got going again. When we finished in daylight (around 8:30 Sunday evening, after 31 and a half hours) only 12 sticks were in the harbor. We were absolutely ecstatic; we felt like we were pitted against Goliath and we won."
Clockwise from left: Fleet at Mackinac Island; Race Committee at finish line; Bell’s Beer an appreciated sponsor; post-event socializing on Mackinac Island
(Photo Credit: Martin Chumiecki/Bayview Yacht Club)
The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race started Saturday, July 16, from Port Huron. Of the 215 boats registered, 214 started and 14 teams did not finish, making the total count for boats completing the race 200. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 5,000 people will gather on the grounds of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel for a celebration with live music and a prize giving that will include the awarding of special trophies.
Trophies for the 2016 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-Corinthian teams) and the Pro-Team Sports Challenge (held in conjunction with community partner Set Sail for Autism and the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, with four yachts representing different professional Detroit sports teams) as well as the North Sails Yacht Club Challenge, comprised of 12 three-boat teams: four from Bayview Yacht Club and one each from Bay City Yacht Club, Great Lakes Yacht Club, Port Huron Yacht Club, Lake Shore Sail Club, Detroit Yacht Club, Port Huron Yacht Club, Crescent Sail Yacht Club, and Tawas Bay Yacht Club.
2016 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Winners:
J.L. Hudson Trophy- Cove Island Course Overall
Canadian Club Classic Trophy- Shore Course Overall
2) Wind Toy IV
Multihull Cove Island Course
Corinthian Cup - Awarded to the boat with a crew comprised entirely of ISAF classified amateur sailors with the best overall corrected time in seconds per mile- open to competitors on both courses.
1) Nauti Boys – representing the Detroit Pistons
Joining Bell's Beer in sponsoring the 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Mich., Doubletree by Hilton, Freighters, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Aitken and Ormand Insurance, Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Pentastar Aviation, and the Bayview Yacht Club Foundation, Zurn, and Meijer.
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Quicklinks:
Roster with hometowns (sortable by hometown)
Follow via Twitter
Online Race Tracking
More 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 Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925 and has more than 1,000 members. For more information: www.byc.com.