This year’s race is shaping up to be the largest since the year 2000, with more than 234 boats currently registered (more than 260 expected to compete), including at least 32 first time boats currently registered and more anticipated.
In 2015, the Bayview Yacht Club are celebrating the club’s 100th anniversary, and the Race itself was recognized by the Michigan Historical Commission with a historical marker commemorating the race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. So it is a very special edition of the competition.
There are several changes to this year’s Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race to increase the field and increase overall race time for faster boats. A requirement states that faster boats, with specified ratings must compete on the Cove Island Course, while slower rated boats are permitted to choose either the Shore Course or the Cove Island Course. Another key change is the minimum boat length (reduced from 27 feet to 24 feet).
Also new this year is the Corinthian Cup. The new trophy is awarded to the boat with a crew comprised entirely of ISAF classified amateur sailors, having the best overall corrected time in seconds per mile. The trophy is open to both Shore Course and Cove Island Course competitors. In addition to the Corinthian Cup, the prestigious 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.
From its traditional start in Southern Lake Huron, the fleet will head north on one of two courses. The shorter course, Shore Course, covers 204 nautical miles (235 statute miles) along the Michigan shoreline before heading west to 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.
More than 2,500 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 festivities on Mackinac Island for the race finish.
For the seventh year, sailing fans around the world will be able to follow individual boats or the entire fleet on the Bell's Brewery and Bayview Yacht Club websites. YB Tracking Global Positioning System devices will be placed on all participating sailboats. The trackers will transmit data to tour race player at predetermined times, making it easy for friends, family and armchair admirals to keep up with the fleets progress throughout the competition.
For the race player and more information on the race please visit Bayview Mackinac Race website.