DETROIT -- Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club announced the kick off of the 2013 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race during a media luncheon May 8, 2013. The 89th consecutive race starts on southern Lake Huron, just north of the Blue Water Bridge, Saturday, July 20 at 11:30 a.m. On-the-water competitors will see very little change to the 2013 event; boats will again cross the finish with the iconic Round Island Passage Light in the Straightes of Mackinac to starboard.
"Our goal is to make the race an enjoyable competition for participants and spectators alike," said Carl Bihlmeyer Race Chairman 2013 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. "In addition to the race enhancements made last year, the consistency of our rules and regulations will allow competitors to focus on preparation and sailing. Off the water, fans will have a chance to join the fun through a variety of exciting events that strive to benefit the community."
For the second year, metro Detroiters will have a chance to experience the Acura Sailing Under the Stars Charity Preview, the public kick-off event for the race to be held from 6 - 11 p.m., Saturday, June 15. Featuring offerings from 25 of metro Detroit and Port Huron's finest restaurants, eateries and sweet shops, this year's event is sure to be the must attend event of the early summer.
Guests will have chance to sample a wonderful assortment of food from Santorini Estiatorio, Bayview Yacht Club, Di'Amato's Restaurant, Hudson Café, Palm Palace, Sindbad's Restaurant & Marina, Hamlin Pub Catering, Vintomondo, Vintage House, La Marsa, Majestic Café, Blue Fin, BD's Mongolian and many more.
In addition to the food, there will be a number of bands performing on two stages located on the grounds of the historic yacht club.
Again this year, the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac race welcomes back sponsors Acura, Soaring Eagle Casino, Grand Hotel, Shepler's, Doyle's Sails, Aitken-Ormond Agency, Frankenmuth Insurance, Legal Copy Services and new sponsor, Barefoot Winery.
"More and more companies are realizing the power of the race and that this event is one of the true summer traditions in Michigan. Fans of all ages come out to watch the boats," said Bihlmeyer. "I believe as we add more partners to the race, sailors and spectators will benefit the most from these great strategic partnerships."
This year will mark 89th consecutive years for the world-class event. Some 200 plus sailboats and 2,500 sailors are expected take part in the annual regatta with an estimated 100,000 sailing fans and families attending the festive activities in Port Huron leading to the Saturday start.
For the fifth time, 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 as Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices will be placed on all participating sailboats.
From its traditional start in Southern Lake Huron, the fleet will head North on one of two courses. The shorter course, called the "Shore Course," covers 204 nautical miles (252 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.
This year five Divisions will be offered: Cove Island Racing; Shore Course Racing; Shore Course Cruising; Multi-Hull; and Double-Handed. All competitors will be handicapped using Performance Handicap Racing Fleet system.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO