Bayview Mackinac race sets sail on Saturday with 2,000 sailors and new sponsors


The 97th edition of the Bayview Mackinac race started on Saturday off Port Huron. // Courtesy of the Bayview Yacht Club

The 97e the back-to-back race of the Bayview Mackinac race, with approximately 2,000 sailors competing, begins Saturday at 11:30 am on Lake Huron, just north of the Blue Water Bridge off Port Huron. The race ends at Mackinac Island.

According to race officials, each year the economic impact of the race on the communities involved is approximately $ 30 million to $ 59 million (depending on weather conditions), making it one of the major events organized in the state of Michigan, and one with a significant economic impact for a multitude of local businesses, especially in tourism.

“Last year we were very proud to lead the race to a safe and successful conclusion to keep our back-to-back race record intact, but no one would say it was like races past,” said Greg Thomas, president of the Bayview Mackinac 2021. Race.

“This year we expect things to be more normal, the number of boats and sailors is pretty much back to where it was, we have new boats and old boats coming back, as well as crews from all over the country … We are also having our post-race awards ceremony on the island.

The renewed interest in the race brought with it new and old sponsors, according to the race organizers. DraftKings Inc. joins Atwater Brewery and Bayview Mackinac Race Foundation as presenting sponsors for the event. Other new sponsors include Faygo Beverages, Flagstar Bank, Lake Huron Medical and Sika Corp.

“It’s great to see the race come back so strong after what we’ve all been through in 2020,” said Chuck Stormes, commadore of the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. “Having so many sponsors signing up to participate is a testament to the tradition of racing and all of the hard work and preparation that the Mackinac race committee has put in over the past year. “

Atwater Brewery President Mark Rieth said, “As the home town brewery of Detroit, Atwater is proud to continue to support the iconic Bayview Race to Mackinaw to the Island. We are happy to support this Pure Michigan event and help sailors, spectators and passers-by to enjoy the day.

Other sponsors include Grand Hotel, the official race hotel; Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, the official race sponsor; Insurance Aitken & Ormond; Frankenmuth Insurance; and coral reef clothing. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the official vodka sponsor, returns after a year off. Long-time sponsors Aitken & Ormond Insurance and Frankenmuth Insurance are co-sponsors of the Kids Club at the island awards show.

On the water, a change announced last fall is that the Bayview Yacht Club Mackinac Race Authority has adopted the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) scoring system to mark the race. The rule will correct the difference in elapsed time of competing boats and put them on the same level. The new scoring system offers competitors several advantages, including increased transparency, lower costs for one-design racing boats and a better user experience for other competitors.

“Over the past few years we have sought a fair rating system for boats and we believe the ORC system will ensure that all sailors interested in competing have ample opportunity,” said Thomas.

All competitors will sail the 204 nautical mile (235 statute mile) coastal course along the Michigan coastline westbound to the finish line on Mackinac Island. Like last year, the boats that sailed the Cove Island course in previous years will compete for the JL Hudson Trophy and the Canadian Club Classic Trophy will be awarded to the overall winner of the shore course. The Corinthian Trophy will go to the boat with the best time corrected in seconds per mile on either course with a fully amateur crew.

The awards ceremony and party will take place at Woodfill Park, located at the foot of the hill leading to the Grand Hotel, on July 27.

Sailing enthusiasts around the world can follow individual boats or the entire fleet on the official race website using GPS tracking devices on each boat provided by YB Tracking.

For more information visit