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2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – July 22 – 25, 2017

2016 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

The Bayview Mackinac Race will begin on Saturday, July 22, 2017 – recognized as one of the most challenging freshwater boat races in the world. Join the excitement of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race as boat racers sail Michigan’s Great Lakes to reach their final destination, Mackinac Island. It’s all Pure Michigan from start to finish!

Bayview Mackinac Race Quicklinks:

Online Race Tracking – 2016
Bayview Yacht Club – Race to Mackinac Facebook Page
Follow Via Twitter
Bayview Yacht Club Website


In the nine decades that the Bayview Mackinac Race has been sailed, much has happened. Wars, economic depressions, and other significant events have transpired, yet the Race has gone on. In fact, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wired a message to Bayview during World War II when word reached the White House that the Club was considering canceling the race. That message read: “Sail your race.” Even then, it was clear that this race was and is important for sailors and for the State of Michigan. Bayview did sail the Mackinac Race that year, and has done so every single year since the first Bayview Mackinac Race in 1925, making it the longest consecutively run freshwater race in the world. This year’s race starts on July 22, 2017.

In its own way, the Bayview Mackinac race has become a vital part of Great Lakes history, Michigan history, and sailing history.

Celebrate the start of the race in Port Huron. Then follow the course of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race as they head north along the shores of Michigan’s eastern coast. Join the festivities at the finish line on Mackinac Island. Where the hospitality and celebration is always second to none.


Tuesday July 19th, 2016 - 3:51 pm

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race


MACKINAC ISLAND, MICH. (July 19, 2016) – 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.”
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.”

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.

J.L. Hudson Trophy- Cove Island Course Overall
1) Evolution
2) Heartbreaker
3) Denali2
Canadian Club Classic Trophy- Shore Course Overall
1) Freedom
2) Wind Toy IV
3) Eliminator

Multihull Cove Island Course
1) Adagio
2) Strings
3) Arete'

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) Dynamis

Pro-Team Challenge
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.
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Beautiful pictures, can't believe it's here already!

Mostly downwind? Where was that race course???

Was this the greatest number of teams not completing the race over the years the race has been sailed?


Visit Bayview Yacht Club Website >>>>


Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race On Facebook

Below are the latest postings from the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Page On Facebook.


Friday June 15th, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

With 29 days until the race, we want to make sure that all of our participants are recognized! Our last group of registrants include Ollie, Slainte, Ariel, Blitzkrieg, Ectasea, Perversion, Dynamite, Solution, and Abracadabra! Welcome to the race! ... See MoreSee Less

Thursday June 14th, 2018 - 4:01 pm

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

Set Sail For Autism Update:
We are still looking for boats to take young adults affected by Autism and their families on their pre-Mac race delivery up the St. Clair River to Port Huron.
For more information or to sign up your boat to host a delivery group, contact Ryan Farrell at
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Visit Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race on Facebook >>>


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