A total of 206 sailboats in 20 classes raced in the 2010 Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race that started under blue skies and a light 12 knot breeze and ended with a rainstorm and 20-knot gusts on Saturday in Lake Huron. A storm swept in with rain and 20-knot winds for the last two starts of the largest boats around 1:40 p.m. The race is based out of Detroit, starts in Port Huron and takes everyone North to Mackinac Island. The event draws sailors and fans from some 20 states and multiple countries that participate in the event .
Map of Race: http://www.michigan.org/gps/
The 80-foot Hong Kong-registered “Beau Geste” took the start with a two-boat length lead over the 86-foot Windquest of Ada, Michigan. The Beau Geste’s huge white spinnaker helped kick a strong wake from the boat as lighting strikes hit open waters near the starting line.
The Mackinac racing boats, ranging in size from 28 to 86-feet in length with approximately 2,500 sailors, set sail on two separate courses from Port Huron to Mackinac Island with the larger boats expected to finish in the early hours Monday.
The first class of boats crossed the starting line at the gun at 11:30 a.m. with a new class starting every 10 minutes until the largest class of 12 boats ranging in size from 52 to 86-feet crossed the line at 1:50. The last class for multi-hull or catamaran-style sailboats included just two boats, “Nice Pair” and Ollie.
Among the largest boats in this ’s race is Windquest, an 86-foot Maxiracer owned by Doug and Dick Devos. The 80-foot sailboat “Beau Geste” registered out of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club to do the race. Some 101 sail boats will follow the “Shore Course” that hugs the Michigan coastline before sailing west to Mackinac Island. The Shore Course is some 50 miles shorter than the Cove Island course and is favored by many of the smaller boats in the race.
Monitoring of Race
For only the second time, sailing fans in Michigan and around the world are able to monitor the historic race via the www.michigan.org web site with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology. GPS devices have been placed on all participating race boats.
All boats finish in Mackinac Island where they meet families and friends, tell stories of victory and defeat, and enjoy a party of sailing world enthusiasts. Fans of each team can monitor their progress at www.michigan.org
Web Site: http://www.byc.com /