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Saturday, 18 October, 2008 12:42 PM
Bayview Yacht Club Adds Second Mackinac Race Course, Offers Three Rating Systems for 2009 to Increase Participation
85th Bayview Mackinac Race revives famed 'Cove Island' Course
Photo credit: www.sailmag.com
Sailboats during the Bayview Mackinac Race
DETROIT -- The 2009 Bayview Mackinac Race will offer three monohull sailboat rating options and two separate race courses for sailors to increase participation and provide a longer race hoping to attract more of the larger and faster boats, it was announced today.
"Bayview is committed to sailing and making the racing experience the best it can be for all participants," said Commodore Timothy P. LaRiviere in making the historic announcement. "We are listening to our members and race participants and adjusting our rules and options to make next year's race one of the best ever."
In 2007 Bayview dropped its "shore course" and the longer "Southampton Course" in favor of a single new course -- the fourth in race history -- called the "Thunder Bay" course which is 252 nautical miles. The club has elected to retain the "Thunder Bay" course and add a famed and revered course called the "Cove Island" course which adds some 40-miles to the race to Mackinac Island. The actual course length will be determined once a buoy is placed in Lake Huron as the mark for the turn toward Mackinac Island.
Bayview, widely regarded as one of the premier racing sailing clubs in the nation, is also among the first to adopt multiple rating systems to encourage maximum participation by sailboats of all sizes and designs. This year, PHRF Cruising, IRC and ORR will be the three rating systems allowed. The rating systems are technical formulas determining handicaps for boats of differing sizes, mast heights, sail configurations and hull shapes.
LaRiviere said the addition of the "Cove Island" Course is in response to surveys, e-mails, calls and letters from prior participants who are demanding a longer course. "For the big boats and the very fast new boats, a good wind makes the "Thunder Bay" course little more than an overnight race. Sailors are telling us they want a longer course with more tactical and strategic options as well as more time on the water.
"This decision was based on exhaustive investigations of the issues and their impact by a special committee of Bayview Flag Officers, Race Chairmen along with input from numerous professional sailing organizations and experts," said LaRiviere. "A lot of people put a lot of hard work into analyzing the rating issues and course options and they are to be commended for the professionalism and expediency of their recommendation."
The "Thunder Bay" course and "Cove Island" course will both start a few miles north of Port Huron in Lake Huron. The Thunder Bay course takes sailors to a rounding point that is a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather buoy located about 43 miles Northeast of Alpena, Michigan. The buoy, anchored in 462-feet of water, serves as the "mark" where skippers turn their boats to the second leg of the course and head for the finish line at Mackinac Island and complete the 252-mile race. Enroute, skippers will be following the coastline of Michigan using the land mass for tactical advantage as well as taking advantage of the prevailing Westerly winds of summer and the sea and land breezes as they develop.
The "Cove Island" course takes sailors further north into open waters of Lake Huron to the Canadian side of the lake where they will round a private buoy to be placed by Bayview Yacht Club. The "Cove Island" course was initially used in 1935. From 1972 through 2000, the "Cove Island" course was considered one of the top 7 races in the world, but was abandoned when the government-owned Cove Island Buoy was removed. The Cove Island course is some 290-nautical miles and it will offer complex navigational challenges as well as strategic and tactical gamesmanship among these very talented crew who choose to test themselves on this course.
The 2009 Bayview Mackinac Yacht Race will be held on Saturday July 25, 2009. Bayview, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. The private club is located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair and has more than 1,000 members.
www.byc.com is the official Bayview Yacht Club website.
Source: Bayview Yacht Club
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