Bayview Mackinac Race Announces Rule Changes


The 91st running of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which takes place July 18 on Lake Huron, features some significant changes. New rules include a speed limit for boats sailing on the shorter Shore Course and a reduction in minimum boat length from 27 feet to 24. This year also marks the 100th anniversary for the host of the event, Bayview Yacht Club.

“The focus this year is on putting our best foot forward to have the highest-quality event during our Centennial,” says race chairman Peter Wenzler. “However, there are no gimmicks…the goal is simply to provide the best race, best parties and best awards.”

Boats with a PHRF rating below 99 seconds per mile must race on the longer Cove Island Course (259 nautical/298 statute miles) and slower boats, rated above 99, have the option of sailing the Cove Island or the Shore Course (204 nautical/235 statute miles).

“The Shore Course is no longer an option for larger boats with a PHRF rating below 99 seconds per mile,” says Wenzler. He added that his committee analyzed elapsed times of boats competing on that course and the Cove Island Course, the longer offshore adventure covering 259 nautical miles (298 statute miles), wanting to find a way for the bulk of the fleet to finish together and in time for the awards party at Woodfill Park.

The prestigious J.L. Hudson Trophy, which previously was awarded to the overall winner on the course with the largest fleet, will now be reserved for the winner of the Cove Island Course. Another trophy — the Canadian Club Classic Trophy — will serve as the overall award for the Shore Course.

With all of these changes, Wenzler says he expects tighter racing in fewer and bigger classes, resulting in better competition. “The changes are about getting back to the kind of race Bayview wants to run and giving sailors the great experience we want them to have," he says.

For more information and updates on the race, visit

Photo courtesy of Unplugged Sailing

Prestige 750 Skyscraper