The Mackinac Blog

Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – Photos

The Bayview Mackinac Race – which will begin on Saturday, July 22, 2017 – is 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! – Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – 2017 >>>

Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – Photo Gallery (Click on photos for captions & slideshow view)

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Now our largest entry, the 105’ Bruce King-designed custom ketch Whitehawk will be skippered by its new owner Peter Thornton (familiar as one of our race record holders with his Volvo 70 Il Mostro). 

Stay tuned for more news as Whitehawk, one of the most beautiful sailing yachts in the world, makes her way from the East Coast to the Midwest. Thank you to Billy Black for the photo.  #BBBMR #BYC
Official Race Merchandise Available now!

Happy to show the 2019 merchandise artwork by Carolyn Somes that will be on the back of this year's sportswear.
We'd like to thank our partners of the sea, the United States Coast Guard, for all they do to guard our fleet and ensure our sailors' safety on the waters – Thank you! U.S. Coast Guard USCG Sector Detroit U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie
We have hit the 175 boat mark, the field is filling up! We have some new boats, some old boats and some historic boats. Welcome all. 

#BBBMR #BYC #bellsbeer
Pentastar Aviation is the official jet charter of our race. Want to meet the racers on the island? Get their quickly with this award-winning jet charter company - voted best FBO in the nation! #SettingtheStandard
Countdown to the 95th race! Two months away!
You know our hashtag? #BBBMR
The most exquisite hotel and the most expedient ferry service in Michigan are once again sponsors of #BBBMR - we are grateful for our friendships and partnerships with Grand Hotel and Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry. #BYC #AmericasSummerPlace #RideSheplers
Thursday Night Racing starts tonight at 7 PM. Great way to start building your sea legs. #BYC #BBBMR
Without our volunteers, we could not run the race. We are so grateful for their hard work. #BYC #BBBMR
Nothing matters more in life than family. We love our sailing families. Behind every great crew is a mom. We're grateful for them! #MothersDay #BBBMR
The rigging is up, the harbor is starting to fill up with beautiful boats and it's amping our excitement for #BBBMR #BYC
We love our sponsor North Sails for providing educational seminars for our competitors. They help strengthen skills in the areas of weather and routing. #bbbmr #byc #NorthSails
Know your race history: The first race was in 1925 - the boat Bernida skippered by Russ Pouliot winning against 12 yachts. 
#byc #bbbmr
Two Michigan Traditions: Bell's Beer and the Bayview Mackinac Race. As we look forward to our 100th race in 2024, it's inspiring to have such a tremendous partner in Bell's. Bell's support has been invaluable in making the race what it is today. #bbbmr #byc #bellsbeer
Thank you to our sponsors for the 2018 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race! 

Bell's Brewery The Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Tito's Handmade Vodka Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry North Sails Pentastar Aviation Gill North America Coral Reef Sailing Apparel Legal Copy Services, Inc. Aitken & Ormond Insurance, Inc. Frankenmuth Insurance Vortexx Pressure Washers Detroit Sports Media Marx Layne & Company Pink Pony

PART 2...ON THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM @sojournerracingteam

Some of the teens and young adults on Sojourner’s crew of Sea Scouts will be taking on the race for the very first time.

Sojourner, another boat signed up in the Shore Course division, is a 30’ Seidelmann 299 owned and raced by the Boy Scouts of America Sea Scout Ship 1148. Its crew is comprised of a mix of five boys and girls – Caleb and Caitlin Parton (Detroit), Billy Stimson (Riverview, Mich.), Rachael Washburn (Trenton), Sara Mazurek (Trenton) – ranging in ages from 16 to 20 and three adult leaders, Becky Washburn (Trenton), Bill Tilley (Grosse Ile) and the Sea Scout unit’s Founder Timothy Branson (Dearborn). They are all from the Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Trenton areas of Michigan.

“This will be the boat’s first-ever Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, and for two of the kids (Caitlin and Billy), it will be their first time, too,” said Branson, who sailed in the 2017 race for his first time as crew and will serve as skipper this year. “They are both excited and a bit nervous, but the others have a better idea of what’s involved, since they’ve raced on other people’s boats. And all of the kids have helped ferry boats back from Mackinac in the past, but this time it’s strictly a crew of Sea Scouts.”

In preparation for this adventure, Sojourner has raced weekly in local regattas and in a Tuesday night series. The crew gained some heavy-air experience sailing back from the Mills Regatta on Lake Erie in 35 knots. According to Branson, Billy will handle the foredeck and flying spinnaker, Caitlin is a grinder, and Sarah, Caleb and Rachael have all been designated as helmsmen. There will be four-hour shifts where every hour one crew rotates off and another crew rotates on, and an adult will be in the cockpit at all times.

“Basically, we’ve been preparing for three years,” said Branson. “The boat, built in 1979, was donated to us three years ago, and we’ve pretty much gone through breaking everything on the boat and replacing it. The Edison Boat Club of Detroit pretty much adopted us, so we’ve had an awesome place to sail out of, and we were able to outfit the boat with help from them and Bob Cowles of the Detroit Yacht Club’s Sailing Development Fund. He heard we were fundraising like crazy and sent us a big chunk of what we needed to make the boat extremely safe and more modern to train the kids. The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race has a list of required and suggested safety gear; I figured if kids were going, we were going to bring it all on.” 

As it stands now, there are 14 boats in Sojourner’s ORR Class O that are similarly rated. “We’re hoping for a better-than-average finish,” said Branson. “We’re shooting for the top five but will be happy with middle of the pack.” 

When Sojourner gets delivered from Bayview to Port Huron before the race, it plans to have aboard some crew members affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is part of a program coordinated between the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race and Set Sail for Autism. (The race also supports the Alliance for the Great Lakes.)

For the full release and captions go to

Crunch time is here and we need your help! For years, Bayview has partnered with Set Sail for Autism to put young adults with a chaperone on boats for the return deliveries from Mackinac to Detroit or Chicago, and this has been a great success enjoyed by the participants and crews alike. 

This year, in order to simplify logistics for everyone, we have modified the program to focus on pre-race deliveries from Detroit to Port Huron. We are in severe need of host boats. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please email Ryan Farrell, Rear Commodore Bayview Yacht Club, at

To learn more about this great cause, visit, or come to BYC tonight to watch the them duke it out in the river in the 2nd Annual Set Sail for Autism J120 Thursday Night Challenge sponsored by Rest Assured Property Management.

Thank you for your support!
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Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – 2017 >>>


Chippewa Hotel – Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – Photo Gallery (Click on photo for slideshow view)

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Wednesday July 26th, 2017 - 1:09 pm

Chippewa Hotel Waterfront

Photo highlights from the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race this week. This year's event was the 93rd annual sailboat race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. Over 200 boats participated, and good winds enabled a quick finish. The island was busy with sailors and visitors. We had a full house, and of course Pink Pony was "yachts of fun!" Great to see everyone again! ... See MoreSee Less


Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race – 2017 >>>


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