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2020 Bayview Mackinac Race: Rapidly changing situation

by Chris Clark 3 Jun 11:41 PDT 11 July 2020
Clockwise from left: Earth Voyager, winner of Division III for Multihulls, at the finish line; Division I winner Stripes at rest with fleet on Mackinac Island; class start on Lake Huron - Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race 2019 © Martin Chumiecki / Bayview Yacht Club

At this time due to conflicting timing requirements the Mackinac Race Authority (MRA) has made the decision to only sail the Shore Course for the 2020 Bayview Mackinac Race.

Factors that drove this decision:

Previously we extended the normal registration date as late as possible to 12 June 2020. Per NOR Amendment #1, on or before this date, if a paid competitor withdraws, they can apply their entry fee to the 2021 Bayview Mackinac Race. It is becoming increasingly unlikely that restrictions will be eased to the extent that we can sail the Cove Island Course between 20 June 2020 and the start of the race. Due to these timing conflicts and to allow competitors to make the best decision they can with as much information as possible the MRA has made this decision. No NOR amendment is needed to make this change however we may update just for clarity. Please review the NOR and all amendments carefully.

As previously discussed, the USA/Canadian border is closed until at least 21 June 2020. There is no ambiguity it is illegal to cross the USA/ Canadian Boarder by water.

The Cruising Club of America has made the following statement to help people understand the situation.

"The Canada/US border is closed to "non-essential" travel until June 20. This is being interpreted to not only ban tourism but also travel by US citizens to visit property owned in Canada and travel for family reunification. US flag pleasure boats will be denied entry to Canada. There is a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for those who do gain admittance. The Canada Border Service requires a specific plan for where and how this period will be served out. It is unlikely that the border restrictions will be removed entirely after June 20. There might be a relaxation for some categories of travelers. Still, it will probably not be possible to cruise to Atlantic Canadian waters with a US flag boat during the 2020 season.

There are no restrictions for Canadians on Canadian flagged vessels who are cruising within their home waters apart from the now-standard constraints that apply to everyone. But there are prohibitions or significant restrictions on interprovincial travel, including by pleasure boats, that vary from province to province.

There is a ban on pleasure boating north of 60 degrees (approx. Cape Chidley, Labrador) until October 31. Territorial waters will remain open in accordance with international treaty obligations, as long as 60 days notice of intentions are given. Still, far northern cruising and transits of the NW Passage by yachts will not happen this year.

In the West, isolated communities and First Nations on the British Columbia coast are strongly discouraging visitors from arriving by private boats and in some cases turning them away"

We have also been informed that the border is being more aggressively patrolled.

The patience and flexibility strategy is paying off. Slowly but surly the issues that we have faced this year are being resolved. It is looking increasingly likely we are having a race. So, to get ready:

  • Register
  • Complete all the registration requirements
  • Get your boat ready
  • Confirm your reservations on the island
As I have previously said, due to all the issues this year, this just may not be a year you are able to do the race. If you know this now, please contact Linda or me and formally withdraw. This will be a huge help to the race if you let us know sooner than later.

More information at

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