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2020 Bayview Mackinac Race: Important update

by Chris Clark 21 Jun 2020 07:22 PDT July 11, 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

Current items to update everyone on.

As we all are aware this is a very unusual year. On 19 June 2020 I went to Mackinac Island to meet with the key people we depend on to help us run the race. The good news is Shepler's Ferry, Grand Hotel and the Mayor's office are prepared and excited to have the Race come to Mackinac Island.

I am very disappointed to report that the DNR who operates the harbor has not completed the plans and policies that are necessary for us to use the harbor as we have in the past. It is possible that they may rescind our Contract for the harbor.

This does NOT mean we are canceling the race. We are working on the issue:

  • We are working with the DNR to determine how many boats we will be able to put in the harbor, if any. One thing that is certain, if we are able to access the harbor the restrictions will be in excess of the "normal" social distancing guidelines. Given some rough guidelines that have been discussed by the DNR we could be limited to 15ish boats in the harbor.

  • The DNR is looking at other DNR harbors in the area to determine if there is any way to use those harbors to accommodate boats. The DNR has informed me that harbors have damage due to the highwater. Some harbors are closed, others are severely limited. If at any time this year you plan on going into a State-owned harbor, it is strongly advised you check with the local Harbor Masters.

  • We have secured the coal docks, but these docks will not be able to accommodate all the boats.

  • Currently the plan is to allow very short term tie up at the coal docks. This time may be limited to a couple of hours. You will be able to tie up, drop off crew, organize the boat and then the boat MUST leave so we can accommodate other boats.

  • Based on this information, any boat that wants to withdraw because we may not have access to the harbor at this time can do so by 30 June 2020. You can choose to have a refund or apply your entry fee to the 2021 race.

  • For those that chose to compete in the race, after we understand the harbor situation, there will be an adjustment to the entry fee to rebate the portion of the entry fee that is used to pay for the harbor. We do NOT know how much this will be, or when we will be able to determine what it will be, or how it will be disbursed.
This lack of clarity from the DNR may impact the plan for awards on the island. We will just have to be patient and see how this all develops.

I want to make it very clear that this is a DNR issue and NOT a Mackinac Island issue. The Island is open for business, looks great and raring to go. Some businesses have not opened yet but most are open. There are a very few that have posted signs that they will not be opening in 2020.

I completely understand that this amount of uncertainty may be the last straw for some of you. Please inform Linda () or me () ASAP if you are withdrawing from the race.

I strongly encourage everyone to focus on the positive. We are racing and very few others are this season. Let's sail hard, have fun and stay safe.

Stay Patient and Stay Flexible. The only known this year is there will be more changes.

More information at

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