Organizers of one of Michigan’s most historic boat contests are launching this year’s edition of the Bayview Mackinac race.
The 92nd running of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race starts in Port Huron just north of the Blue Water Bridge.
The sailboats will travel between 200 and 260 nautical miles depending on the size of the craft.
The Bayview Yacht Club has been the host of the event since 1925.
Race Chair Kyle Burleson says there was a period before World War II when the immediate future of the contest was in doubt.
“People here were concerned about whether or not they should be going out and essentially playing while the country was at war,” he says. “They wrote to the White House and got a letter back telling ‘em to keep racing. ‘Cause going out and sailing on boats is good naval training and it was actually helping the war effort. So we kept sailing and we haven’t stopped.”
Burleson adds that each boat will have a GPS transponder allowing fans to follow the progress of the race online.
The contest is set to begin in the middle of July.