Winners confirmed in Bayview Mackinac Race
Published on July 24th, 2017
Mackinac Island, MI (July 24, 2017) – The 93rd Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race came to a close today with 191 teams completing the courses that began with 205 starters.
After the start on July 22, there were 123 teams competing on the 259 nautical-mile Cove Island course with 82 teams racing on the shorter 204 nm Shore course. Both courses finished at Mackinac Island.
Taking the overall win in the Shore Course was Mark Miller’s Beneteau First 42 Comfortably Numb, who also topped the 18-boat Cruising Class.
“They said it would be a quick race, and it was,” noted Miller, who finished yesterday at 17:05:47. “I’ve never been that far up the course that early that fast. Near Alpena and Hammond Bay, there was storm after storm after storm. We took down our asymmetrical spinnaker and were jib reaching, battling three others in our class for 10 to 12 hours. I’ve done 34 Macs and never finished that early.”
Phil and Sharon O’Nieil and their team on the TP52 Natalie J took overall honors in the Cove Island course, winning the 13-boat Class A when they finished yesterday at 14:53:14.
“This is our fifth time to win overall…I’m incredibly excited,” said Phil O’Niel. “Don’t think anyone has had five overalls in the same boat.”
Finishing in about 26 hours, this was also the fastest race O’Niel had done. “We were never off the breeze all the way to Cove Island. Can’t ever remember going upwind that long, or getting that wet. (Saturday was torrential rain.) We were fourth around Cove Island, but got around other boats from there when it became a fun, fast downwind course.”
But O’Niel recalled it wasn’t all easy. “We ran into storms but thankfully you could see them coming. They really blasted us, needing to take down the spinnaker. Then the last 15 miles the wind died, which brought up the Santa Cruz 70s which are fast downwind and way bigger. But we were ahead of them and able to hold time differential on them (they were second and third overall).”
Winning the Multihull Division, which also sailed the Cove Island Course, was Adagio, a Gougeon 35 Trimaran owned by Ben Gougeon and Alan Gurski.