Ronstan

Bayview Mac: Trading speed for luxury

Published on June 19th, 2019

Among the 200+ boats entered for the 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, the largest of them to seek out the July 20 start line is the 105-foot custom ketch Whitehawk.

When she was built in 1978 by Renaissance Yachts in Thomaston, Maine, the timeless, clipper-bowed Bruce King design (patterned after the famous 1936 Herreshoff-designed racing yacht Ticonderoga) was the largest-ever cold molded wooden boat, and to this day she is still referred to as one of the most beautiful yachts in the world.

Having been based in Newport, R.I. where for many years she has been a familiar sight among other traditionally designed sailing megayachts, she was recently bought by Peter Thornton, a Key Largo, Fla. resident who has homes in Bay Harbor and Detroit, Mich.

Among other racing accomplishments, he set the Elapsed Time Monohull Record (Cove Island Course) in the 2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race with his Volvo 70 Il Mostro, which he has donated to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation.

“A yacht like Whitehawk has never been on the Great Lakes and my desire is to show her off in Chicago and Detroit for the Mackinac Races,” said Thornton. “She is a magnificent machine that should be viewed by as many people as possible.”

Thornton, in his late seventies, has competed in at least 28 Bayview Mackinac Races, taking many class victories in go-fast boats like the Santa Cruz 70 he owned for many years. He decided after last year, however, that he was ready to “wind down” his racing career with a kinder, gentler experience that Whitehawk will offer.

His racing crew and family will have to get used to the yacht’s luxurious accommodations as compared to the stripped-down Il Mostro. Below decks feature three oversized staterooms and magnificent appointments, including a ten-sided Mandala skylight, a fireplace, and a head with a teak bathtub.

At the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, Whitehawk will sail in Division 1 on the Cove Island course – the longer of the two course options designed for the larger, racier boats entered.

“Going from a complete carbon racing machine like Il Mostro to a wooden cruising yacht like Whitehawk will be quite a transition,” said Thornton, with a grin reflected in his voice. “We’ll be mixed in with boats like the TP52s, and they’ll be running away from us, but that’s okay.”

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bayview mac course

Overview and close-up of the 259 nm Cove Island and 204 nm Shore Course for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.

Source: Media Pro

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