GL52 Class overcomes 2020 hurdles

Published on September 14th, 2020

Announced in January 2020, the newly formed Great Lakes 52 (GL52) Class completed its five event season series amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. When it became clear the initial schedule of formal events were not going to happen this summer, the class decided to run their own series in Michigan on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Five boats participated in the inaugural series which started off with the Bayview Mackinac Race in June followed by a newly created coastal race – the Manitou Challenge. The Manitou Challenge was followed by two three day buoy events in Little Traverse Bay and concluded with the Macatawa Championship in Macatawa.

Races were run by the teams and local volunteers using drone marks, and in their season score, teams had to count one of the two “offshore races” and could throw out eight individual race scores from the three buoy events.

While social activities were eliminated out of caution, the racing was close for the first season, providing Grand Prix level competition in the USA. After sitting out the Bayview Mackinac Race, Doug DeVos’ Windquest team proved to be the benchmark, and while all five teams took turns collecting bullets, Windquest took the 2020 title.

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