Ready; set; sail

Sailors compete in Mackinac

Photo+courtesy+of+Blake+Stackpoole+%2718

Photo courtesy of Blake Stackpoole '18

Audrey Whitaker '19, Section Editior

The morning of July 22, 206 sailboats awaited starting signals for Bayview Yacht Club’s 92nd annual Port Huron to Mackinac Island race.  

According to a statement from Tricia Smotherland, the 2017 race chair, all boats had finished by mid-Monday morning.  

83 boats finished Sunday night between 6 p.m. and midnight, according to Eva Rossell ’18, who was part of a group of volunteers working at the finish line.  Rossell said the number of boats that finished Monday was a new record for the race.

“There were about six people recording finishing times, and I was in charge of entering that info online,” Rossell said.  “Last year, my mom worked the same shift, and only crossed something like five boats.”

Blake Stackpoole ’18, who began racing the Mackinac last year, said conditions were a little different from years prior– strong wind from the Nnorth, rain and no sun.

“At the turn west at Cove Island, the wind picked up significantly and gave us that early finish,” Stackpoole said.

Rossell said the best part of working at the finish line was how excited people were as they watched their friends and family cross the finish line, or radio in from their boat.

“When boats radio in to us, everyone is so excited that they finished, especially if they’re in a good place, and you can hear the crews clapping and cheering in the background,” Rossell said.

Stackpoole said that sailing is a tradition that, for him, started because of his dad, who has sailed his whole life.

“My dad has been racing this race every year for 24 years,” Stackpoole said. “Growing up, I always wanted to do it too.  I got it from him, and sailing has always been a big part of my life.”